Family Nurse Practitioner Jennifer Halon-Wilde, a well-known, longtime provider of women’s healthcare services in The Dalles, has joined North Central Public Health District, fulfilling her longtime goal of working in public health.
“I love the mission of the health department,” said Hanlon-Wilde, who worked at Columbia River Women’s Center for 18 years. “I’ve always been really excited about community health. I like to be taking care of people who don’t have insurance and the health department serves everybody.”
She’s also bilingual, “so there are fewer barriers for the Spanish speaking patients.”
She got her Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) in 2022 and recently was hired as a professor of nursing at Washington State University. Her teaching position requires she continue clinical work, but on a limited basis, so this part- time position fits the bill perfectly.
A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse who can diagnose and prescribe, and provide primary healthcare for people of all ages.
Her main focus at NCPHD is reproductive health, which includes services like family planning, treating sexually transmitted infections, doing annual exams and pap smears and offering vaccinations. She sees patients Mondays and Tuesdays right now, but in the fall will switch to Mondays only.
“We are thrilled to have Jennifer join our team,” said Shellie Campbell, Director of NCPHD. “She’s a trusted provider who brings a wealth of experience and truly has a heart for serving the community. She’s a great fit here with her passion for reproductive health and her desire to see equitable access to healthcare for everyone.”
Hanlon-Wilde sees patients for a variety of contraception needs, from long term options to emergency contraception (also called the morning after pill) which prevents conception if taken within five days of having sex.
“We definitely do provide it because accidents happen and birth control is not perfect,” she said. “It’s so important for women to be able to plan their families and be in charge of their bodies and health.”
She also sees patients for fertility issues, “someone who wants to start a family and they want advice about that.”
“We do see men too and we can provide referral and funding for men who are looking for vasectomies, which is an underutilized resource that we have,” Hanlon-Wilde said.
A vasectomy, a form of male birth control, is a 15-20 minute procedure that takes place in the doctor’s office, she said. “They just block the tube that carries sperm out, so it doesn’t have any effect on hormones or sexual function,” she said.
She was drawn to reproductive health because “I wanted to make a difference in women’s lives and it was a very practical way to do that. I like helping someone plan their family and be as healthy as they can be.”
(For more information, please contact North Central Public Health District at (541) 506-2600, visit us on the web at www.ncphd.org or find us on Facebook.)