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West Prince public health nurse earns Étoile Santé

Andrea Bernard works out of the Community Hospital in O’Leary, serving Alberton and surrounding areas.
Andrea Bernard works out of the Community Hospital in O’Leary, serving Alberton and surrounding areas.

O’LEARY, P.E.I. - The P.E.I. French Health Network recently named nurse Andrea Bernard as the Étoile Santé in the campaign to promote and recruit health professionals who offer French-language services.

Bernard recently accepted a public health nurse position in West Prince, making her the only francophone public health nurse in the area.

From her office at Community Hospital, O’Leary, she serves Alberton and surrounding areas.

“I really like this type of work. When I was in Grade 10 at École Évangéline, I already knew I wanted to work with babies. That’s why I became a nurse.”

Bernard obtained her degree from UPEI in 2005 and went on to work in pediatrics and maternity, as well as the float team at Prince County Hospital for a year.

She later moved to western Canada with her husband, Damien Arsenault, and worked there for a year and in Alberta for four years.

After a few years, the couple had the urge to move back to Prince Edward Island. She worked as a public health nurse in Prince County, a registered nurse at Stewart Memorial in Tyne Valley and then taught the practical nursing program at Collège de l’Île.

Besides working with young families, Bernard holds immunization clinics and child development assessment clinics. She also offers school health services, facilitates communicable disease follow-ups, and performs various other tasks, all related to public health.

Bernard is bilingual and likes speaking French as part of her work.

“I know from experience that it’s important to be able to speak one’s own language when talking about our health. I don’t hesitate to offer French-language services when I think a client speaks French. That’s how we meet a client’s needs and offer client-centered services,” she added. 

Anyone can nominate health professionals who actively offer French language health services in P.E.I. for a chance to win $500. For more information on the Étoile Santé campaign or to nominate someone directly on the PEIFHN’s website, go to www.santeipe.ca.

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