Spotlight: Dr. Dany Harvey
Posted on Oct 12 2017 by the Canadian Paediatric Society | Permalink
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Dr. Dany Harvey
Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in Alma in Lac-Saint-Jean, Québec. I completed my university studies in medicine in 1987 and my training in paediatrics in 1992 at Université de Sherbrooke.
I met my wife in Sherbrooke and we got married in 1987. We had two daughters: Eliann and Aurélie. Now, we have two grandaughters: Pascali and Lyana.
Can you describe your practice?
I started my practice in Alma in 1991. At first, it was a mixed practice - I had a private office and worked consultations in a hospital for 11 years. Once blended remuneration was introduced, I began practicing exclusively in a hospital context.
I practice with three female paediatrician colleagues. We share various specialized clinics. Among other things, I’ve been in charge of the allergy clinic for the past 25 years. I’ve also been practicing in a neuromuscular clinic for 23 years.
I have been the head of the new paediatric department at Hôtel-Dieu d’Alma for 25 years, and with the new mergers, I am now the regional head of paediatrics for Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. I have been on the board of the Association des pédiatres du Québec for 8 years, and vice-chair for 6. I also worked as a coroner from 2003 to 2012.
What do you like most about your practice?
What I find most rewarding in my practice is when, after I’ve had to transfer patients by ambulance or by plane in critical condition, I get to see them come back in perfect health. Seeing them year after year in medical checkups remains etched in my mind.
It’s extremely gratifying to think of all the cases I’ve treated. Diaphragmatic hernia, necrotizing fasciiitis, and all the premature infants with a pneumothorax and severe malformative diseases, just to name a few.
Then there are the untreated, severely asthmatic and allergic patients who come to my allergy clinic. By managing their disease using modern medication, I can completely change the course of their lives.
What are you most proud of initiating in your community?
What I’m most proud of is my involvement with various community organizations to raise funds for the purchase of specialized equipment to care for our paediatric patients.
A good example of this community involvement was when we were able to purchase a device to detect deafness in newborns. Since 2005, all newborns in Alma have received systematic hearing screening.That collaboration was made possible by the Club Richelieu d’Alma. With help from various other organizations, I was also able to obtain a neutropenia room, heart monitors and pulse oximeters.
In March 2015, we hosted the Tournoi de Hockey Provincial de la Santé, which allowed us to purchase a neonatal resuscitation table for the operating room and high-risk births. And of course, we have other projects underway…
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned as a community paediatrician?
I think you can achieve great things with people in your community if you are close to them. I believe that proximity and communication is the cornerstone of success. That way, you can keep your finger on the pulse of the situation, and the amazing people in your community will help you and your patients when you need to purchase equipment, get exposure or fulfill special needs.
What piece of advice would you share with a colleague just starting out?
- Watch kids carefully and listen to parents’ needs and requests.
- Interact with parents at their level.
- Take the necessary time to correctly explain the illness and treatment course.
- When a mother consults you repeatedly, take her seriously. Dig a little bit. There’s likely something behind that situation.
- The most important thing is to always empathize with children’s needs.
What do you do in your spare time?
In the summer season, I like to go fly fishing for salmon and dabble in horticulture. In the winter, I’m an avid hockey player and enjoy ice fishing. I also love travelling with my wife, and of course, spending time with my grandaughters.
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