Local Health Human Resource Committee in High Gear

Community leaders work together to build on past successes and ensure full access to family doctors and primary care.

For Immediate Release – July 26, 2019: Recent news of the upcoming departure or retirement of several family physicians in Perth and Smiths Falls has highlighted the importance of the local Health Human Resources Committee (HHRC).

The committee, reformatted and expanded in 2018, is a local initiative to coordinate and maximize the delivery of primary care health services.

“We understand community members concerns when they hear about a family physician leaving,” says HHRC chair Michele Bellows, CEO of Rideau Community Health Services (RCHS). “We want people to know that we’re on this and are actively working to recruit primary care providers to our communities. Our goal is to ensure that every local resident who wants access to a primary care provider has one.”

The committee currently has 15 members representing the full range of local health and community leadership. This includes Perth and Smiths Fall District Hospital (PSFDH) CEO Dr. Barry Guppy and Chief of Staff Dr. Kate Stolee, municipal leaders from Perth, Smiths Falls and Merrickville-Wolford, family physicians from local physician groups as well as members from the Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic, Community Health Centres in the area, HealthForceOntario and Valley Heartland Economic Development. PSFDH’s professional physician recruiter is also on the committee.

RCHS CEO Bellows says that one of the challenges all communities in Ontario face when it comes to primary health care delivery is that no single authority or agency is responsible for it.

“This is why it’s so important that it’s a community effort. As a community we’re collectively responsible for ensuring we have great access to primary care,” she said, noting the committee met in mid-July and will again in early August. “With our committee and community partners we’re creating a strong and integrated primary care community throughout the entire area.”

At present, the HHRC is focused on developing concrete near term bridging solutions for local patients who will lose a family physician. As a permanent coordinating body, the HHRC will also develop a longer-term coordinated health human resources plan to meet the changing and growing needs of the Smiths Falls, Perth and surrounding communities.

PSFDH CEO Dr. Guppy notes that since 2013 the Perth and Smiths Falls communities’ ongoing recruitment efforts have enabled successful recruitment of physicians who specialize in in-patient care, emergency physicians and several family physicians.

“We have a great community,” says Dr. Guppy. “We’ve successfully recruited in the past, and patients should feel reassured that we’re working as a total community to build on this tradition of success.”

Contacts:
Michele Bellows, Chair, Health Human Resources Committee (HHRC)
CEO, Rideau Community Health Services
613-269-3400 ext. 224. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Barry Guppy, President and CEO, Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital
Office: (613) 283-2330 ext 1110 (Smiths Falls Site) (613) 267-1500 ext. 1110 (Great War Memorial Site)
Cell: (613) 284-7898. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.