By Carol Kinsley

Opened in January 2019, Harrison Family Practice in Bridgeville is accepting new patients.

Valerie Harrison, who is a nurse practitioner dually certified in family practice and mental health, opened the practice to focus on mental health, offering treatment for both drug and alcohol addiction.

A native of Bridgeville, Dr. Harrison has worked at Nanticoke Hospital (now TidalHealth Nanticoke) in pediatrics and the recovery room, as nursing instructor at Del Tech and at Nanticoke Immediate Care. For 11 years, she worked in outpatient mental health for Fellowship Health Resources, a company which has since been bought out, with all offices closed except one in Georgetown. “That’s what prompted me to open my own practice in Bridgeville,” she said.

“We got very busy very quickly,” she added. 

“Overwhelmed,” in a good way, in March she hired Ashley Taylor, also a nurse practitioner, to provide medical care while she focuses on mental health. Dr. Taylor, a Laurel native, has a background in primary care, emergency nursing and urgent care.

Taylor sees patients from age 3 and up; Harrison’s patients are pre-teen and up.

“Ashley has been a great addition,” Harrison said. “She also does DOT physicals.”

The mental health side of her practice has increased to the point that Harrison is looking for another provider there also. “We are expanding our addiction treatment,” she said. “I just finished a fellowship program with the state.”

Advertising has not been necessary, Harrison said. Many of her patients followed her from Fellowship Health Resources, which was unexpected but flattering. Most patients have heard about Harrison Family Practice by word of mouth. 

“I’m from Sussex County, where everybody knows everybody,” she quipped. “But now I want to expand the addiction treatment program and get the word out for people who need it.”

She chose the name Harrison Family Practice to avoid the stigma of the term “mental health.” She explained, “It’s unfortunate that that stigma exists, but it does.”

If you need medical care or help with mental health issues, call Harrison Family Practice. 

Located at 18119 Sussex Highway, Unit 1 in Bridgeville, Harrison Family Practice is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Harrison herself is always available, 24/7, she said. After hours, weekends and holidays, the business telephone — 302-956-6986 — prompts callers to contact her via her cell phone, and if she cannot answer, to leave a message. She will call back.

“Often patients don’t feel bad until after hours,” she observed. “They can still reach me by phone.”

Harrison’s patients are perhaps the best ones to discuss her practice, and many have left comments:

“Dr. Harrison has excellent bedside manners. She listens to her patients’ needs and does everything in her power to make sure she helps you as much as she can. She is very thorough.”

“Compassionate and really understands medicines. Beautiful soul. In the right profession. Cozy office. Good staff.”

“Fantastic physician! I trust her completely with all my medical needs!”

“Very caring understanding staff and docs. Dr. Harrison is very friendly. She takes the time to listen to you.”

“I love Dr. Harrison. She’s been a healthcare leader in the community for a number of years prior to opening her own practice. The community is well aware of her fantastic approach to patient-centered care. Can’t say enough nice things about her.”

And about Taylor:

“Congrats to Ashley on her move to Harrison Family Practice, such a great move…”

“Ashley is great, great addition to a great practice.”

“…known Ashley a long time, such a sweet person.”

“Thanks to the staff for fitting in my daughter today. She said Ashley was amazing.”

“Both Valerie and Ashley are great!”

Find out for yourself. Call 302-956-6986 to make an appointment.