On Sunday, August 21, members of the GHCS board and other concerned citizens met with Doug Blackie and Brenda Warren of VIHA, the individuals responsible for recruiting a doctor onGalianoIsland. The steps that have been taken to date were reviewed, and future steps were discussed. In particular, a lot of discussion focused on how the position can be promoted more through the web and similar media. The critical importance of word of mouth and “somebody knowing somebody whose uncle is a physician” was also mentioned repeatedly.
On a positive note, there is a new potential candidate for the position. There are still a lot of hoops to be jumped through before we know whether this person is “the one” but so far things look encouraging. We’ll keep you posted as things progress. In the meantime, we need to keep up the search.
Several new ideas have been developed by a working group made up of concerned community members. These include setting up a support network of retired or part-time physicians on the island with whom the new doctor could consult, setting up a social support network for the new doctor and his or her family to welcome them to the island and help them join our community, providing incentives to the new doctor ranging from free sailing trips to passes at the golf course, and exploring ways in which new technologies can be used to provide the doctor more support from other doctors, medical or radiology labs and so on via the web.
We found the VIHA representatives to be very open to our suggestions and willing to support us however they can. In particular, the need to involve us earlier in the process, by doing such things as providing lodging for potential candidates early in their application process so they can come to and fall in love with our island, was emphasized. Overall, the meeting created a good deal of optimism, but also a clear realization that there is still a ways to go.
We on the board continue to encourage and appreciate the help and ideas of community members, as well as their pulling whatever