St. Marys Journal Argus
The new Pontiac Vibe that was Mike Trevail’s first-ever car purchase is no longer in service. But the positive “vibe” Trevail — now “Dr.” Trevail — got from the Town of St. Marys — where he came from London to purchase that car, back in the day — developed much later on, after he had graduated from the University of Ottawa’s medical school and was back in the London area completing his residency requirements through Western University.
“I had been to St. Marys, probably, two or three times before I came in January — a couple of times playing (minor) hockey, and once to buy a car,” Trevail told the Journal Argus earlier this week, during a sit-down interview in the staff room of the Happy Valley Family Health Team’s bustling clinic at the Wellness Centre and St. Marys Memorial Hospital complex.
It was in January, however, that Trevail came for the first time in a medical capacity, on a one-month residency. At the time, he worked mainly with Dr. Tanya Thornton, a Happy Valley partner who does double duty as an associate professor at Western University’s medical school.
That experience, coupled with another residency he completed at a family health team in Mt. Brydges, helped point Trevail towards a future path in medicine.
“In medical school, in fourth year, you kind of tailor your studies towards where you want to go. And I had tailored mine towards family medicine.”
But serving in St. Marys and Mt. Brydges help further pinpoint his calling. Working in facilities serving predominantly rural areas, he realized he appreciated the breadth of knowledge and opportunity — including in-patient service in the clinic; emergency room shifts; general primary care — afforded in such settings.
In July, after graduation, he began a three-month “locum” at St. Marys Memorial.
“It was an opportunity for me to figure out if I worked well with the group, and if the group worked well with me,” he explained.
Much like the test drive of the Vibe at what was then known as Downtown Pontiac, the “test drive” in St. Marys culminated in a handshake: He would join the Happy Valley Family Health Team as its ninth partner physician.
Although many patients and hospital staff had already had the opportunity to make acquaintances, both socially and professionally, Trevail officially joined the team last month.
“Everybody has been really welcoming — not just the people here (in the hospital and Wellness Centre) but the whole community,” he said. “Which is really what I expected.”
According to Doug Holliday, chair of the St. Marys Memorial Hospital Foundation — an organization which, through its charitable status, financially supports various aspects of the hospital and Wellness Centre’s operation, including medical professional recruitment — the feeling currently is that there is sufficient physician coverage in St. Marys to handle all the community’s needs for family doctors. But with nine doctors now on board, some challenges have been identified with regards to current facilities.
That’s why, within a month, the Foundation and the Huron-Perth Healthcare Alliance — which will coordinate the project using Foundation-raised funds — will decide on a tendered bid for the renovation of the downstairs portion of the Family Health Team’s clinic. By the end of 2014, renovation of both the upstairs and downstairs are expected to be complete.
All told, it’s expected to be a $500,000 project.