The first Public Health Nurse on Woody Island was Ethel Williams. She was born and raised on Woody Island. Ethel served forty years as a Public Health Nurse, providing medical services to people living in isolated settlements around Placentia Bay.
She delivered babies, extracted teeth, treated wounds and prescribed medications in her clinic she had set up in the basement of her house. Ethel's clinic looked like a Doctor's Office, Treatment Room, Drug Store and Clinic all in one. During her career as a nurse she put in many long hours on Woody Island, much to her husband's chagrin. One particular Christmas, Ethel came home at 2:00 a.m. on Christmas morning, having just delivered two babies. Her husband met her with these words, "this is it, you're not going any more this day. I don't care who comes for you, you're not going!" Before they finished breakfast that morning, they heard a knock on the door. It was a man from Bar Haven, he begged Ethel saying "my wife is dying can you please come?" Ethel's husband husband thought for a moment, then without hesitation he jumped up and said "when duty calls or danger be never wanting there, pack your bags and go."