On Friday, February 10, 2023 the Province of Nova Scotia announced that the Community Navigation and Physician Retention Services Association will receive $100,000 from the Office of Healthcare Professionals Recruitment Community Fund. The Association is a partnership of the Town of Antigonish, Municipality of the County of Antigonish and St. Martha’s Regional Hospital Foundation. The Association created a Community Navigator position in 2020. The position is currently vacant and a hiring process will begin in the coming weeks.
The purpose of the funding is to support community-led recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals. The Association will use the funding activities including a community discussion series, new healthcare professional welcome packages, lunch and learns with family medicine residents, and a healthcare recognition day.
“This funding will allow us to continue to work with NS Health to ensure we have a full compliment of physicians here in Antigonish,” says Mayor Laurie Boucher. “Recruiting physicians is the first step. Once they are here, it’s important they feel welcome so that they can really integrate themselves into our community.”
The Association works with members of the community, including local physicians and businesses as well as Nova Scotia Health to engage, support, and encourage physician integration and retention in Antigonish.
“There are multiple communities in the province looking to attract family physicians and specialists,” says Meghan MacGillivray-Case, Chair of the Foundation. “There is no doubt that a community-led approach to physician recruitment and retainment can be quite successful, and we are happy to continue our partnership with the Town and County on these efforts.”
“This funding from the province, along with the funding from the Town, County and Foundation, will make certain we are doing everything we can to attract physicians all of disciplines and make them feel welcome, so they want to stay here in Antigonish,” said Warden Owen McCarron. “This is an important initiative for the health of our community.”