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New healthcare professionals in the clinic

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Last week, the Province announced that 22 new primary care physicians have been recruited and are starting to work in communities across the Prairie Mountain Health region, six of which are in Swan River.
“Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) has been working to recruit physicians to communities across the region and their hard work is paying off,” said Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen in a press release. “This accomplishment will certainly benefit residents of western Manitoba and help ensure consistent, reliable care for families.”
Of these health professionals, three come from the Northern/Remote Residency Program and will practice at the Swan Valley Primary Care Centre (SVPCC).
Doctor’s Stephanie Butterworth and Serena Nelko started Sept. 11 as half-time physicians, although Nelko is expected to transition to full-time in January.
Additionally, Doctor Ryan York will begin his full-time position on Oct. 10.
Joining them was recent International Medical program Graduate, Doctor Baher Gendy, who started his full-time practice with the SVPCC on Sept. 11.
“The recruitment of new physicians for rural Manitoba has been a priority for our new Progressive Conservative government, a priority that is shared by Prairie Mountain Health said Swan River MLA Rick Wowchuk. “It is very exciting to see these recruitment efforts paying off and delivering more primary care to our region. I am pleased to welcome these new physicians and their families to our community.”
PMH also announced a second Nurse Practitioner has also started at the centre. Debbie Schulz started with SVPCC during the week of Sept 18 and will be working within the SVPCC with fellow Nurse Practitioner Cheryl Marfleet, who started in July.
“We have remained relentless in our efforts to continue to recruit physicians to the region and those efforts have paid off this year,” said PMH Chief Executive Officer Penny Gilson. “We want to acknowledge this is a collective effort and thank the health department, the Manitoba Healthcare Providers Network, the University of Manitoba, the International Medical Graduate training program, the Association of Manitoba Municipalities and physicians who provide mentorship and support to new recruits, and to the communities who are key partners in ongoing recruitment and retention efforts.”
All of these providers are accepting new patients and patients are invited to call the SVPCC directly to get matched to a physician or nurse practitioner.
“The region is continuing to work with communities to promote rural living and with stakeholders such as the University of Manitoba and the Office of Rural and Northern Health to promote careers in rural health care,” said Goertzen. “This combination of efforts helps connect physicians with rural communities where they will stay to build their careers and provide quality care to area residents.”
The minister noted that ongoing physician recruitment and retention efforts will be a key priority of clinical service planning that will be undertaken by Shared Health Services Manitoba. This work will support consistent and reliable health-care services, effective health human resource planning, capital equipment investments, construction planning and other initiatives that should be co-ordinated province wide.
Locally, Doctor Adrian Fung remains on educational leave. Doctor Allison Fine will not be returning to the SVPCC.