Ascension welcomes two new Gulf County providers

Ascension Sacred Heart Medical Group has added two new providers in Gulf County in recent months, which they hope will help address a worsening shortage of medical providers in the area. 

Anna “Kaitlyn” Rich, a nurse practitioner,  joined Ascension’s Wewahitchka location in April. Her hours are Monday from 9  a.m. until 6 p.m. CDT, Tuesday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. CDT and  Friday from 7:a.m. until 4 p.m. CDT. Appointments can be made online or by calling 850-568-1053.

Rich has a special interest in internal medicine practice with a focus on the management of acute and chronic health problems, and women’s health services. 

Rich obtained her Doctor of Nursing Practice, Family Nurse Practitioner from Florida State University. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse from Florida State University. 

Rita Thompson, also a nurse practitioner, joined Ascension’s Port St. Joe location on June 1 and will begin seeing patients June 28. 

Thompson joins Dr. Rachel Bixler and Nurse Practitioner Nancy Andersonat the clinic located in the medical office building next to Ascension Sacred Heart Gulf hospital. Appointments can be made by calling 850-229-5661.

Thompson has a special interest in women’s health, geriatric health and mental health. She applies a whole health approach that supports the patient’s health and well being.  Her care goals are to provide patient education and engage patient participation. Outside of the office, Thompson enjoys spending time with her husband, three girls, and pets on the boat or beach, traveling on family trips or just traveling to watch the girls play softball and volunteering at her church’s Care Closet and Community Service. 

Thompson received her master of science in nursing from Chamberlain University. She obtained her bachelor of science in nursing from Florida State University and received her associate of science from Gulf Coast Community College. 

Both new hires are accepting new patients and most major insurances with extended hours. 

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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