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Atkins joins Syringa staff

.David Atkins is a new health care provider at Syringa Hospital and Clinics..

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.David Atkins is a new health care provider at Syringa Hospital and Clinics..

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— Syringa Hospital and Clinics has welcomed a new face in David Atkins, physician assistant.

Atkins is a native of Idaho who was born in Caldwell and raised in Twin Falls. He attended The College of Idaho where he obtained his undergraduate degree then went on to get his masters in counseling at Boise State University and then became a PA through Idaho State University.

“If I take a class at the University of Idaho, I’ll have all the major Idaho colleges covered,” he joked.

Atkins has been involved in pharmaceutical research for a number of years, starting out at the ground level at a research facility.

“I literally started out pushing a broom to get a foot in the door and then worked my way up to a top research position,” he said. “At about age 25, I had hit the ceiling there and I started to consider what else I might be interested in.”

Atkins said he enjoys working with people so he made the decision to go back to school.

“I made the decision to become a physician assistant because I wanted to be better able to properly address the full range of psychiatric conditions,” he said.

Early interest in medicine and counseling for Atkins may have stemmed from the fact his family spent a lot of time in hospitals when he was younger.

“My sister has cystic fibrosis,” he said. “That allowed me to see a lot of medical facilities.”

Atkins met his wife, Joan, in college. She also has a masters in counseling. She is employed by Mountain View School District in the Second Step program. They have one daughter, Claire, who is 1-1/2 years old.

They enjoy the outdoors, camping, fishing, playing tennis and traveling.

Atkins is serving on the Region II Behavioral Health Board and said he hopes to help bridge the gap between mental health and medical conditions.

“By improving mental health we can improve overall health,” he said.

To make an appointment with Atkins call the Syringa Clinic at 983-8590.

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