NOW Lunenburg County and the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore have partnered together for a project that both groups are passionate about: bringing more doctors to serve the people of Lunenburg County.
For the last 18 months, NOW Lunenburg County has been hosting medical students and potential new recruits; showing them all that Lunenburg County has to offer. Tina Hennigar, NOW Lunenburg County’s Population Growth Coordinator notes the drive to help attract physicians to Lunenburg County came from the organization’s cross-Canada tour in 2017, when they invited people to create a life they love in Lunenburg County.
“What we heard from the thousands of folks we met is that we have a few barriers that we need to look after in order for people to join us here. Having a doctor rose to the top.”
As NOW Lunenburg County began to showcase the community to visiting physicians, they also started having conversations with the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore, which was also trying to find a way to help bring more doctors to practice in Lunenburg County. After over a year of each group supporting the other in their efforts, the Health Services Foundation has committed $60,000 to the physician recruitment work of NOW Lunenburg County, over the next year.
“Our goals are the same,” Arleen Stevens, the Executive Director of the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore shared. “We have heard loud and clear from our donors and the community that we (the Foundation) need to help recruit physician to our community. Through conversations with the Nova Scotia Health Authority and NOW Lunenburg County, we feel confident in suppling this funding to continue the great work around physician recruitment already underway on the South Shore. By working together, we feel strongly we’ll be more successful than working separately.”
With the financial contribution of the Foundation, NOW Lunenburg County is able to continue to do the work of hosting and accommodating physicians, and who show them and their families what their lives could look like here. In fact, in the few weeks since the partnership with the Health Services Foundation has become official, Hennigar and NOW Lunenburg County has made multiple connections with potential physicians, hosted a physician for a six-week term, and is hoping we will soon see a vacancy filled.
“This is a long game. It’s not going to happen overnight,” Hennigar said. “But we’re all committed; the Board of the Foundation, and the Core team of NOW Lunenburg County."
The year-long partnership has key-performance indicators attached to it which will help measure the projects success to determine if it continues into 2021.
Tina Hennigar is the population growth coordinator for NOW Lunenburg County.