June 16, 2016

Dr. Naranja says farewell to New Town

By Edna Sailor

Dr. Imelda Naranja did not want to buy Dr. Herbert Wilson’s practice for one dollar as he was known to advertise it in the early nineties.

She just wanted to work with him in New Town. She arrived in New Town in December of 1991 to do just that. In 2016, after a long and fruitful medical practice in New Town, Dr. Imelda Naranja said goodbye to friends and patients and flew off to the Los Angeles area where she will retire in the company of her family there.

Upon her arrival in New Town, Naranja jumped right into the Herbert Wilson practice in New Town and enjoyed her work very much. Her husband operated his own practice in psychiatry in Williston. She was happy to be much closer to him than in her previous practice in Jamestown.

"It was a privilege to work with Dr. Wilson. I learned a lot from his experience. It was a time that reminded me of my own father, back in the Philippines. He was a country doctor too. And like him, many of our patients in New Town paid us with eggs or chickens back then. So I really felt at home here," she said.

In her medical practice in New Town she found herself in a growing rural community without bigger city advantages.

"Back then there was no ambulance and many times we went out on emergency calls and made house calls too. In later years we rode with the ambulance," she said.

The woman with the big smile stopped smiling when she told this story.

"It was almost like watching a movie. The police were already there when I was called out on an accident one New Year’s Eve. It was very icy and there were five people in the car accident. They were all family. I had to pronounce them all deceased. That was very hard. I still feel very sad about it," she said.

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