Physicians always willing to make house calls for patients who cannot easily access the health center

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2008 Healthcare Hero
Glenn Thibault

The second time's the charm. 2006 Health Care Hero nominee Dr. Glenn Thibault received an honorable mention that year for his work at Northern Oswego County Health Services, Inc. (NOCHSI) in Pulaski.

Thibault is a primary care physician with extensive surgical experience honed during his tours of duty in both Desert Storm and the Iraq War as a surgeon with the third battalion 25th Marines unit. When he didn't have his hands full with one of the highest casualty rates of the war, Thibault pulled additional duties as religious lay-leader, morale welfare recreational leader, civil affairs medical officer and advisor to to Iraqi health clinics.

For his work there, Thibault received a military coin from the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Marine Division. Thibault has since authored a book about his experiences as a physician in Iraq called "Sword in the Lion's Den." He remains a captain in the Navy Reserve and is senior medical executive for the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center's reserve detachments in Virginia.

While he hasn't been under fire since he's been back home, Thibault takes his civilian duties no less seriously. Thibault is medical director and EMT instructor for Lacona Fire and Rescue where he teaches a monthly class. He's also mentored 10 medical students rotating through NOCHSI.
Thibault has played an integral role in NOCHSI's recent growth spurt, having headed the health center's quality improvement task force, which examined a broad range of internal topics including peer review, management of chronic conditions and Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) preparedness.

Thibault's surgical background from his military days allows NOCHSI to offer an additional service: vasectomies. Since joining the health center, he's performed over 400 such operations with minimal complication. Thibault is an advocate of the procedure for voluntary birth control, which he says is far less invasive than the female counterpart, tubal ligation.

He even maintains a Web site called "Dr. Thibault's Medical Resources on the Internet," which collects information and links on medical issues. The site is located at http://www.va.gov/NCPS/Thibault.html.

Thibault is one of a tiny minority of physicians who make house calls for patients who cannot easily access the health center. His willingness to go the extra mile for patients is the reason one of his patients, Alberta Moore, nominated him for a Health Care hero award. The feisty Moore describes Thibault as "the only good doctor she ever had."

Moore, who has suffered from a series of strokes, says the additional time Thibault spends with her has made all the difference. She cites a recent checkup where she displayed troubling symptoms. Thibault looked in on her between other patients over the course of more than an hour. She also appreciates his bringing pies to the local diabetic group. "He's just an all around good person," says Moore.

Thibault finds gratification in the health of his patients, including those who have successfully completed a regimen of chemotherapy and are now free of cancer.
(By Chris Motola)