BLAIR — Dr. Janet Lynne Douglass, FNP, has injected a shot of pride into western Fairfield County where her clinic is located.
Douglass recently was honored as the 2013 recipient of the James E. Clyburn Public Health and Disparities Communities Leadership Award.
The award recognizes Douglass for her work as a health advocate as well as a clinician. Douglass managed specialty clinics several years prior to coming to Fairfield County.
She belongs to a number of professional organizations and has become active in Washington, D.C., with health advocacy groups to represent the voice of patients in rural areas.
Douglass has served on the board of the Fairfield County Council on Aging, with the S.C. Public Health Association, with the Coalition for Promotion of Exercise in South Carolina, with the Best Chance Network Cancer Initiative and on the Board of Trustees for the USC School of Medicine.
Professionally, she thrives on the challenges of treating patients with chronic disease, because those people often have multiple health problems.
“Sometimes by the time they get to me they have 4-5 health problems,” she said.
Poverty and a lack of resources are challenges. Hers is a “for care” system and even though there is a sliding fee for services, patients are expected to pay the co-pay. There are transportation issues, issues from a “food desert” in the western side of the county where there are no local markets to buy healthy food and issues because healthy food is more expensive.
Trust is a key component to health care, she said, because the patient has to believe in the provider for the health care to benefit them. She said at Lake Monticello Family Practice her goal is to try to include patients and their care plans and to respect their values and beliefs in the process.
“Improving health is a gradual process,” she said. “My patients and I work together to reach optimal health goals. This process requires time, caring, trust and mutual respect. In looking to the future, we at Lake Monticello Family Practice want to build a healthier community together. The patients are the reason this is happening. Through trust and caring we can reach that goal.”
For Douglass, healthy patients equal a health community, so she has tried to accommodate local organizations and boards when they asked her to serve or to speak to their groups. Douglass partnered with Fairfield Memorial Hospital to provide on-site diabetic services at her office as a satellite location. Obesity is a problem in the county, particularly with teens, so she partnered with Clemson Extension to plant a garden and teach nutrition classes.
She is passionate about outreach opportunities and helping young people become interested in health care professions. She has had local high school students to work with her as lab techs and nursing assistants, in addition to her work with college students
“I just believe it is important to be involved and I am passionate about health care issues,” she said. “Educated pharmacists and family nurse practitioners are especially important in rural areas.”
As an adjunct faculty member at the University of South Carolina, her clinic is a site where students to clinical rotations.
She grew up in Winnsboro and has lived in downtown Winnsboro her entire life. Her father was a hospital administrator and she used to tag along to the hospital with him. It was there, at an early age, that she found where her great happiness and the world’s greatest need met — in medicine.
She has a FNP master’s from the University of South Carolina and earned a doctorate in nursing practice from George Washington University. As a doctor of nursing practice, she has the highest education level attainable in the nursing profession.
She enjoys studying research and studying worldwide health trends so she can learn more techniques that apply to Fairfield County. Recently she completed a research project — “Using Motivational Interviewing to Engage Adolescents in Healthy Eating and Exercise Practices.” The study, performed at Lake Monticello Family Practice, was done in conjunction with George Washington University.
In her free time she plays guitar, rides her horse, paddles her kayak, hikes and spends time with grandsons, Charlie and Berry.
“I am a big family person,” she said. She comes from a musical family with her sister being local singer-songwriter Susan Douglass Taylor.
“In this county it’s important we try to make a difference where we can,” she said.
Contact Douglass at Lake Monticello Family Practice at 803-945-7595.