World traveler, rural health expert is seeing patients out of Littauer’s Speculator office
The Nathan Littauer Primary Care Network is pleased to announce the appointment of Heather Deibler, RPA-C as the primary health care provider at its site in Speculator. Prior to joining Littauer Ms. Deibler was a Physician Assistant with the Hudson Headwaters Health Network. Ms. Deibler earned a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Arcadia University where she focused on rural family practice.
Littauer recently asked Ms. Deibler about her expertise and passion for medicine. Here are her answers:
Q: What drew you to Littauer Speculator?
A: The Adirondacks are my home. My grandfather and great-grandfather were guides and built guide boats in Indian Lake, and my mother grew up in Sabael. My parents moved to North Carolina when I was a baby, but these mountains have been calling me back since childhood. My husband and I moved to Wells four years ago. There is no area where I would rather live and work. My family tells me stories about Dr. Carroll, the beloved family doctor who practiced in Indian Lake for years. One of my dreams has been to become a medical provider like Dr. Carroll, and now I feel like Speculator and Nathan Littauer have given me the opportunity to serve in a similar way. Speculator is a wonderful town with great people, many of whom I already know and love.
Q: You have had rural practice experiences in Vermont, North Carolina, Guinea and Gambia, Africa. How have those experiences made an impact/influenced you in your career?
A: All those locations were places where I did clinical rotations in P.A. school. My experience in Vermont probably prepared me the most for rural medicine in the North Country. The P.A. in Ludlow, VT, known as “Doctor Joe” to the community, showed me a terrific example to follow in his caring attitude, his trustworthiness and respectability, and his commitment to continuing his own education to stay updated on evidence-based medicine. The conditions and illnesses I encountered in Africa made me thankful for what we have and take for granted here in the U.S. I had amazing experiences, seeing diseases that are rare here, like meningitis, malaria, Guillain-Barré Syndrome. I even helped deliver babies! No matter where I trained to prepare for rural practice, I encountered similar challenges: access to medicine, affordability of medicine, prevention, and access to hospitals and state-of-the-art resources are always difficult tasks in rural medicine. I am excited that Speculator is already far ahead of most rural areas I have seen in the quality of their primary care facility, use of technology, and access to medication and quality care.
Q: What do you expect to bring to your new patients?
A: I hope to follow the example that Carla Darrow set of a deep commitment to caring for the whole patient, providing quality care and truly getting to know patients.
Ms. Deibler is an avid hiker and enjoys volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, and singing.