Dr. Charlotte Dawson and Dr. Brandon Harvey are the newest family physicians to join the Ottawa Valley Family Health Team, but they are no strangers to the region. Both doctors provided temporary coverage at Almonte General Hospital in the past – and they say they liked what they saw.
“I’m from a town called Lucan which is smaller than Almonte,” explains Dr. Dawson. “When I happened upon Almonte when looking for temporary work, I really liked the feel of the hospital and the family health team.” Dr. Dawson went to medical school at Western University and completed her residency at Queen’s University.
Dr. Dawson took over Dr. Franz Ferraris’s practice last year and says it’s been both exciting and challenging due to COVID-19. “We are doing mostly phone and virtual visits at this point but I’m getting to know my patients. It will be nice to meet them in person one day soon.” Dr. Dawson is also working in the Emergency Department and cares for some patients at Fairview Manor.
Dr. Harvey knew he wanted to do rural medicine right from the beginning. During his medical training, he did a placement in a small town and says it was a eureka moment. “I like everything about it, including the fact that you get to do a little bit of everything,” he says. Dr. Harvey went to medical school at Western University and did his residency at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.
While working up north, Dr. Harvey says he heard about Almonte General Hospital: “A colleague told me that Almonte was a great community with a very supportive group of doctors, so I made a connection to learn more.” After providing fill-in coverage last summer, an opportunity arose for Dr. Harvey to take over Dr. Christiane Deschenes’s practice.
“It’s been a big transition as Dr. Deschenes cared for these patients for many, many years,” he says. “The team has been very welcoming and some of my patients have even reached out just to say hello. It will be nice to meet all my patients in person. That time will come.”
When not working, both physicians are busy setting up their new homes in the area. Dr. Dawson and her husband have bought a rural home in Carp and she is busy nurturing more than 150 houseplants that she buys at local stores. Dr. Harvey and his wife are also looking for a home in the area. His says his favourite pastime is fishing and he can’t wait to explore all of the nearby lakes and rivers to find his own fishing spots.
Welcome to Dr. Dawson and Dr. Harvey.