Family nurse practitioner Opsahl joins UP Health clinic

LINDA OPSAHL, A Kingsford native and longtime family nurse practitioner in the area, has joined the UP Health System-Kingsford Family Medicine clinic at 800 East Blvd. in Kingsford. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

KINGSFORD — Linda Opsahl, a longtime family nurse practitioner in the area, has taken her talents to the UP Health System-Kingsford Family Medicine Clinic.

“I’m too young to stop working,” Opsahl said, “and I really love what I do.”

Opsahl has been in nursing for 45 years, with more than two decades as a nurse practitioner.

She gained her first degree as a licensed practical nurse from Bay College, then became a registered nurse after studying at Lake Superior State.

She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree as a nurse practitioner with emphasis in rural health at Northern Michigan University before being tapped for the first doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) class in Michigan at Oakland University in Rochester, one of only 10 nurse practitioners from the Upper Peninsula invited into the program.

After graduation, Opsahl wanted to return to where she’d grown up; her parents still live in Kingsford. She began her practice as a nurse practitioner in 1997, working in offices in Kingsford, Felch Township and Norway.

Opsahl retired from Dickinson County Healthcare System in January but felt the pull to continue. She joined the UPHS Clinic in Kingsford in March. “I want the practice to grow,” she said, “and I’m going to be here for awhile.”

Her patients range in age from birth to 100 — Opsahl actually has two centenarians — who she provides with health assessments, wellness exams, and treatment of chronic and acute illness, plus women’s health procedures. She also can order tests and interpret labs results and x-rays. And as a nurse practitioner, she has prescriptive powers.

She does counseling as a health provider, too. “I love talking with people every day, hearing their concerns,” Opsahl said.

That information, along with evidence-based and science-based practices, helps Opsahl provide the best care she can, she said. She also relies “a lot on intuition” and looks at the whole person and all their needs, rather than just the disease process, she said.

But Opsahl says she most enjoys caring for rural residents, getting to know the people she treats, solving problems and “going the extra mile.”

She also hopes to convince local residents they can get much of their care here, without having to travel outside the region.

“I just enjoy using the gifts that I have to help make people’s lives better,” Opsahl said. “For the most part, I think our area offers a lot to patients. We offer the basic things that people need.”

Opsahl will see patients from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The UP Health System – Kingsford Family Medicine clinic is at 800 East Blvd. in Kingsford.

To schedule an appointment, call 906-774-4000. Walk-ins are welcome as well.

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