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Red Carpet Welcome gains doctor

In late July, family physician Dr. Karen Fordham will join Cranbrook’s medical community, marking the first success of Cranbrook’s new community-based family physician recruitment task force. Dr. Fordham toured the community in May and her visit was the task force’s first opportunity to roll out its Red Carpet Welcome program.

“The recruitment of a new doctor to Cranbrook is an example of the ongoing work to support primary care services in the East Kootenay region through A GP for Me,” said Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett.

The task force consists of the East Kootenay Division of Family Practice, the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce, the City of Cranbrook, the Regional District, Interior Health, and the College of the Rockies. It is developing both short-term solutions and long-term strategies to deal with the community-wide physician shortage, one of which is the Red Carpet Welcome program. The program gives family doctors considering practicing in Cranbrook detailed information about the community and coordinates an initial familiarization visit based on the visiting doctors’ professional and personal needs.

During the visit, physicians tour local clinics and regional recreation amenities and meet with representatives from schools and other organizations relevant to them and their families. The task force also hosts a welcome luncheon with local family physicians, health care providers and community leaders.

The goal of the program is to allow physicians to find out if the community is a good match not only for them, but also for their spouses and their children.

Dr. Fordham is relocating to Cranbrook from Moncton, New Brunswick, where she has just completed her residency in family practice. She will be joined by her husband.

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