Enhancing online information for local physicians – The new www.halton.ca/physicians

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hosting our local physicians at Halton’s Physician Appreciation dinner. The dinner is held in honour of Physician Appreciation Week as a token of thanks for the contributions physicians make each and every day. Our local physicians strengthen our community and are one of the key reasons Halton is a wonderful place to call home.

Achieving the best possible health for our citizens is one of the key priorities for Halton Region, and we recognize we can’t do this alone. We work every day with physicians and other health care professionals in our community to offer programs, engage residents in active, healthy lifestyles, and provide consistent, quality health information.

Physician web

Of course one of the key ways we provide health information is through our website, and over the past few years, we’ve been focused on increasing the interactivity of our site and improving the content we make available to our residents and professionals in the community. This includes the recent launch of our new physician-targeted web pages at www.halton.ca/physicians.

This section of our site has been completely revamped to provide more targeted and timely public health information to physicians to help them in the everyday care of their patients. It also informs physicians about the range of local services and resources available by the Health Department and other organizations who support their patients outside of the doctor’s office.

The new section of the site is easier to navigate, more visually appealing and will be kept up to date with the latest health information. The pages also link to our physician recruitment section targeted to new physicians who may be looking to set up practice here in Halton.

We hope the new online tools will benefit the work physicians do every day to make Halton Region the best place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Hats off to Halton’s Physicians

May 1, 2011 was the first ever Doctors’ Day in Ontario External Link. The date was chosen to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Emily Stowe, the first female physician in Canada. Reza Moridi, MPP Richmond Hill, successfully introduced the motion to the Ontario Legislature last month to formally recognize the incredible work that doctors do.

In Halton, we have celebrated Physician Appreciation Week for nine years. During this week, May 2 to 6, 2011, Halton Region and local hospitals recognize physicians for their contribution to our community.  The week was originally designated by the Halton Physician Recruitment program which was established in 2002 to ensure residents have access to effective health services today and in the future.  Since its inception, the program has helped bring over 130 new family doctors to Halton.

Halton physicians keep our community healthy and thriving.  We are fortunate to have such excellent medical care available. During Halton Physician Appreciation Week, we join together as a community to say thank you to all of Halton’s dedicated physicians.

As an additional gesture of appreciation, this year Halton Region partnered with the Doctors’ Hockey Club and the Alzheimer Society of Hamilton Halton External Link to host Docs on Ice External Link, an annual fundraising doctors’ hockey tournament.  Doctors volunteer in the community through events such as Docs on Ice, helping to make Halton a wonderful place to live, work, raise a family and retire.  The tournament brought over 900 doctors and medical students to Halton in April. With the help of local volunteers, the Docs on Ice raised $150,000 for the Alzheimer Society of Hamilton Halton.

There was a wonderful feeling of camaraderie throughout the three-day event. I know this same spirit exists among the physician community as a whole, and contributes to its success here in Halton. 

Once again, thank you to all of Halton’s physicians.  We very much appreciate your role in keeping Halton healthy.

To see a list of newly recruited doctors who are accepting patients across Halton, visit www.halton.ca/newphysicians. To find out more about Halton Physician Appreciation Week or Halton Region’s Physician Recruitment Program, contact Angela Sugden-Praysner, Physician Recruitment Coordinator, by dialing 311 or 905-825-6000, or visit www.haltondoctors.ca External Link.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Physician Recruitment program scores high

Halton Region’s Physician Recruitment program has attracted and retained an impressive number of physicians. Since 2003, the program has helped bring over 130 new family doctors to Halton. In addition, several family physicians have been recruited to cover long term locums, such as maternity leaves, and several other new family physicians have established part time practices in the area.

The Physician Recruitment program addresses the issue of family medicine physician recruitment, ensuring the delivery of effective health services to Halton residents today and in the future. The program has enjoyed tremendous success: over 20 family physicians have established their practice in Halton over the past year. To see a list of newly recruited doctors who are accepting patients across Halton, visit www.halton.ca/newphysicians.

An increased patient demand, an ageing population, planned physician retirement, changing physician practice patterns and a projected population growth in Halton of 25 per cent by 2019, mean that the need for new physicians will continue.

An award winning marketing and promotion strategy for the Physician Recruitment program includes, among other things, community tours and physician meetings for prospective family physicians, a website, participation in trade shows, recruiting events and an advertising campaign. This year’s campaign also includes sponsorship of Docs on Ice External Link, an annual fundraising doctors’ hockey tournament.

As a former hockey player, I’m really looking forward to this event, and to be able to showcase Halton as a tourism destination of choice.

The Doctors’ Hockey Club, host for the 2011 tournament, is made up of Halton, Hamilton and Mississauga hockey-playing doctors.  With the help of local volunteers, the tournament raises funds through a combination of registration fees, sponsorship, donations and special events. Funds raised through Docs on Ice Oakville 2011 will support the Alzheimer Society of Hamilton Halton.

A number of NHL Alumni will be honoured guests at Docs on Ice Oakville 2011 including former captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs Wendel Clark and two-time Vezina Trophy winner Johnny Bower.

You can learn more about the tournament by visiting www.docsonice.ca External Link.  For more information on Halton Region’s physician recruitment program, visit www.haltondoctors.ca External Link, dial 311, 905-825-6000, ext. 7929, toll free 1-866-442-5866, or TTY 905-827-9833.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”