In May 2021, Municipal Council determined that the addition of a Community Healthcare Navigator position would add value to the Municipality’s involvement in welcoming new and visiting healthcare professionals to Shelburne and Roseway Hospital. Our Community Healthcare Navigator is responsible for liaising with stakeholders, assisting interested healthcare professionals with housing and accommodations, spousal employment, providing community connections to social and religious groups and assisting with securing childcare, among other important hospitality activities. We also support medical staff like primary care providers and other allied health professionals, residents and students through events and activities, support customized site visits and help to answer the many questions related to setting up life and practice here in Shelburne.
Healthcare professionals choose to practice in rural NS for a variety of reasons including but not limited to comparable low-cost of living, achievable work-life balance, short commute times and active transportation options etc.. Shelburne provides a competitive market for healthcare professionals, made even more competitive by the access of rural high-speed Internet. In December 2022, the Municipality identified an available funding source through the Office of Healthcare Professional Recruitment. We were notified in February 2023, that our application was successful and we were awarded $75,000. This funding is a valued opportunity to further expand and enhance our recruitment and retention efforts. In addition to recruitment and retention activities, our priorities include plans to address such topics as preceptor encouragement, expanded recruitment efforts to support local long-term healthcare staffing, develop a strategy for building healthcare pride within our rural communities and working to provide necessary Equity, Diversity and Inclusion opportunities to address anti-racism in healthcare. We will also collaborate to create content that will position ourselves with assets to support our continued involvement in healthcare recruitment conferences and retreats while developing a focused recruitment partnership with the Dalhousie Residency Program in Yarmouth. In addition the Municipality has further budged, for registration and participation in the Rural & Remote conference as well as Dalhousie Residence Retreat for 2023. We have engaged local and provincial healthcare recruitment stakeholders to work collaboratively to improvement access to healthcare services in Shelburne.