Port St. Joe Mayor Rex Buzzett, left, holds up the city’s proclamation with Monica Barfield, who works at New Horizon Primary Care in Port. St. Joe. Barfield has earned degrees as a doctor of nursing practice and an advanced practice registered nurse, and is board certified as an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner and a family nurse practitioner. [ City of PSJ | Contributed ]
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City salutes county’s nurse practitioners

The city of Port St. Joe has joined with communities throughout the nation in celebrating the contributions of nurse practitioners, those highly educated and trained nurses who have an increasingly central role in providing health care to patients.

In honor of National Nurse Practitioner Week, Nov. 12 to 18, Mayor Rex Buzzett signed a proclamation Nov. 7 in honor of those “primary care providers of choice for many Floridians (who) play a pivotal role in the health and welfare of our communities.”

In 1965, Drs. Loretta Ford and Henry Silver developed the first nurse practitioner program, and almost 60 years later, the nation’s more than 355,000 nurse practitioners, including 26,735 in Florida, provide over 1 billion visits for primary, acute, specialty and long-term care across every health care setting. 

On Saturday, Ford, who will turn 103 years old in December, was an honored guest at the Veterans Day wreath-laying ceremony held at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., where she was recognized for her outstanding service as a World War II Army Air Corps Nurse veteran.

In 1942, following the death of her fiancé in World War II, Ford joined the U.S. Army Air Force, and served her country as a nurse working at stateside military bases in Florida and Maine.

After World War II, Ford attended Colorado University on the GI Bill and graduated with both a masters and doctorate in nursing education. During her studies, she recognized there was a shortage of primary care access in her community, specifically for children and families, and so in 1965, Ford, a nursing professor, partnered with Silver, a pediatrician, to create and implement the first pediatric nurse practitioner model and training program.

“As clinicians who blend clinical expertise with an added emphasis on disease prevention and health management, nurse practitioners bring a comprehensive perspective to health care,” read a news release from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. “(They) practice in clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care centers, nursing homes and private practices across the country — wherever patients are in need.

“Better utilization of nurse practitioners through modernized state laws and improved policies creates better health through a more accessible, efficient, cost-effective and higher-quality health care system,” it read, noting that more than half the nation — including 26 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands — has adopted Full Practice Authority legislation, offering patients full and direct access to the care provided by nursing practitioners.”

Who the nurse practitioners are

According to the Florida Department of Health’s Practitioner Profiles, the following individuals in Gulf County have clear and active licenses under the Board of Nursing as either Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners or Advanced Practice Registered Nurses.

Port St. Joe

Emily Anne Tezak

Vicki Mari Harrell Diaz

Dolores A. Conroy

Rhonda Kay Robbins

Kathryn Mae Land

Caitlin Louise White

Amy Elizabeth Miller

Angela Michelle Anttila

Pamela Rose Wilder

Austin Watkins

Lorraine Black

Kathleen Laura Logue

Michelle Majure Turba

Brittany Gardner McCoran

Brittany Jade Beauchamp

Nancy Phipps Anderson

Monica Michelle Barfield

Richard Graham Petch


Pamela Jeanne Jansen

Amy Leeann Miller

Anna Kaitlyn Rich

Rita Faye Thompson

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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