On Sept. 19 the Houston Physicians Recruitment Committee, a community based group in Houston formed in April 2015 to support physician recruitment specifically for Houston, held their regular meeting. Susan Kelly, regional manager of physician recruitment for Northern Health, attended the meeting and informed the committee that Northern Health is hiring a new recruiter to recruit physicians specifically for the Northwest region of B.C.
“The work of the committee includes bringing physicians to Houston and also welcoming new recruits and their families to the community, and supporting retention,” commented Kelly.
Other people in attendance were Cormac Hikish, health services administrator for Smithers, Houston, and Dze Lake; Sally Sullivan, health service manager of the Houston Health Centre; along with Houston community members Rob Newell, Jerry Botti, and Maureen Czirfusz and District Of Houston councillors Jonathan Van Barneveld and Tom Stringfellow, Dr. Odoh and nurse practitioner, Paula Gansner, were also invited to the meeting, though they are not a part of the committee.
The posting for the Northern Health recruiter position was advertised all across Canada. On Sept. 22, Kelly has now finished interviewing prospective candidates. The purpose of this position is to help recruit physicians specifically for the Northwest region of B.C.
“We are still in the middle of the selection process,” commented Kelly, “we had a really rich pool of strong candidates.”
The recruiter will be working in Terrace in order to work close to Dr. Jaco Fourie, Health Services Delivery Area Medical Director, as well as Penny Anguish, Chief Operating Officer for the Northwest.
“It is important for this position to be located as close as possible to [the medical director] and the chief operating officer for the Northwest. [They] are the tippy-top of making decisions and serve that whole Northwest region,” explained Kelly.
Right now, there is a general practitioner posting up for Houston. Kelly explained that when the committee consulted Dr. Odoh, Houston’s newest general practitioner, and the nurse practitioner, Paula Gasner, the two expressed that they are both very happy with their work load and that the demand for another general practitioner is very good right now.
“The fall is the second best time of the year to recruit physicians, the spring is the best. We want to put a push on right now to make sure that we are representing the needs of the community, what we have space for, and what the demand is,” explained Kelly.
The committee is expecting that at the latest there will be another doctor to join the team at the Houston clinic in the spring. Presently there are three physicians and one nurse practitioner working at the clinic.