The County welcomes six new physicians

Picton, ON – The County of Prince Edward and the Prince Edward Family Health Team (PEFHT) officially welcomed six of the PEFHT’s newest and most recently recruited doctors to the municipality at an event held last night.

Dr. Sara Arul, Dr. Laura Arul, Dr. Sarah LeBlanc, Dr. Negine Nahiddi, Dr. Dane Chhatwal, and Dr.Tarik Eldjama have all joined the team within the last two years and are now practicing medicine in Prince Edward County.

“We are thrilled that these talented doctors have chosen to work and live in our community,” says Dianne O’Brien, Acting Mayor, County of Prince Edward. “Supporting a co-ordinated approach to physician recruitment and retention is a major component of strengthening community health care in Prince Edward County. We are pleased to see that the municipality’s support and partnership with PEFHT are yielding positive results.”

The County and PEFHT established the Prince Edward County Physician Recruitment Working Group in 2017 and earlier this year formalized a Physician Recruitment Program to address the need to find replacements for retiring physicians and to help with the growing list of residents waiting for a physician. In 2017, County Council committed $20,000 per year towards the physician recruitment effort.

“Physician recruitment and retention is a natural extension of our efforts to attract new residents and business to The County,” said Neil Carbone, Director of Community Development and Strategic Initiatives, County of Prince Edward. “This partnership with the PEFHT has helped reinforce that The County is already an attractive location for family physicians and that we can play an important role in helping new physicians and their families make the connections necessary to build a home and life in The County.”

“Physicians are critical for Prince Edward County residents to access primary care services as well as other health-care services across the system,” says Debbie Korzeniowski, Executive Director, PEFHT. “The community understands this and broadly supports our efforts to attract new physicians to our team. Something that appeals to new physicians is the collegiality of our existing family physicians and our team of allied health-care providers at the PEFHT who work together to support patient care.  We are very fortunate to have attracted these new doctors who have taken on practices of retiring physicians and ensured these patients have seamless care.”

The partners are in the process of streamlining the recruitment process but have already undertaken marketing initiatives such as attending career fairs at Queen’s University and other institutions as well as the creation of a webpage on The County’s website (www.thecounty.ca/docs). As inquiries from potential recruits are received by the PEFHT, they are invited to visit The County for a tour of the medical facilities, meet with doctors, and speak with the Community Development Department to understand the benefits of working and living in The County.

“I came to The County to practice medicine, but also to escape the urban grind. I am enjoying the outdoor activities in my spare time, especially water and snow sports. My family is loving it here!” says Dr. Dane Chhatwal, one of PEFHT’s newest physicians.

At yesterday’s event, the community also recognized and thanked recently retired physicians Dr. Cliff Rice, Dr. Lois Russell, and Dr. Kim Haigh.

 

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