June 12, 2017
SLAVE LAKE — Alberta Health Services (AHS) has recruited two new family physicians to Slave Lake with the help of community partners.
One family medicine physician is now practising in the community; the other is expected to start next year.
Dr. Frank Ofori Akwa, who prefers to be called Dr. Frank, is a family medicine physician with low- risk obstetrics and enhanced surgical skills (including caesarean section and some general surgery procedures). He started practising at the Slave Lake Healthcare Centre and the Family Care Clinic at the beginning of May.
Dr. Frank comes to Slave Lake from Ghana, in West Africa, where he received his medical training. He graduated from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and completed his residency at the Komfo Anorkye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana.
“We are fortunate to have another physician delivering babies and performing C-sections in Slave Lake,” says Dr. Keith Martin, AHS Community Medical Director for Slave Lake.
“Dr. Frank’s recruitment is a big success for the community. We’re actively recruiting for him to have a partner; another physician to deliver babies and do C-sections. We toured a promising candidate around Slave Lake earlier this month.”
Another family medicine physician, Dr Marli van der Merwe, was recruited to Slave Lake last month and is expected to start practising in the community next year.
Slave Lake now has a total of six full-time physicians and seven full-time nurse practitioners. With two family medicine physicians and one nurse practitioner currently on maternity leave, AHS has secured three family medicine physicians to provide interim care. Dr. Fouad Majeed is working full-time, and Dr. Neil Heard and Dr. Nomiki Troulli are both working part-time. All three physicians will be providing care in the community for at least six to nine months, ensuring residents have continued access to the care they need.
Healthcare providers are recruited through the ongoing efforts of AHS and its partners, including the Government of Alberta, the Town of Slave Lake and the Slave Lake Regional Tri-Council committee.
“The Town of Slave Lake is excited to welcome Dr. Frank to our community,” says Mayor Tyler Warman.
“His dedication to obstetrics and family medicine enhances our ability to keep having babies born here in this community. We continue to work with Alberta Health Services to recruit quality health professionals to our amazing team we have here in Slave Lake.”
AHS North Zone physician resource planners work closely with various community partners and organizations, such as local Health Advisory Councils, the Rural Physician Action Plan, and independent community physician recruitment and retention committees, including the Slave Lake Regional Tri-Council committee.
“We’re really excited to have new physicians move to Slave Lake,” says Joy McGregor, chair of the Slave Lake Regional Tri-Council committee. “Slave Lake is a young community and we have a lot to offer to families. We would love for new physicians to stay, and to make Slave Lake their home and grow roots here. We want to help them become a part of the community and involved in the different activities we have in Slave Lake.”
Dr. Frank says he enjoys playing soccer and tennis during his spare time. He also enjoys reading and volunteering. In Ghana, he regularly volunteered with health outreach programs, specifically with Afrikids, a non-profit organization that brings healthcare services to underprivileged communities.
“The joy and inner satisfaction that I experienced after saving numerous lives on such encounters were beyond measure,” says Dr. Frank. “I look forward to continuing to actively participate in volunteer services in Slave Lake and around the world, especially in the area of healthcare services to underprivileged communities.”
Dr. Frank adds he is also interested in participating in mentorship and career developing services for young people to help guide them to achieve their dreams.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.
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