In its continuing efforts to ensure Mid-Columbia area patients have access to high-quality primary care, Columbia Hills Family Medicine in The Dalles has added another new healthcare professional to its staff.
Family nurse practitioner Annie Stone, F.N.P., is now accepting new patients seeking comprehensive primary care services, from prevention to treatment. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education beyond a bachelor's degree who are able to diagnose illness and prescribe interventions through interview and physical exam, order specific labs and diagnostic testing, and prescribe medications. In addition they provide healthcare education, counseling, and supportive care to an individual, family, or community.
Stone brings to CHFM and the clinic's patients a rich and diverse professional background. Most recently she served for two years as the chief nursing officer at Klickitat Valley Hospital in Goldendale. She worked in that community since 1990.
Stone started at the hospital as a staff nurse and childbirth educator, then shifted gears in 1999 when she completed her master's in nursing from Washington State University and became a family nurse practitioner. Earlier she earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from Oregon Health & Science University.
In 2004 she became the chief nurse at Klickitat, while continuing to see patients as a nurse practitioner.
"The opening at Columbia Hills came at a good time," Stone says. "I really liked working at Klickitat but I just reached the point where I felt like I maxed out all my professional opportunities. I had done about everything I could do, and enjoyed every job, but I wanted to get back to seeing patients full-time."
Making the leap across the Columbia also gave Stone the chance to reunite with an old friend, CHFM family practice physician Judy Richardson, M.D.
"I met Judy at Klickitat, where she did her residency," Stone said. "I'm thrilled to be working with her again."
"Nurse practitioners are qualified to practice independently of a physician," Stone says. "Our roles are very similar; my practice just has a few limitations that physicians don't have."
Stone says, "I find my profession deeply rewarding. My patients span the age range from children to adults," she adds. "I love being able to get to know them, and getting to know the dynamics of their families."
Stone and her husband raised four children on their family farm in Goldendale. They've all left the house but they know where to turn when they get cold feet. In addition to cruising around on her pink bike, one of Mom's favorite pastimes is knitting socks. She also loves running, reading and being a grandmother.
Patients seeking an appointment with Annie Stone, F.N.P. can call Columbia Hills Family Medicine at 296-9151.