The Jamestown Family Health Clinic's newest physician, obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Cynthia Brooke, is enjoying being back in Washington but it took quite an effort for her to get here from Ontario, Ore., during the recent bad weather.
Brooke, 53, has four cats and two dogs, all of which were rescued from animal shelters. "It was quite an ordeal moving all of them across the pass in winter," she said with a laugh.
Brooke was born in Wenatchee and grew up in the Seattle area. After attending high school in Tacoma, she received her bachelor's and medical degrees from the University of Washington, graduating in 1986.
Then she did a four-year residency at the University of Texas followed by fellowships in Dublin, Ireland, and London, England.
"I wanted to come back to Washington to be closer to my family. I loved this part of the state. This is the right size hospital and right size community. The obstetrician/gynecologists here all work well together," Brooke said.
Drs. John Burkhardt and Stephen Bush also work as obstetrician/gynecologists at the clinic. Dr. Randell Bauman works at The Women's Clinic in Port Angeles.
Before being recruited by Olympic Medical Center, Brooke worked for three years in Ontario, Ore., just west of the Idaho border on Interstate 84.
The hospital district's board of directors approved her two-year recruitment contract at its Nov. 5 meeting. She started at the clinic last week.
Brooke said the hospital in Ontario, Holy Rosary Medical Center, was busy because of the city's location on the freeway and because the next biggest hospital was in Boise, Idaho.
Then because she's an obstetrician/gynecologist, she also was on call virtually around the clock, which helped in her decision to move here.
Before settling in Ontario, Brooke worked as a "locum doctor," one who temporarily substitutes for another doctor.
"So I went wherever I was needed. I went all over," Brooke said, adding she's licensed in seven or eight states.
She took the job in Ontario because the locum doctor lifestyle of traveling and living out of hotels can get difficult after a while, Brooke said.
According to her recruitment contract, Brooke must stay for at least two years and accept Medicare, Medicaid and any other patients accepted by Olympic Medical Center.
The contract doesn't include any income support but Brooke will receive up to $10,000 in moving expenses, one half of expenses for shutting down her previous practice up to $50,000 and a housing allowance of up to $1,000 per month for 12 months.
Brian Gawley can be reached at email@example.com.
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