Bridget Thomas was a Chicago transplant living in southern Michigan when she happened to have coffee with someone who suggested Jackson as good a place to resume her career as a family nurse practitioner.
Her coffee companion showed Bridget an advertisement for a job opening at a school-based health center operated by the Center for Family Health, an organization then unknown to her.
“The only thing I knew about this area was the University of Michigan,” Bridget said. “I took the clipping and said: Sure, I’ll give them a call.“
That was the start of Bridget’s 11-year career as a primary-care provider with CFH, working first at the Northeast Health Center, then the Pediatrics Department, and today the Walk-In Clinic.
“I like working with the under-served,” Bridget said. “It’s a calling, you could say. We have a lot of services we can offer, and it’s nice to pull people together to address a patient’s need.”
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Bridget earned a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing from Saint Mary’s College, a sister college to the University of Notre Dame. As an undergraduate, she played saxophone in the Notre Dame marching band. Her husband, Tim Muckle, was a Notre Dame student and fellow band member. Bridget later earned a Master’s Degree from Rush University in Chicago, where she also taught nursing and worked in a pediatric intensive care unit.
After the birth of twin boys, Bridget and her husband decided the big city was not where they wished to raise children. They moved to Chelsea and she was hired by CFH in 2009, after answering the ad given to her over coffee.
Dr. Rose Johnson, Chief Medical Officer for CFH, said Bridget is very passionate about her work.
“She goes out of the way to care for her patients and does a thorough job when seeing a patient,” said Dr. Johnson. “Bridget is always fun to work with and respectful to patients and coworkers.”
Away from work, Bridget is busy in activities involving her six children, aged 2 to 15. She and her husband are dedicated Notre Dame football fans, and they are active in their church.
Bridget said the Center has allowed her to set a part-time schedule that allows her to balance career and family needs. In return, she has been flexible about working where needed by CFH, most recently moving to the Walk-In Clinic.
“I love pediatrics,” Bridget said. “But I am a family nurse practitioner. Now I can see patients of all ages.”