With primary care in short supply in the North Country, Nurse Practitioner Jennifer Facteau-Rabideau has recently opened a new adult primary care clinic in Plattsburgh.
There are only about 200 nurse-managed clinics in the United States. Hers is the first such clinic in Plattsburgh.
Facteau-Rabideau is enrolling patients, and working with several insurance companies to get credentialled to see their patients.
“As of right now we can see Medicare patients, so while we do the paperwork we can at least see them,” she said. “Plus we can see Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Northeastern New York, and we just got credentialled with Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield.”
She is working also to get credentialled with the MVP and Fidelis networks, along with others. She has established a waiting list for patients in those and other health care networks.
The lag in establishing a full roster of patients has been beneficial for Facteau-Rabideau, giving her and several of her family members who she has enlisted to help her, time to refurbish the 2,400 square foot building she is turning into her offices. Facteau-Rabideau is leasing the former Verizon offices, next to McDonalds on Route 3 in Plattsburgh.
“We bought all out equipment, like the tables and chairs, on eBay,” she said. “My husband got on eBay and we did a road trip one weekend. We went to New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and then down to Little Falls in Herkimer.”
From the Saranac area originally, Facteau-Rabideau received her Associates in Nursing from Clinton Community College, and a Bachelors in Nursing from Plattsburgh State University. She worked in several specialties at the Champlain Valley Physician’s Hospital for several years before receiving her Master’s Degree in Adult Health Nursing from SUNY Stony Brook.
Being a nurse practitioner, Facteau-Rabideau has a doctor who oversees her practice. But, she says, she is able to prescribe medication, refer people to specialists, order labs, etc.
“I’ll say we can do all the same things as a doctor. It’s about educating the public on what a nurse practitioner can do. Truly, task wise, we do the same things.”
But being a nurse, she says, makes her more patient-centered. Rather than just treat for a specific malady, she makes a point of treating the whole patient.
With barely a month under her belt, Facteau-Rabideau can already see the possibility of expanding, either by adding another nurse practitioner, or a mental health professional to her practice.
“Good mental health treatment is lacking in this area,” she said.
She does not see children, but will see patients “from 16 to 100-whatever.”
In the treacherous seas of the health care industry, having a new primary care clinic in Plattbsurgh is a welcome addition.