New Memorial Pediatrician Advocates “Whole-of-Society” Approach To Connect Kids With Resources
April 22, 2021
Dr. Charlotte Helvie, Memorial Hospital’s newest pediatrician, believes patient care happens as much in the community as in the exam room. For many years, she has advocated a “whole-of-society” approach to helping kids grow healthy.
“[The doctor] can be such an influence on health. The community can be such an influence on the entire life of a child. Health care is just a part of that.”
“Bringing someone with Dr. Helvie’s background in pediatrics and experience in working in rural health care to Memorial is a great addition to our pediatrics team,” says Memorial Chief Medical Officer Dr. Matt Dunn. “This is a bonus for our hospital and our patients.”
Dr. Helvie comes to Memorial’s Mt. Washington Valley Rural Health (MWVRH) Primary Care from the Northern Inyo Health Care District in Bishop, California. As a pediatrician practicing in a rural location she understands the importance of collaborations among county government, school districts, and community organizations to make sure children’s needs are addressed from multiple perspectives.
As a community leader in Inyo County, California, she participated in projects to address healthy lifestyles support, family resilience promotion, and school health access. The “whole-of-society” approach attempts to connect children and families with appropriate services and resources.
Dr. Helvie joins fellow pediatrician Dr. Wenda Saunders and a team of family practice providers and behavioral health and podiatry providers. The additional pediatrician, says Dunn, enables MWVRH to better serve the medical needs of the entire family and increases the number of appointments available to patients. Dunn shared that Memorial’s Women’s Health practice recently added an additional obstetrician and midwife, which along with a new pediatrician, expands care opportunities for the Valley’s new babies.
A graduate of the University of California at Davis with a degree in genetics, Dr. Helvie considered a career in research or perhaps a specialty practice in genetics, but soon realized “working hands-on with families was the part I enjoyed the most.” She completed medical school at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia, and completed an internship and residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. She is board certified in pediatrics and provides care for newborns through adolescence including acute and chronic illness and preventative healthcare.
Dr. Helvie has been a pediatrician with the Northern Inyo (California) Healthcare District since 2005. She has served at various times as Chief and Medical Director of Pediatrics, and Vice Chief and Chief of the Medical Staff, as well as in numerous committees to review practice operations and coordinate community partnerships. She recently added some pediatric outreach work at a small rural healthcare district in the southern part of Inyo County.
Joining Memorial Hospital’s team in Mt. Washington Valley is not as unlikely as it may sound for this experienced physician. Dr. Helvie’s husband grew up in Connecticut and they often vacationed in New Hampshire. During her medical school days they would make the long drive from Virginia to enjoy the local climbing and even after moving to California have returned every few years with their two sons. They were even married at the Farm by the River on West Side Road.
“I’ve been happy in northern California and did not plan to move,” she says. “My draw [to Memorial] was the team I’ll be working with was supporting my interest in working with communities and understanding community needs.”
As a parent, Dr. Helvie also helps reassure other parents concerned for their own children's health and development. “It’s easy to get caught up as a parent in all the things you think you should be doing or that you read that you should be doing. You forget to focus on all the things you are doing really well. You can always do better and try harder and do a better job. The important things to keep in mind are all of the great things one does accomplish as a parent.”
To schedule an appointment with any Mt. Washington Valley Rural Health Primary Care provider, call 603-356-5472. Current practice patients can also request an appointment by visiting mychart.mainehealth.org.
About Memorial Hospital
Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in North Conway, NH, and is a member of the MaineHealth family. Its hospital services include a 24-hour emergency department, surgery center, clinical laboratory, heart health & wellness programs, imaging services, cardiopulmonary care, family birthing center, oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services. Practices include primary care and family medicine, diabetes care, behavioral health, women's health, podiatry, orthopedics and physical therapy. Memorial Hospital is also home to The Merriman House nursing home, which provides senior care services in a comfortable, home-like setting. For more information, www.memorialhospitalnh.org or call 603-356-5461.