A local health care provider will be retiring this month from the Smethport Family Practice.
Bonnie Scanlan, certified registered nurse practitioner, has served the McKean County community since 1986.
“My last day of patient visits will be January 21,” said Scanlan. “I am leaving my patients in the capable hands of Dr. Cory Mathias and my fellow nurse practitioner, Filane Crumrine.”
She described what drew her to nursing and provided highlights from her education and career. She credits many in the community with helping make her career “a rewarding one.”
“I was attracted to nursing as it combined my desire to help people, my interest in science, and problem-solving,” she explained. “In the course of my studies, it became evident the nurse practitioner role would provide more autonomy in decision-making and the ability to see tangible results of my interventions. The opportunity to connect with people, problem solve, and improve others’ health and quality of life has been a source of great satisfaction throughout my career.”
Scanlan trained as a nurse practitioner at Rush University in Chicago, where she earned a master’s degree. She completed her residency at Cook County Hospital, staying for an extra year as an employee.
In 1986, Bradford Hospital hired her to open a primary care practice on Main Street, Smethport, where she stayed until her daughter was born in 1990. In 1991, she joined Dr. Shelley in Port Allegany. In 2000, she returned to Smethport.
“Some patients have remained in my care since those early days; I will especially miss those relationships,” said Scanlan.
To start her retirement, she plans to work on renovation projects with her husband in their Victorian home.
“When it is safe again, we hope to travel; we’re especially looking forward to some long train trips,” she added. “Once I have had a chance to recharge, I hope to stay involved and continue contributing to the community.”
According to Scanlan, the medical field has changed since she first entered it.
“When I moved to Bradford over thirty years ago, a non-physician primary care provider was a new concept and, understandably, viewed by some with skepticism,” she explained. “Acceptance and inclusion came gradually. State regulations were also slow to evolve. It was a great milestone when the state granted nurse practitioners prescriptive privileges and I was finally able to sign my own prescriptions!”
She slowly built “collaborative relationships” in the local medical community, working together with associates to care for the community.
“I am truly thankful for these relationships and for the expertise colleagues have so generously shared as we worked toward the common goal of improving the health of our patients,” she said.
This is just one group of people who made her career in McKean County fulfilling.
“I also wish to express my gratitude to my family for their patience and sacrifice, to the hospital administration, and to my amazing staff for their hard work and support,” she said.
“I am especially grateful to my patients, who entrusted me with their care and shared their stories, laughter, and tears,” Scanlan said. “They have inspired me with their courage and resilience in the face of life’s challenges, and their enrichment of my life is immeasurable. It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of their lives. I wish them all good health in the years to come.”