Who wouldn’t want to work near the Rocky Mountains?
Blessed with a stunning natural setting and a group of dedicated volunteers, the Rocky-Clearwater-Caroline Physician Recruitment and Retention Society has had great success. Formed in 2008, the society's work has led to 18 physicians practicing in the communities of Rocky Mountain House, Clearwater County and Caroline, Alberta, three of which have arrived since 2015.
Despite their success, the society is not taking a break, as there are still three vacant positions to fill and potential retirements looming.
On 29 April 2015, the Society held a Spring Meet and Greet at the beautiful Pine Hills Golf Club. The evening included a short program with greetings from each of the three councils and formal introductions of the new physicians.
The event builds on successful practices currently used by the committee, which include welcome baskets for new physicians, and visits to prospective physicians and short-term locums to make a good first impression.
The Rocky recognition event was supported by an RPAP Community Attraction and Retention Grant of $3000. RPAP Community Grants are intended to provide one-time funding for a rural physician attraction and retention project, or seed funding for a long-term project, to be carried out by an active attraction and retention committee.
“We believe the interaction between physicians, stakeholders and the society enhances the relationship and establishes grounds for long-term residency in our community,” stated the society in their application to RPAP. “For physicians, this social opportunity builds a sense of community, and puts a face to the people who work behind the scenes to get them here.”
The recognition event is one of a number of recruitment and retention initiatives being planned by the Society for 2015.
The Rocky-Clearwater-Caroline Physician Recruitment and Retention Society serves a large and varied population. This includes the neighbouring First Nation communities: the Bighorn Reserve 144A (Population 134), the O’Chiese First Nation Reserve 203 (population 751) and the Sunchild First Nation Reserve (population 677).
The Town of Rocky Mountain House has a population of approximately 7,300 residents with a significant shadow population of oil and gas industry workers. The town boasts all major recreation facilities, a thriving 350-member Chamber of Commerce and many provincial and some federal services.
Clearwater County serves 12,278 residents. Agriculture, forestry, oil and gas are major industries, while the vast tracts of wilderness within the county's borders attract thousands of campers throughout the spring, summer and fall.
The Village of Caroline is the gateway to the west country with a population of 501.
For more information on the event or the society, please contact Vice-Chair Tammy Burke.
Rocky Mountain House: “An organized, community-based approach to recruitment”