Southlake Regional Hospital - There's a Place for You Here
It’s 8:30am on a Thursday morning and like any major regional hospital - Southlake is buzzing. Southlake is the regional centre for all things cardiology, cancer and emergency. It’s a hospital with which so many people have a personal connection. In Newmarket and the surrounding communities, it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t been touched by this place, whether for themselves, the birth of a child or supporting friends and family along their healthcare journey.
I’m meeting this morning with Morgan – the Heart Function Nurse Practitioner for Southlake. She’s one of over 30 Nurse Practitioners at Southlake, and the only one whose focus is solely on Heart Failure (and as I learn, helping people live well with Heart Failure).
I ask Morgan to tell me a little bit about herself and how she came to work at Southlake.
Morgan: I moved to Newmarket (and Southlake) about 2 years ago. I was living downtown Ottawa previously, finishing up school, doing my Masters (distance at U of T) and working in Cardiac ICU. I had a final placement that fell through and one of my mentors suggested that I do my placement at Southlake. Honestly, I asked “Where’s Southlake? Where’s Newmarket?” I’m from Leamington originally. It was the recommendation of my mentor who had had such a great experience with Southlake that brought me here.
Tell us a little about yourself: I moved to Newmarket pretty early into my placement – I was living further away but thought, why not save the commute. I like to spend my time biking, going for hikes (I’ve become pretty familiar with 99 steps) and Market Brew is like my second home. It’s such a great community hub. I bike to work in the summer and then spend a lot of free time travelling with friends from Ottawa.
Can you tell me why you decided to stay on at Southlake – especially since it’s far removed from downtown Ottawa? The nurse practitioner group here at Southlake is the best organization of any that I’ve worked with. There is complete support to work your full scope of practice. Everyone from staff physicians to team members offer so much support and respect. I have never had to fight to have my voice heard here and so I said to myself “I need to work here, I need to stay here.”
Southlake also has a lot of academic touch-points; relationships with the university etc. I came from an academic hospital and research is still very important to me. I am working on two research projects right now, I won a research award last year. And all of this is blended with a sense of family and accountability to the community. It’s a great balance.
And what was it about Newmarket that made you decide to stay here as opposed to commuting from Toronto or outside of Town? Honestly, the sense of community. I remember one time, I had just arrived and I went to the running store on Main Street and everyone in there really cared to get to know me. It’s not like that in bigger centres. And Newmarket is a very pretty Town with Fairy Lake, lots of local shops – you don’t have to shop at a big box store and yet, all the amenities are here. We have a fairly large mall, good proximity to the city, I can just hop on the Go Train to go to Toronto if I really want to. And finally I think, I made a lot of friends here.
What would you say to someone who might be applying to a career at Southlake? Haha – you’d be silly not to work at Southlake. You really need to take advantage of this opportunity. I have so many opportunities to grow my career here. I’ve only been here two years but I am the lead NP in my group, I run a virtual heart clinic where I can see patients who are in long-term care. One of my clients, had to unfortunately get admitted to the hospital and the doctor mentioned I’d be by to see her and she said “Morgan from the TV?” It’s just so nice to be able to build those relationships and make connections. You need to welcome this chance.
And what about someone who is thinking of moving to Newmarket? Get involved! In different ways. I think if you are young it can be tougher to meet people in a new community but really I just got out there and used the trails and went to Market Brew. A few friends and I joined two softball leagues and have started doing an annual summer brew bike tour. You are so close to so many things in Newmarket – it’s a no-brainer.
Morgan and I talked a while longer about what she does and how important it is to the community. This week is both National Nursing Week and Heart Failure Awareness Week and in honour of these events Morgan has been featured in a video highlighting a patient’s family to help people better understand that it is possible to live well with Heart Failure. So as a wrap to this interview I thought I’d share the video so you can “meet Morgan” and see how powerful the work she does is.
You can also see if you can spot Morgan in this video featuring the great people of Newmarket.
If you are looking for a career in healthcare, and want to work alongside an amazing team of people (including Morgan!) please click the button below to see all the opportunities that Southlake has to offer.