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Patient Stories 7

Patient Stories

Wholistic Care—Above and Beyond

Through their wholistic care, my GP Dr. Julia Carter and her nurse Leslie played a big role in helping my husband and I welcome our first child on February 5, 2013.

In the summer of 2010, I got pregnant for the first time – we were so excited! Unfortunately our excitement was short-lived, as I had a miscarriage at about six weeks. Dr. Carter and Leslie quickly helped us navigate and access resources to support us both physically (I ultimately needed a D&C but was having trouble accessing through the Early Pregnancy Loss Clinic in Calgary) and emotionally.

About six months later, in early March 2011, I visited Dr. Carter because I was feeling very anxious. Turns out I was pregnant again, Dr. Carter was excellent at immediately getting me in for an ultrasound and also ordering blood tests, including for thyroid. We found out I had a molar pregnancy, with Dr. Carter’s assistance I was able to quickly access great gynaecological care and a D&C. Dr. Carter also again helped address my mental and emotional health during this time, promptly providing referrals and documents for my company’s HR department so I could take a bit of additional time off to recover. She again provided similar support when I had an ectopic pregnancy about five months later, in August 2011.

Fast forward to May 2012, we had almost given up our hopes of conceiving a child on our own and were thinking of starting fertility treatments. But then after missing my period I took a home pregnancy test and got a positive result. Unfortunately, less than 24 hours later I had bleeding. I was sure we were losing another pregnancy – we were devastated. I called Dr. Carter’s office and spoke to her nurse, Leslie. Despite having a busy clinic, they made the effort to get my an appointment that day. At the appointment, Dr. Carter determined that we needed an ultrasound before doing anything. They called around to radiology offices around the city and were able to get me in for one that day. This was such a relief to know that, at the very least, I would have more information about what was going on and not have to play a waiting game.

Miraculously, the ultrasound showed that there was a fetus and it was in the uterus where it should be! But regular blood tests to monitor my HCG levels would be needed over the coming weeks to make sure that it was indeed developing. Despite having a medical conference and vacation scheduled in Greece, Dr. Carter went out of her way to provide me with the blood test results every few days, as soon as she received them. She would text or phone every few days with the results and an explanation of what they meant, even though she was half a world away. This was such a comfort and really helped me to stay relaxed during these uncertain weeks.

Once the pregnancy was established, Dr. Carter and Leslie provided excellent, prompt, and wholistic care through most of the pregnancy, until I began seeing an ob-gyn in the last months. And now that our beautiful baby girl is here, Dr. Carter and Leslie are providing their wonderful care to her as well! We feel so fortunate to have a GP like Dr. Carter, and a nurse like Leslie, in our lives. They both truly rock!

Thanks for providing a forum for us to share our story and recognize these phenomenal health care providers.

Jennifer Lomas, Calgary

Exemplary Care

I have been in Dr. Baergen’s care for approximately 8 years. She became my physician when I required follow up care after being discharged from the Cross Cancer Institute. Dr. Baergen has been an exemplary doctor to me since the beginning.

She has seen me through many ordeals including a major car accident, 2 difficult pregnancies, emergency appendectomy and ongoing and significant chronic pain issues. Dr. Baergen is not only extremely knowledgeable in her field, but extremely empathetic and understanding of what I have gone through. She has always approached my concerns with excellent sincerity and concern. It means a lot to have a doctor who understands you.

What makes Dr. Baergen unique is that she takes the time to listen to your concerns and address them. She is personable and easy to talk to. In this day and age where you go through medical ordeals, there is a tendency to feel like a number. I never feel like a number with Dr. Baergen.

I am extremely lucky to have Dr. Baergen as my family doctor. She rocks!

Domina Hussain

Bending Over Backwards for Patient Care

I had a hip replacement Feb 28/2012 and also had severe osteoarthritis in numerous other joints. This affected my ability to work as any position I had held involved simple yet taken for granted abilities such as standing and walking. When, after I healed from the surgery, I went to Dr. Alexandra Noga (who has been my Doctor for approximately 10 years) here in Grande Prairie, and complained of joint pain throughout the body, and she referred me to a specialist. When she referred me to Dr. Lydell, the rheumatologist, Dr. Noga did not suspect rheumatoid arthritis but wanted to rule it out which of course, it was ruled out. Dr. Noga ordered blood work that she knew Dr. Lydell would be wanting, and that allowed him to have all the info he needed when I showed up for my appointment.

When the lab results for ferritin were abnormally high, it was again Dr. Noga who ordered genetic testing of yet more blood samples which confirmed hemochromatosis. It was Dr. Noga who ordered ultrasound tests to check for damage to internal organs that is common with my disorder and she sent me to a specialist for an echocardiogram to check for damage once again to a common target for one with hemochromatosis. She then referred me to an internist, Dr. Nikoleychuk, in the hematology department at the hospital. When I had my appointment with him they did a consult, asking me many questions and when Dr. Nikoleychuk spoke to me he said “I don’t know why you are even here because Dr. Noga has been so forward thinking and thorough that she has already ordered everything that I would have.”

I hope you can see why I want to somehow have Dr. Noga thorough work and dedication to her patients, this one in particular, acknowledged, commended, and recognized.

Thank you,
Christian Robinson, Grande Prairie

Carmen Larsen and Me

Over the last few years I’ve experienced a bit of turn-over in family doctors. Leslie Preston cared for me for six years, then passed on her practice. The replacement doctor served well, but soon departed on maternity leave. In the replacement of my replacement came Dr. Carmen Larsen. Dr. Larsen has a wonderful rapport, sense of humour, and a keen eye. Following an ultrasound of my kidneys she noted a fluid buildup and slated me for further tests. She followed my progress through tests and resulting treatment. Dr. Larsen has since moved on and I will truly miss her. Thanks for catching the fluid Doc, and all the best for you.


Dr. Jennifer Riess Rocks!

My family physician is Dr. Jennifer Riess who works out of the Family Medical Associates Clinic in Edmonton, AB. Both myself and others of my family who doctor with Dr. Riess think she Rocks for the following reasons:

  • takes the time to listen to my concerns
  • she is respectful to myself and to her colleagues/staff (my observation)
  • caring and compassionate
  • direct and up front regarding treatment options
  • willing to admit if she doesn’t know something/what to do but seeks out the answer in a timely manner
  • I am able to get in to see her in a timely manner – both in booking the appointment and in the appointment itself
  • she accommodates her practice to ensure efficiencies (i.e. call me with results or medication changes)

CL McKinstry

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