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12 - PRAIRIE POST - Friday, September 9, 2011


Brooks 11092DS01


Medical students converge on Brooks for training session


BY ROSE SANCHEZ — rsanchez@prairiepost.com


About 50 first and second-year medical students descended on Brooks Aug. 27 to learn some new skills from practising physicians and see what a rural community has to offer them once they graduate. The University of Calgary medical students were


brought to Brooks by the Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan (RPAP). Local doctor Douwe Kits played a lead role in hosting the students, with a lot of help from partnering physicians, staff at the Brooks Hospital, local paramedics and City of Brooks officials. The last time a skills day was hosted in Brooks was in 2006, says Rosemary Burness, medical students’ initiatives co-ordinator with RPAP. At that time, the day was simply a chance for students to learn some new skills from rural physicians. Now the event, held four times a year in rural communities throughout Alberta, is a chance for community officials to become involved and showcase their towns. City officials held a welcoming reception on the


Friday night for the students. The Saturday morning was focused on learning new skills from physicians and paramedics at the Brooks Hospital. STARS brought in their mobile simulation unit as


well to use as a teaching tool. Saturday afternoon featured a tour of the City and


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surrounding county to help give the students a better feel for the amenities offered in the rural area. It is hard for RPAP officials to determine just how big a role these skills days contribute to a graduating medical student’s decision to set up a practise in a rural location. That’s because, there are numerous initiatives under the RPAP program. “We start in high schools attending career fairs to try to attract students to rural medicine,” says Burness. Medical students can also now do some of their training in rural communities. “We don’t really know where we caught their interest.” The Skills Day is a success every time it is held because of the commitment of rural physicians who agree to work with the medical students. “All rural doctors are amazing,” added Burness. “On any given weekend you wouldn’t believe how many medical students are floating in and out of the Brooks Hospital ... There’s so many people who work to try to recruit and keep rural doctors.”


Sask. MLA Report


This spring’s record moisture levels led to signifi cant fl ooding throughout the province, and our government was prepared to meet this challenge. When Saskatchewan’s highways were hard hit by spring runoff and fl ooding, we were able t to move swiftly to invest $20 million to help repair damages caused by fl ooding and extremely wet conditions. We are now investing an additional $46 million that will go towards repairing bridges and culverts, fi xing landslides, rebuilding washed-out and eroded highways and fi x surface failures.


m Jim Reiter


Rosetown - Elrose MLA Phone: 306-882-4105 Box 1872


Rosetown, SK S0L 2V0


Our government, along with the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority, began planning and preparing last year, as we knew full well the potential for fl ooding and water damage that would occur on our roads and highways this year. Just as we anticipated, the damage is signifi cant – more than 120 sections of highway have been closed at some point this year, and our government has identifi ed about 400 repair projects. For the past several months, our crews and contractors have


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been working hard to make repairs and keep our highways open. However, our government realizes that many roads are still in bad shape, which is why we invested the additional $66 million on top of the $556.2 million investment in Saskatchewan highways in the 2011-12 budget. More repair work will continue in the months ahead to ensure that our highway system can continue to contribute to the prosperity of our communities and economy, but, more importantly, to ensure your family is safe on our roads.


As Saskatchewan continues to enjoy growth and


prosperity, it doesn’t come without challenges, especially in housing. Our government understands that we need to take action to ensure that housing is accessible to all people. That’s why we recently partnered with the federal government to invest a total of $132 million to support local housing initiatives for low income people, families and seniors. Some of those initiatives include a new senior’s housing complex that was recently


announced for both Yorkton and Prince Albert. These and other projects across the province are a part of the Saskatchewan Advantage the best place to live, work and raise a family.


Since November 2007, we have invested over


$80 million to open more than 800 new affordable housing units across the province. In March, our government announced a plan to invest $252 million to help add 4,600 new homeowner and rental units in Saskatchewan over the next fi ve years. In April, we announced that we would be creating a $6 million action fund aimed specifi cally at funding initiatives outside the parameters of our existing programs. Plus, the recently released eight-year Housing Strategy for Saskatchewan puts forth a vision to move forward together with Saskatchewan housing stakeholders under fi ve strategic directions: increase housing supply, improve housing affordability, support individuals and families in the greatest housing need, enhance strategic planning for housing and collaborate, communicate and educate.


We will continue working in the months and years


ahead to make sure that all Saskatchewan people have a home to call their own.


This summer I was able to attend numerous Lyle Stewart


Thunder Creek MLA Phone: 1-306-693-3229 207-310 Main St. Moose Jaw, SK S6H 5S8


Bill Boyd


Kindersley MLA Phone: (306) 463-4480


Toll Free: 1-866-463-4480 116C - 908 Main Street, Box 490 Kindersly, SK S0L1S0


D. Wayne Elhard Cypress Hills MLA Phone: 1-877-703-3374 Box 308


Eastend, SK S0N 0T0


D.F (Yogi) Huyghebaert Wood River MLA Phone: 1-306-266-2100 306-642-4744 Box 187


Glentworth, SK S0H 1V0 Brad Wall


Swift Current MLA, Premier Phone: 1-306-778-2429, #233 Central Ave, N Swift Current, SK S9H 0L3


events throughout the province and the Rosetown – Elrose constituency. It was a pleasure meeting so many of you and discussing the issues that matter to you and to our government. I am looking forward to what is sure to be an exciting fall and I hope you enjoyed the summer spending time with friends and family.


41087271•09/09/11


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