Three new physicians agree to come to Fort

Northern Health has announced the successful recruitment of three physicians to Fort St. James.

Northern Health has announced the successful recruitment of three physicians to

Fort St. James. One of these doctors will work part-time starting in October 2012, and two

will commence full–time work in early 2013.

In addition to the three physicians who have agreed to come to Fort St. James, two more

site visits with doctors will take place over the next two weeks.

The community of Fort St. James deserves the credit for making the doctors that have

been recruited feel welcomed and wanted.

“The recruitment campaign was a true partnership between Northern Health and

the community. The welcome these physicians received from the community was a

large factor in their decision to accept this offer and relocate to Fort St James.

This success shows that we can achieve our goals by working together,” said

Michael McMillan, Northern Health chief operating officer for the northern interior

health service delivery area.

Northern Health would like to recognize key members of the community who worked

tirelessly to recruit these physicians:

Dr. Paul Stent, Family Practitioner, Fort St. James

Kathy Marchal, Office Manager, Fort St. James Medical Clinic

Aileen Prince, Executive Director, Nak’azdli Health Centre

Renata Walstrom, RN, Nak’azdli Health Centre

Elders, Nak’azdli Health Centre

Nak’azdli First Nation

Yekooche First Nation

Tl’azt’en First Nation

Takla Lake First Nation

Amanda Edge, Head Nurse, Stuart Lake Hospital

Dawn Gauthier, former Head Nurse, Stuart Lake Hospital

Ann McCormick, College of New Caledonia, Fort St. James Campus

Cam McCormick, retired school principal, Sowchea Elementary School

Emily Columbo, Economic Development Officer

Mayor Rob MacDougall, Mayor and Council

Jana Burgart, Caterer

College of New Caledonia Professional Chef program

Friends of Fort St. James National Historic Site

Brad Van Koughnett, Pilot, Interior Helicopters

Medical staff at St. John Hospital in Vanderhoof

Along with the collaborative work with the community, Northern Health’s medical

administration team launched a targeted recruitment campaign for Fort St. James

in February. Northern Health’s medical administration team worked with a

consultant to bring an additional focus on recruiting doctors to this community and

purchased access to databases that connected the organization with over 14,000

doctors in Canada, the USA, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. This,

combined with other recruitment activities, lead to interest from these three

physicians to visit Fort St. James and make the decision to relocate to the


Over the past five months, the emergency department at Stuart Lake Hospital has

experienced temporary closures due to a lack of physicians in the community. The arrival

of these three doctors in the next six months will help ensure the sustainability of the

emergency department in Fort St. James.

Northern Health has secured locum coverage for the emergency department for nine days

in the month of July. More information on the emergency department hours of operation

and health clinic in Fort St. James is available here.

The recruitment of these three physicians to Fort St. James showcases Northern Health’s

willingness to work with the community to develop short- and long-term solutions to

provide exceptional health care services. It is Northern Health’s hope that this type of

work can be undertaken in other communities to solve physician challenges now and into

the future.

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