Two new family physicians now practising in Spirit River

November 24, 2022

SPIRIT RIVER – Local residents have increased access to primary care with the arrival of two new family physicians now practising in the community.

Dr. Adefolake Olaniyan and Dr. Deanna Funk are family medicine physicians practising out of the Central Peace Health Complex and Central Peace Health Centre,

“It’s a pleasure to welcome Dr. Olaniyan and Dr. Funk to the community,” says Dr. Eva Kitagawa, Alberta Health Services (AHS) Community Medical Director for Spirit River. “Family physicians are an integral piece of the healthcare system and their addition to our team in Spirit River will be a great benefit to all local residents and their families.”

Spirit River now has a total of four full-time physicians practising in the community.

“It’s wonderful that both Dr. Olaniyan and Dr. Funk have brought their skills and expertise to Spirit River to serve patients and families in our region,” says Todd Loewen, MLA for Central Peace-Notley. “I’m proud that our government is working with our partners to help improve access to healthcare in rural communities, here in the north and across the province.”

Spirit River Mayor Tammy Yaremko, who also chairs on the Central Peace Attraction and Retention Committee, says the arrival of Dr. Olaniyan and Dr. Funk is great news for the community.

“We are pleased and thankful that we were able to add two new physicians,” says Mayor Yaremko. “We have had great support of local residents and community partners to assist in the recruitment of these physicians.”

Dr. Olaniyan is an international medical graduate of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos. She obtained her medical degree and training in Nigeria, West Africa. A Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada, she brings on board over a decade general practice experience in clinic-based and emergency care as well as her Canadian exposure in clinical settings enroute her medical licensure.

“l am delighted to join the Spirit River healthcare team,” she says. “The Peace Country is very much home to us - my husband, Deji, and our four kids, have lived in Grande Prairie since moving to Canada. Cooking, listening to music, and seeing new places are some of my leisure activities. I look forward to meeting you and your families!”

Born and raised in the Peace Country, Dr. Funk is excited to begin her practice in Spirit River after doing her Doctor of Medicine degree in Calgary and finishing her Family Medicine residency in Grande Prairie earlier this summer.

She and husband Ryan, their two dogs Benzo and Delta, and cat named Cheddar are enjoying life in Spirit River. The duo enjoys bike riding, camping, and visiting with family in the area.

“I’m excited to get to know more people in the community and attend more local events,” she says.

AHS continues to recruit for family physicians across northern Alberta to meet community needs. AHS has physician resource planners who are dedicated to identifying and pursuing international and domestic physician recruitment opportunities. They work closely with various community partners and organizations, such as local Health Advisory Councils, and the Rural Health Professions Action Plan, and independent physician recruitment and retention committees.

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.