Dina Salvatore BenDavid

I unexpectedly landed myself on Martha’s Vineyard in early 2005. As a young nurse I accepted a travel nursing assignment on the island and subsequently met my future husband-to-be, a native islander. We ended up marrying and recently had our first child, Noah Christopher. The quaint New England charm, coupled with the island’s raw beauty, history and roots, excite me about raising my family here.

My desire to become a nurse had blossomed following my survival of a debilitating illness. Now having survived and recovered, I strive to promote the health, wellness and quality of life of those affected by disease and affliction. I began my career as a licensed practical nurse, am presently a registered nurse, and am now advancing my studies to become a family nurse practitioner. A rich history, an excellent curriculum, and a distance-learning format made the Frontier School of Midwifery & Family Nursing in Hyden, Kentucky the choice for my continued education.

I have secured experience in various medical, nursing and leadership roles throughout my nursing career, and likewise, have consistently supported and advocated for various health-related causes. My experience and involvement with these various organizations has served as a strong bridge to my graduate nursing study, has allowed me to give back to the community and has further confirmed my desire to continue my studies and work in this field. I have worked in acute care and in the surgical outpatient clinic at MV Hospital, as well as in skilled nursing at Windemere. I am presently working part-time per diem at the hospital while I complete my full-time graduate studies.

As our small critical-access hospital expands to accommodate the fiercely-growing island population, the needs for skilled healthcare practitioners is also rising. Completing this graduate program will not only enhance my own career and future, but it will more importantly enhance the future of the island and its residents. My objective with this degree is to provide more care and added services to the community, focusing largely on health promotion and disease prevention. My ultimate goal is that of helping islanders achieve and maintain their optimum levels of health and wellness. Our rural community is federally designated as being a healthcare professional shortage area (HPSA), and I hope to help improve this primary care crisis by lessening this provider shortage, and significantly contributing to the longevity, well-being and vitality of the island and its residents.

I have completed the first year of the three-year graduate program, and am looking forward to being a Vision Fellow and working closely alongside my mentor Cathy Chase, CNM, for the final two years of the program. I am honored to have been chosen as a Fellow and embrace the opportunity to develop professional relationships with people in the community, all of whom are from different backgrounds, but share the common goal of maintaining island vitality.

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