ANEW scholars profile archive

HRSA ANEW Scholars profile archive

Scholar: Daniel Babcock

Daniel Babcock
Decker School NP student and ANEW Scholar Daniel Babcock Photography: photo provided.

I grew up in rural Delaware County, N.Y. Most of my time was spent on my grandparent's farm in the picturesque foothills of the Catskill Mountains. People are often surprised to learn there were only 27 people in my graduating class!

I didn't grow up thinking I was going to be a nurse or even have a career in healthcare. However, after serving in the United States Air Force, I realized I loved helping people in need. Most of my 23 year nursing career has been in emergency nursing. I also held a second career as a firefighter/paramedic and recently retired after deciding to take my nursing career to the next level and become a nurse practitioner.

I chose rural health because of my connection to those communities and seeing the challenges and disparities that still exist within. Having grown up in rural New York, I am familiar with the difficulty locating, accessing and maintaining consistent, quality healthcare. I look forward to serving those communities and building lasting relationships that will result in improved health of that population.

Bassett Family Health Center, Norwich, N.Y.
Babcock is completing a preceptorship at the Bassett Family Health Center in Norwich, N.Y. Photography: photo credit.

Receiving the HRSA grant has allowed me to experience healthcare in a rural family practice in Norwich, N.Y., with a preceptor as passionate about rural health as I am. My preceptor, Erika Covell, also grew up in Delaware County and is a true advocate in the rural community.

Several of my friends and co-workers have gone through the nurse practitioner program at Binghamton University. Their experiences coupled with the reputation of the program made Decker School of Nursing an easy choice. I feel like the nursing faculty goes out of their way to help you succeed and become the best you can be. Ultimately, the program provides a personalized experience in a supportive atmosphere. After graduation I plan to practice rural primary care in Chenango County or Delaware County, serving the communities I grew up in.

Preceptor: Erika Covell, Bassett Family Health Center, Norwich, N.Y.

NP preceptor and alumna Erika Covell
Erika Covell, MS '16, FNP-C  Photography: provided.

ANEW Scholar Daniel Babcock is precepted by Erika Covell, MS '16, at the Bassett Family Health Center in Norwich, N.Y. Covell is a board-certified family nurse practitioner who received her master's degree and completed the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at the Decker School of Nursing in 2016.

After graduation, Covell began practicing at the Bassett Health Care Network, the system to which the Norwich Regional Health Center belongs. The Bassett Healthcare Network has more than two dozen network health centers in eight counties, covering over 5,600 square miles. The Bassett medical home practice in Norwich has received national NCQA Patient Centered Medical Home recognition.

As a family nurse practitioner, Covell treats patients of all ages, providing a complete range of services including the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic conditions. She is affiliated with several hospitals including Chenango Memorial Hospital in Norwich and the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, N.Y.



Scholar Kathyrn DeWitt '16

Kathryn DeWitt and Warren DeWitt
NP student Kathryn DeWitt and her father, Warren DeWitt, MD. Photography: provided.

I was exposed to rural health at a young age. My father has been a rural physician in our hometown of Susquehanna, Pa., for over 30 years and my mother has managed his family practice throughout their careers. I have worked at the practice for the past four years and have gotten to know patients my father has given care to for much of their lives. I have been given the opportunity to develop a real understanding of the unique needs of this patient population.

When deciding to take the next step to become a family nurse practitioner, I chose the Decker School of Nursing at Binghamton University because of its reputation, location and the programs the school offers. I liked that the school works closely with the surrounding rural communities, including my hometown. I had completed my undergraduate nursing degree at Binghamton and felt that I received an excellent education and career training.

I chose rural health because I want to be able to serve the community where I grew up. Rural communities like my hometown are underserved and need quality healthcare providers to serve their populations. Every day that I work, I see firsthand that there is an enormous need for healthcare providers in rural Pennsylvania and I am looking forward to helping fill that gap.

Family Health Clinic in Susquehanna, Pa.
Kathyrn DeWitt intends to practice at her father's clinic in Susquehanna, Pa., once obtains licensure as a family nurse practitioner. Photography: provided.

After receiving the HRSA ANEW grant, I was able to experience rural healthcare in another setting at the Honesdale Family Health Center in Honesdale, Pa. At this clinical site, I was able to practice alongside Melissa Rickard, CRNP, DNP, and Trupti Pandit, MD. After completing 360 clinical hours at this site, I was exposed to multiple resources in the northeastern Pennsylvania region. This site also gave me valuable insight about federally qualified health centers.

After I graduate from the Family Nurse Practitioner program this May and obtain my license, I will be joining my father at his family practice in Susquehanna, Pa., alongside Stacy Mikuszewski, CRNP. I am excited to begin my career and continue the care my father has provided to our community for more than three decades. The HRSA ANEW grant has given me the opportunity to get a true rural experience and has helped to prepare me for the next step in my career.

Preceptor: Melissa Rickard, Honesdale Family Health Center

 Melissa Rickard, DSON HRSA ANEW preceptor
Melissa Rickard, CRNP, DNP-BC  Photography: provided.

At the Honesdale Family Health Center in Honesdale, Pa., ANEW Scholar Kathyrn DeWitt is precepted by Melissa Rickard. A board certified family nurse practitioner, Rickard received her DNP degree and completed the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Scranton. She has been practicing since 2001.

In 2008, Rickard began practicing at Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers, the system to which the Honesdale Family Health Center belongs. As a family nurse practitioner, Rickard treats patients of all ages, providing a complete range of services including diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic conditions, EKG, suturing of minor lacerations, immunizations, school physicals, drivers' physicals and CDL physicals.

Rickard served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and was deployed to Germany as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where she gained significant experience helping to provide care for more than 8,000 patients at the European Regional Medical Command. She also participated in military medical exercises in Paraguay and Hawaii.

Get more