Nurse practitioner joins staff at Liberty Hill Physician Associates

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By Rachel Madison

A nurse practitioner has joined the staff at Liberty Hill Physician Associates where she plans on using her nursing background to give patients the education they need to prevent chronic disease from spreading.

Hailey Watson, family nurse practitioner, is originally from Abilene, but now lives in Cedar Park. She earned her undergraduate degree in nursing from Texas Tech University in 2012 and her master’s degree in nursing from Texas A&M University in 2017. Between her years in school, Watson gained five years of experience as a critical care nurse in intensive care units at two different hospitals.

Working as a nurse gave her a strong passion for helping patients to treat and prevent chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

“I love education and empowering each patient to take charge of their own health,” she said. “I want to educate patients so that they don’t reach those chronic, long-term complications later on down the line. My passion is preventing chronic disease through education up front and then of course managing chronic illnesses.”

Watson added that she doesn’t believe in making decisions for her patients. Instead, she enjoys working together as a team.

“We need to have a conversation and come to and make a plan together,” she said. “A patient needs to be involved in their care and we need to make decisions together. That helps them feel like they are in charge of their health instead of me telling them what to do.”

Laura Balla, director of business development and marketing for Cedar Park Regional Medical Center, said because of Watson’s background as a critical care nurse, she has a real pulse on the importance of preventative care.

“That’s one of the differentiators with a nursing background,” she said. “Having that background and working with patients from those who were very ill to helping them get through that episode, but also providing that preventative focus is so vital.”

Watson officially joined the staff at Liberty Hill Physician Associates in October 2018. She added that while she is a family nurse practitioner, she loves seeing pediatric patients as well as working with female patients on women’s health issues.

Dr. Walter Chesshir, who has been serving Liberty Hill area patients at Liberty Hill Physician Associates for more than a year, was looking to add a female provider, Watson said.

“The practice has really grown,” she said. “He started out seeing two to four patients and day and now he sees over 25 on a really busy day. He was looking for someone who could do more women’s health and pediatrics. A lot of parents prefer a female provider for their young children. He wanted to grow that part of the practice so we can really provide care for the entire community.”

Watson has wanted to work in the medical field since she was a child.

“I never wanted to do anything else,” she said. “I think it was because my aunt, who I’m really close with, is a pharmacist. I always looked up to her and wanted to be in the medical field because of her.”

She added that she’s excited to be working in Liberty Hill because she grew up in a similar community with the same small-town feel Liberty Hill exudes.

“I love how everyone goes to the high school football games on Friday nights and everyone knows everyone,” she said. “I know it’s growing here every day, but it still has that small-town, community feel. With family practice you do get to really build a relationship with an entire family and see the kids and the parents and grandparents in some cases. It’s really amazing.”

Watson enjoys spending time with her husband, seven-month-old daughter and dog outside of the office and is looking forward to getting to know the Liberty Hill community even better.

“I’m looking forward to growing as a provider and learning the community and how I can better serve the community,” Watson said. “I’m excited to meet more people in the area, because we see new patients every day.”

Liberty Hill Physician Associates is affiliated with Cedar Park Physician Associates and Cedar Park Regional Medical Center. The practice is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon.

For more information or to make an appointment, call (512) 778-5160 or visit www.cedarparkphysicianassociates.com.

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