After touring the area earlier this year, Dr. Chantelle Scrutton is set to open a practice in Beaverlodge.
Scrutton is a physician from Johannesburg, South Africa, who visited Beaverlodge during a site visit in January. The event, a collaboration between the Town of Beaverlodge and Alberta Health Services (AHS), is staged to showcase amenities offered by a community in need of a doctor.
South Peace Professional Attraction and Retention Committee (SPPARC) member Judy Kokotilo-Bekkerus said she understood that Scrutton will join the West Peace Medical Centre later this year.
“The whole of rural Alberta has a shortage of doctors,” said Kokotilo-Bekkerus, who is also a Beaverlodge town councillor.
“The fact that she chose to come here is really quite amazing, and I’m very pleased.”
The County of Grande Prairie has also shown their support to the incoming physician.
County council approved $10,000 in grant funding for Scrutton during Monday’s meeting through its Physician Recruitment and Retention Policy that offers incentives for incoming physicians.
During her visit in January, AHS physician resource planner Susan Smith hosted a luncheon attended by Scrutton and her husband.
Scrutton told the News she looked forward to starting a practice away from the bustle of the big city.
“We’re looking to getting out of the big metropolitan area,” Scrutton said.
“We love the space and the peace and quiet and just a slightly slower pace of life and a more intimate, supportive community feel, so this was a really nice community.”
The West Peace Medical Centre declined the News request for an interview by press time.