One Small Voice
by Laura McGaffey
Articles originally published in "The Voice in the Desert"
Walker Family Medicine
In the reception area of the new Walker Family Medicine offices in Willcox one entire wall is a peek into the family photo albums of Dr. Dawn Walker, Physician Assistant Mick Drage, Family Nurse Practitioner Amanda Bennett and various members of their support staff. The word “Family” in the name of their practice refers to the continuum of care they provide to the entire family unit, from infants and children to women’s and elderly health care. Beyond that, however, “Family” also refers to their overall manner towards their patients. I have been treated by Mick or Amanda for everything from my periodic well-woman check-ups to dog bites inflicted by a Rottweiler. I found it is okay to let the tears flow and that my feelings are honored.
“Healthcare is about caring and I would like the community to feel they have been cared for every time they leave our office.” - Amanda Bennet, FNP-C
I have always felt safe and protected, cared for and cared about by Dr. Walker, Mick, Amanda, Betsy, Nancy, and Jennifer - a team of professional medical caregivers that feels more like an extended family.
To my neighbors in Sunsites-Pearce and surrounding areas please note that routine visits, including labwork and rapid INR (Coumadin level) will be available in Sunsites at Erika Slover’s Shangri-La Physical Therapy clinic on Irene Street, next to the golf course, every Tuesday. Well-woman exams need to be done in Willcox, however. Mick will be in Sunsites two Tuesdays in a row and Amanda will be here the third Tuesday. Nancy will be here every week and Betsy will come Tuesday mornings to guide them through the rush.
The Willcox offices will be open six days a week. In Willcox, WFM (Walker Family Medicine) offers care in the following specialties (text taken from their website at http://www.walkerfamilymedicine.com):
At Walker Family Medicine (WFM), the training of our providers includes the care for newborns and children. We provide routine health care for these children, including immunizations. Our training also includes the recognition and treatment of many childhood illnesses, such as asthma. WFM also has associations with pediatric specialists. Their expertise will be sought if necessary.
Walker Family Medicine (WFM) provides routine women's health care. This care includes annual gynecological exams, family planning, peri- and post- menopausal counseling and treatment. WFM does not provide obstetrical care but does look forward to caring for your newborn. Prompt referrals will be generated for gynecological surgical needs or emergencies.
Walker Family Medicine (WFM) is proud to announce Urgent Care services. WFM is available to care for your basic urgent health care needs, such as simple lacerations, sprains, fracture diagnosis and care. We do accept walk-ins. If your medical need is deemed emergent, you will be directed to the Northern Cochise Community Hospital Emergency Room.
Geriatric care is integral to providing care for Willcox's community health needs. Care for the elderly is included in the training of the family practitioner. Walker Family Medicine (WFM) is capable of providing this medical care. WFM also believes in providing dignity for end-of-life care. We are pleased by our association with Charles Leighton Hospice and we willing provide referrals when appropriate.
WFM accepts most insurance plans.
Dr. Dawn K. Walker, D.O.
Dr. Dawn K. Walker is a board certified Family Physician. After graduating from Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, Arizona, where she grew up, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from Northern Arizona Universiy in 1991. She obtained her Doctorate of Osteopathy from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, in 1996 and did her residency at Mesa General Hospital from 1996 to 1999. Her post graduate training and specialization is Family Practice. She has been licensed since 1997.
Dr. Walker has lived in the Sulphur Springs Valley for nine years. From 2003 to 2007 she was Chief of Staff at the Northern Cochise Community Hospital. In 2005 she co-founded the Willcox Meth Task Force, an organization she intends to continue to work with in finding further treatment options for meth abuse and in encouraging the prevention of its first use.
As a member of Walker Family Medicine Dr. Walker plans to continue to be an active community member helping to facilitate proper health care choices community wide. Her community volunteerism includes a long stint as secretary for the Lighthouse Academy School Board of Directors from 2001 to 2007.
Dr. Walker is married and has two children. Her daughter is an avid dancer and her son enjoys sports. Her husband, Joe, is Principal at Lighthouse Academy and maintains the computer system for Walker Family Medicine.
She enjoys running and participating in races. She hunts and when vacationing with her family they like to scuba dive and water and snow ski.
Amanda D. Bennett, F.N.P.-C.
Family Nurse Practitioner Amanda Bennett was born in Willcox and lived there her whole life except for the eight years she spent in Tucson going to school and working at the university hospital as an ER/Trauma nurse. She attended the University of Arizona College of Nursing, earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1999 and her Master of Science in Nursing in 2004. She is currently studying for her Doctor of Nursing Practice, which she anticipates earning in 2009. Amanda’s goals focus on rural health care systems and vulnerable populations. For her doctoral dissertation she plans on doing an ethnography on the Willcox/Sunsites communities to test current rural nursing theory and see if it holds true in a rural southeastern Arizona border community.
Amanda’s goals include teaching at the university level once she has attained her doctorate as well as continuing her practice in the Willcox/Sunsites areas. All of the University of Arizona programs are online so she can stay in the area and teach at the same time. As a member of WFM Amanda plans to provide culturally relevant and valuable healthcare to her community. She specializes in Family Practice and particularly enjoys Women’s Health Care.
Amanda is married and has one daughter, Madison. She has always wanted to raise her family in a small community and is very pleased she was able to return to Willcox, near her and her husband’s familes. They have a small farm on which they grow alfalfa hay and, this year, pumpkins. They also graze some of their property. They have “tons of animals” which allows Madison to learn about animals and about the sounds they make. Madison loves being outdoors and Amanda loves the fact that she doesn’t have to worry much about her.
Mick G. Drage, P.A.-C.
Mick Drage earned his Physician Assistant Certification from Pacific University in Oregon in 2001 after graduating from Brigham Young University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. He is a Fellow with voting privileges of both the NCCPA (National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants) and the AAPA (Arizona Association of Physician Assistants).
He and his wife, Tiffany, the office manager at Walker Family Medicine, grew up in Tucson, where they met in their freshman year of high school. In 2001 they moved back to Willcox and Mick joined the Northern Cochise Community Hospital Medical Staff.
Mick’s number one goal for WFM is the addition of services that patients can otherwise only be referred many miles to obtain. In the future Mick plans to go back to school to earn his medical degree as either an M.D. or a D.O. He plans to specialize in orthopedics.
In addition to his work with WFM Mick also works in the Emergency Room in the hospital in Safford. He also has experience assisting in the operating room.
The Drages have two sons and a daughter, between 15 and 4. Mick enjoys archery hunting and being in the outdoors with his sons. He volunteers as a little league coach and a youth football coach.
Over the past five years, Dr. Walker, Amanda, Mick and their staff have grown into a highly qualified and dedicated team of medical caregivers. They are also a family and they treat all their patients as members of a close-knit extended family.