Bringing quality care to rural communities

Rimbey FCSS staff and Rimbey Community Health Centre staff during a BBQ on May 31.  (Submitted)

Quality healthcare is important for all communities, but especially in rural locations where the nearest major city, and major hospital, might be a considerable drive away.

The Rural Health Professions Action Plan (RhPAP) was established in 1991, with the goal of, “Helping rural Albertans keep healthcare close to home.” Locally, the Rimbey and District Attraction and Retention Committee (Rimbey and District ARC), the local representative for the provincial program, is focused on making healthcare options in Rimbey the best they can be.

“The goal of the committee is to contribute to the development and support of a sustainable system of health professional attraction and retention in our community,” said Coby Corkle, chair for Rimbey and District ARC. “This committee is made of members from the community who believe in and care about this – a sustainable healthcare team.”

May 30 to June 3, marked Rural Health Week here in Alberta and the Rimbey and District ARC held a barbeque on May 31 to mark the occasion and celebrate Rimbey’s health professionals.

Attracting healthcare professionals to rural communities has always been an issue, but the Rimbey and District ARC is working to combat that problem by appreciating the professionals the town already has, and highlighting all of the reasons other healthcare professionals should want to call Rimbey home.

“In the past, we have visited the hospital and health centre with goodies,” explained Corkle, “to visit with the staff and show our appreciation.” The committee also hosts a barbeque for local professionals, with the barbeque in 2022 being the second one the committee has put on.

“In the summer of 2018, we hosted students from the University of Alberta, faculties of medicine, nursing and physio,” said Corkle. “They came to town for a skills weekend and had the opportunity to explore the community to learn about what we have to offer socially, recreationally and occupationally.”

The committee has also taken part in the transition to practice events at area universities, highlighting the town for medical and nursing students about to graduate.

“Rural health is suited to someone who likes a lot of variety,” said Corkle, who also works as a nurse when she’s not singing Rimbey’s praises to other healthcare professionals. “You’ll see a little bit of everything in a small community.”

Corkle didn’t grow up in Rimbey, but she chose the town as the place to settle down and raise her family in 2006.

“I chose Rimbey because I do have family in the area, and because I value the sense of community. My kids are grown now, but it has been a wonderful place to raise my children.”

Corkle believes that rural communities have so much to offer healthcare professionals, things you just can’t get in a big city.

“Small towns offer a sense of community and belonging,” she said. “There’s a lot of value in going to the post office and seeing people you recognize there. Even with patients, there’s a community feeling.”

If you’re passionate about bringing the best healthcare resources to Rimbey, you can volunteer with Rimbey and District ARC by e-mailing rimbeyarc@gmail.com.

 

Peggy Makofka (left) and Nancy Hartford (right) with Rimbey FCSS staff and Rimbey Community Health Centre staff during a BBQ on May 31. (Leah Bousfield/RIMBEY REVIEW)

Peggy Makofka (left) and Nancy Hartford (right) with Rimbey FCSS staff and Rimbey Community Health Centre staff during a BBQ on May 31. (Leah Bousfield/RIMBEY REVIEW)