CRESTVIEW — A new healthcare provider is taking patients in Crestview.

Myron Faircloth, a board-certified nurse practitioner, joined the staff of Gateway Medical Clinic, an affiliate of North Okaloosa Medical Center December of 2017. Faircloth comes to Crestview from Valdosta, Ga., where he practiced family medicine for more than 10 years.

Faircloth specializes in family medicine, including comprehensive healthcare, preventative care and health risk assessments. He also provides routine checkups, immunizations and screening tests.

While in Valdosta, Faircloth served on the Lowndes County Board of Health. In that capacity, he worked with clinics managed by the board.

“One was a clinic that was for the working uninsured, so our role was to look at the disease process, look at the financial aspects of that,” he said.

Faircloth has a passion for providing healthcare to people who are typically underserved and lack access, particularly in rural areas.

“In a perfect world, we’d all have money, access, everything,” he said. “But sometimes you have to go to those areas, and that’s the problem. The rural areas are where there’s a lack of providers. We need to be in those rural areas.”

That lack of providers is one aspect that attracted Faircloth to North Okaloosa. Another aspect is family. His sister,a registered nurse, lives in Niceville with her husband and children. Faircloth said he wanted to be closer to family that he has not been able to see as often as he would like.

The adjustment from rural Georgia to Crestview has not been a major issue for Faircloth.

“It’s like anything else, getting used to where things are at,” he said. “As far as the patient load, it’s similar to what I was practicing with. There are just a lot of people that need healthcare because of the lack of access.

“You can only see so many patients in a day, in a year, and sometimes you need extra providers. But if they’re not coming, they’re not coming.”

Faircloth focuses on preventative care in his practice and says that education is key to getting people to live healthier.

“I think if you can educate people and get them involved in their healthcare, you empower them in their healthcare and they’ll do better,” he said.