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Emporia Medical Associates’ staff gather for a meeting. Pictured, from left, are, Liz Scott, Jennifer Watson, Dr. Michael Anderson.

On Monday Jennifer Watson saw seven patients as the newest member of the Emporia Medical Associates team, but the lifelong area resident had no problem fitting in.

“I grew up coming to this office,” she said. “Dr. (Mike) Anderson was my doctor when I was a kid. Before him I saw Dr. (Adel) Bashai. My family comes here and this place is very familiar to me. I know everybody here. I’ve seen them all my life.

Watson worked as a paramedic for LifeStar and has been a member of the Greensville Rescue Squad for 15 years, though she is no longer active on the squad.

Watson comes to Emporia Medical Associates after 13 years at Southern Virginia Medical Center — the last 11 years in the emergency room. She started her tenure at SVRMC as a patient care tech, but after earning her associates from Southside Virginia Community College in 2008 she went directly into the E.R. Her background as a member of the Greensville Rescue Squad helped make it a smooth transition to the emergency room.

As Watson gained experience working in the emergency room, she also gained confidence and a curiosity to learn more about the disease process. That curiosity triggered a spark in Watson to further her education. In 2014 she received Bachelor of Science in Nursing from James Madison University.

She was not quite finished with school. She went on to earn her Masters Degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Old Dominion University.

The fast-paced regimen the emergency room has helped Watson transition to her new role at Emporia Medical Associates. In the emergency room Watson has seen babies delivered, people in here 90s and in between coming for medical attention. Preventive medicine is a larger focus in her new role. Watson said the pace is a little slower and she will have more time to get to know her patients at Emporia Medical Associates.

“We’re really excited to have Jennifer join us here at Emporia Medical Associates,” Anderson said. “She’s a hometown person and she has been an excellent nurse in the community for many years.”

Watson is married to John Watson. They have two children, Emery, 11, and Carson, 8.

“I’ve been here all of my life and wanted to stay here,” Jennifer said. “I want to serve my community. I did that when I was on the rescue squad. I served the community in the E.R. and it was important for me to stay here and serve my community, rather than go somewhere out of town to work.”

To set up an appointment with Watson, call the Emporia Medical Associates office at (434) 634-6101.