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'Big family behind them'
Hospital staff and community welcome five new doctors to Inuvik

Danielle Sachs
Northern News Services
Published Monday, November 19, 2012

Five new permanent doctors have been hired for the Beaufort Delta region and will be based in Inuvik, providing additional clinic coverage and more hands in the Inuvik Regional Hospital's operating room.

The five new physicians, Dr. Roohina Virk, Dr. Ryan Falk, Dr. Mark Prins, Dr. Nadia Salvaterra and Dr. Jennifer Phillips were introduced to the rest of the hospital staff and the community on Nov. 8, at the hospital.

The event was a surprise to some of the newcomers, like Virk, who said she was flattered at the attention.

Virk has completed rural placements and electives based on delivering medicine in rural settings and has started to enjoy small towns.

"Life is about enjoying the people you're with," she said. "All people like colleagues and patients. In Inuvik, these are invigorating people."

Prins and Salvaterra, the parents of four-month-old Jacob, met while working on Baffin Island.

Prins had done his residency in Inuvik and when it came time for him and Salvaterra to decide where they wanted to settle down and raise their family, Inuvik seemed like a good fit.

"We were daydreaming about where we wanted to go and Inuvik had everything we wanted - being close to the outdoors was important," said Salvaterra. Prins is a family practitioner with extra training as a general surgeon.

"I did my residency here and I found it really encouraging and adventurous," he said.

"Family medicine can be rewarding and it's a nice place to teach, too."

Showing the new full-time physicians how much they're needed and appreciated goes a long way, said Ruth Robertson, acting CEO of the Beaufort Delta Health and Social Services Authority.

"We're like one big family behind them. It really does make all the difference," she said.

The support from the community and staff at the hospital is noticeable, said Phillips.

"I've enjoyed all the people I've met and there's support from everyone."

The new permanent employees are a huge benefit to the region, said Peter Clarkson, public administrator of the Beaufort Delta Health and Social Services Authority.

"It's one of the biggest, happiest events for the authority. It's great news both for the hospital and the region."

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