A northern Alberta community is being honoured for adopting a well-rounded approach towards attracting and retaining physicians.
The Bonnyville Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee, representing both the Town and Municipal District of Bonnyville, has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the Alberta Rural Community Physician Attraction and Retention Award, which is co-sponsored by the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association (AWNA), and RPAP | Health Workforce for Alberta.
According to RPAP Executive Director, David Kay, the formation of an physician attraction and retention committee in 2014 enabled the Bonnyville to undertake an variety of initiatives—including financial support for recruitment activities, loans and accommodation support for physicians and locums, physician training in C-sections, a welcome committee for physicians, and on-going physician appreciation activities—to overcome a physician shortage in the community.
“These efforts were deemed to have had a dramatic impact, as Bonnyville went from a shortage of five physicians in 2014, to recruiting six new doctors, in less than two years,” says Kay.
The Alberta Rural Community Physician Attraction and Retention Award, sponsored annually by the Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan (RPAP), was created in 2007 to recognize rural Alberta communities that have best developed innovative and collaborative approaches resulting in successful physician attraction and retention. This community engagement work is an integral part of RPAP’s comprehensive and integrated recruitment, attraction and retention programming.
RPAP | Health Workforce for Alberta is an independent, not-for-profit company funded by the Alberta Ministry of Health. Established in 1991 by the Government of Alberta, RPAP supports the ongoing efforts of Alberta’s rural physicians, their families and communities to improve the quality of rural health care.
The Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association (AWNA) is the co-sponsor of the 2015 Alberta Rural Community Physician Attraction and Retention Award. The AWNA assists and ensures its members publish high quality community newspapers. The Association achieves this by prioritizing education, marketing and fellowship.