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Headshot of Trevor Nelson, PA-C.Trevor Nelson, PA-C, has recently begun practicing at Virginia Gay Hospital and Clinics. Trevor will be a hospitalist, and his duties will include care of hospitalized patients and emergency department duties. Trevor recently graduated from the Physician Assistant program at the University of Iowa and was a visiting student who worked for a month at Virginia Gay.

Trevor grew up in northern Utah. When he was young, Trevor lived near his grandparents, about an hour from the nearest small town. While he was living close-by, his grandfather suffered a stroke. “I experienced how important it is to have access to a rural hospital when my grandfather had a stroke,” shared Trevor. “The hospital was smaller than Virginia Gay, but I saw how important it was for my family to have dedicated health professionals providing care close to our home.”

After high school, while serving on a two-year religious mission to Argentina, he learned firsthand about extreme poverty. “I’d never seen anything like those conditions with so many little kids and elder adults who were very sick. People lived on dirt floors and in shacks made of crates and cardboard with tin roofs. It was eye-opening, and a blessing, to be there for two years immersed in the culture and getting to know the people. That experience,” says Trevor, “impacted me in a way that will stay with me forever. I knew I wanted to serve people, but the experience made me realize what a difference we can make in the lives of others.”

Trevor received his undergraduate degree in communicative disorders and thought he would have a career in speech pathology. His enjoyment of an anatomy class caused him to look into medicine, and he eventually decided to be a physician assistant. His history of living in rural areas and the opportunity to use all his skills led him to Virginia Gay.

“At a national level, we are in one of those phases where the attitude seems to favor closing small hospitals and shipping patients off to larger care centers,” explains Trevor, “but I believe that is a big mistake. Larger facilities aren’t less expensive, travel for the patient and loved ones is a burden, and unless the need is for the care of specialists, the outcomes aren’t any better.”

“I had offers from bigger hospitals, but a number of things drew me to Virginia Gay,” says Trevor. “I was here for a month as a student and what I saw was a unique relationship between the healthcare community and the community as a whole, and a staff of awesome doctors who help everyone work together as a team. I thought this would be a good place to be, and now I’m glad to be here.”