“I believe it’s hard to ‘fake’ caring,” affirms Darwin Hurst, family nurse practitioner at Woodlands Family Medicine. “When people walk into my exam room, they are not an inconvenience; they are people who deserve my full attention and care. I think success is built on treating people with compassion and, of course, with solid evidence-based care.”
Woodlands Family Medicine opened its doors in 2009, with Dr. Joan Bloom one of the founding providers. Darwin joined WFM in 2017, and that same year they moved locations to their new wellness center at 30544 Highway 200 in Ponderay.
Woodlands is a group of providers including Bloom, Hurst and Dr. Lindsey Rupple. They are a full-service primary care clinic providing men’s and women’s health exams, along with pediatric care such as wellness, vaccinations and sports physicals. They also assist local businesses with work injury cases and have daily slots for same-day sick appointments.
On the health campus, orthopedic care is also available with North Idaho Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. This allows Woodlands Family Medicine to do X-ray imaging of possible fractures or spinal injuries on-site.
I strive at each appointment to give patients the time and attention they need,” says Hurst. “I don’t want people walking out feeling like you were not heard or that pertinent questions were not answered. The truth is, when I take a few extra minutes to listen, I am able to do a better job of diagnosing the true problem.”
Hurst says he was inspired to enter this profession in order to help patients take the proper steps to make wise choices about their health. Finding and treating disease early, like diabetes for example, can dramatically improve the quality of life for patients in the long run. “Becoming a nurse practitioner put me in a unique position to partner with patients for better health.
He finds it rewarding to be able to build long-term relationships with his patients while seeing them make positive changes in their daily lives. “I am very aware of the trust put in me to make good decisions regarding their personal health,” says Hurst. “That trust gives me a lot of satisfaction in my work. I get to both celebrate success and offer support in more difficult times.”
His philosophy of care regarding patient health is one of not minimizing problems. “I keep saying I would like to put up a picture in my exam room of an ostrich with his head in the sand. I think of that as exactly what we don’t want to do! If there is an issue, I always advocate to do what needs to be done to improve the situation.” He often encourages lifestyle changes and works with patients to make that change sustainable.
Hurst has been a part of the Bonner County community for more than two decades. He grew up in Pennsylvania, and as a young man he spent time in Sweden. Upon returning, he says, “I decided that I needed bigger mountains and more snow than my home state could offer! I met my wife here and we have a daughter. I feel so fortunate to live in such a great place with a wonderful community of people.”
When not devoting time to his patients, Hurst enjoys skiing, running and mountain biking. He also volunteers at his church, helping with 4- and 5-year-old Sunday School, “which is always a fun whirlwind,” he smiles.
Are you looking for a great medical provider? Darwin Hurst, FNP-C, is currently accepting new patients. He welcomes you to call 208.263.6300 to schedule an appointment.
Woodlands Family Medicine
30544 Highway 200, Suite 101
Ponderay, Idaho 83852