Future Physicians Recruited to Swan Valley

Submitted Story |

Swan Valley RISE and Prairie Mountain Health have been working hard to recruit physicians to the Swan Valley and their collaborative approach is starting to pay off.

Swan Valley RISE announced today that two future physicians have been recruited to practice in the Swan Valley. Return of service agreements have been signed with Tyler Burnside, a 4th year medical student at the University of Manitoba and Savanna McKay, a 3rd year medical student at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

In 2012, Swan Valley RISE organized a Local Medical Stakeholder Group to bring a focused and coordinated approach to improving medical services in the Swan Valley. RISE took the lead in developing the local framework for doctor recruiting, designing a recruiting package, formalizing several cash incentive plans and establishing a close working relationship with Prairie Mountain Health.

Cash incentives are funded locally by the Physician Recruiting and Retention Fund which was previously established by The Swan Valley Health Facilities Foundation through contributions from participating municipalities. The Foundation offers funding for medical students who are originally from the Swan Valley as well as for physicians with the skills required to restore our surgical and maternity services.

Tyler Burnside is expected to complete his training in 2016 and has agreed to establish a medical practice in Swan River. “I appreciate the opportunity that the Swan Valley Health Facilities Foundation has provided for medical students and I’m looking forward to starting my practice of medicine in the Valley.” said Burnside.

Savanna McKay is expected to complete her training in 2017 and is looking forward to returning to Swan River. “It is an honor and a privilege to make
a commitment to return to the Swan River Valley to practice medicine. The Return of Service Agreement provided by the Swan Valley Health Facilities Foundation made the decision to return to my home community very favorable.” commented McKay and added, “I look forward to serving the people of the Swan River Valley and giving back to the community from which I have gained so much, including the foundation of my academic ventures and my best memories of sport and outdoor recreation.”

“It has been a pleasure working with Tyler and Savanna throughout this process and we are so excited that they have made commitments to come back and serve in the community where they grew up.” said Swan Valley RISE Economic Development Officer, Shauna Klekta. “Attracting young physicians with ties to the Swan Valley will strengthen our future physician base and ensure that residents here continue to have access to a family physician.”

Director of Medical Services Administration for Prairie Mountain Health, Michelle McKay, explained that reaching future physicians early in their training is an important part of successful recruitment. “We want to ensure students have an opportunity to explore the benefits of rural practice and are aware of the assistance we can offer before they decide on a practice location.”

Klekta agreed and stated “To be successful we need to not only address our immediate needs, but also ensure we are building a strong foundation for the future of healthcare in the Swan Valley. While it will be a few years before these new physicians complete their training, they have already provided some great input into our ongoing efforts.”

Prairie Mountain Health has been working on several initiatives to enhance medical services in the Swan Valley which will also result in improving the outlook for physician recruitment. “Introducing new services such as the endoscopy program and establishing a solid primary care foundation provides more reasons for physicians to choose the Swan Valley as a practice location.” commented Penny Gilson, CEO of Prairie Mountain Health.