EDMONTON – A northwestern Alberta community is being honoured for adopting a grassroots approach to overcoming a physician shortage in the region.
Manning Physician Attraction and Retention Coalition, representing both the Town of Manning and the County of Northern Lights, has been selected as the 2016 recipient of the Alberta Rural Community Physician Attraction and Retention Award, which is co-sponsored by the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association (AWNA), and the Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan (RPAP). This year marked the first time a review committee with representation from rural communities across Alberta was asked to review the nominations and provide the RPAP Board with a recommendation for this year’s recipient.
According to RPAP Executive Director, Dr. Jacques Magnan, the selection committee was impressed with the welcoming and supportive approach the community adopted to attract and retain physicians and their families to the community. Initiatives to “grow their own physicians” and tour medical students in the community were also noted by the committee.
“One of the committee members described Manning’s story as “the phoenix rising from the ashes,” explained Magnan. “Manning has basically started from zero, coming from a situation where a physician shortage meant that the region went from being served by locum physicians—or none at all—to having three physicians now practising in the community.”
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.
The Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan (RPAP) 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 2016 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.