New Doctor of Family Medicine Joins PeaceHealth on Prince of Wales Island
What lures a bright, energetic doctor and his family of five to a remote Alaskan island like Prince of Wales? Likely, it is the same kinds of things that called the rest of us to southern Southeast Alaska—the rugged wilderness, vast open spaces, amazing fishing, outstanding hunting, and the unending outdoor recreation opportunities. Dr. Patrick Ballard, wife Patricia, and their three teenage boys are all excited to call Prince of Wales home as he joins PeaceHealth Medical Group as the fulltime doctor of Family Medicine.
Dr. Ballard, comes to PHMG: POW after serving his residency in Anchorage, Alaska, through Alaska Family Practice Residency program and having recently served with the Alaska Army National Guard in Afghanistan. Dr. Ballard earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Ballard’s experience prepares him to provide excellent care in a rural setting and his many certifications are sure to come in handy in a remote location including: Basic Life Support; Advanced Cardiac Life Support; Advanced Trauma Life Support; Advanced Disaster Life Support; Wilderness Advanced Life Support; and Neonatal Resuscitation.
As a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Ballard has had the same kind of education and training as a regular MD with the same rights, privileges and responsibilities. He received training in internal medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, family practice, surgery, psychiatry, emergency medicine, radiology, preventative medicine and public health. That’s good news for all of his patients. It means he’s specially trained to look at the needs of the whole person and how to work with his patients to bring them into the health care process as a partner. And his experience providing obstetric care is sure to be especially beneficial to growing families in the area.
While studying to becoming a doctor, Dr. Ballard also worked for a number of years as a certified radiology technologist. He received advanced degrees in Cellular Biology, Environmental Science and minored in Biogeochemistry. Interestingly, during those studies, he was involved in several research projects including a major study in partnership with the Native Tribal Council and the State and Federal government where he was the lead diver collecting mussels in a cold-water, no visibility setting. While studying Forest and Resource Management he worked on the J5 Ranch Restoration project where he gained an in-depth knowledge of forest management practices.
Dr. Ballard looks forward to incorporating his love of the natural sciences into his life on POW. He and his wife share a passion for geology and are looking forward to exploring the caves scattered across the island with their sons. They plan on exploring the 1,500 miles of roads on their dirt bikes. Dr. Ballard is also looking forward to checking out Alaska’s underwater coastline while scuba diving. His wife Patricia, a runner, is already looking forward to the POW international marathon, and Dr. Ballard and his boys may even participate as a relay team.