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Posted: July 10, 2014

Cranbrook welcomes Dr. Karen Fordham to community

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. “This success is also a reflection of the benefit of collaboration between government, physicians and the community. I am pleased to welcome Dr. Fordham to Cranbrook.”

The task force consists of the East Kootenay Division of Family Practice, the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce, the City of Cranbrook, the Regional District of East Kootenay, 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.

“Our Red Carpet Welcome program is off to a great start,” said Dr. Greg Andreas, physician lead for the EK Division, which initiated the community task force as part of its A GP for Me work. A GP for Me is a joint initiative of the Government of B.C. and Doctors of BC that aims to help British Columbians who want a family doctor to find one.

“This first recruitment shows the benefit of taking a collaborative approach to managing Cranbrook’s doctor shortage,” noted Dr. Andreas.

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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