PENTICTON/SYILX (OKANAGAN) NATION, BC (May 13, 2022)—A community that empowered health care workers to provide community members with non-medical supports, like food and accommodation, and a dedicated rural doctor who has made a lasting impression on her community are today being recognized with BC Rural Health Awards by the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc).
The Rural BC Community Award was presented to Whistler, where, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, health care teams worked with partners across many community organizations to provide ‘social prescriptions’ for food from the food bank, therapy sessions, and much more to meet people’s needs in a holistic way.
The Award of Excellence in Rural Medicine: Lifetime Achievement Award is being presented to Dr. Lauri-Ann Shearer, from Bella Bella. For over 18 years, Dr. Shearer has been dedicated to improving health care on the Central Coast by acquiring new equipment, maintaining and developing specialist outreach clinics, and managing the local medical clinic essentially on her own.
Three additional rural doctors, Dr. Paul Warbeck, from the Nisga’a Valley Health Authority, Dr. Francois Bosman, from Gabriola Island, and Dr. John Soles, from Clearwater/Kimberley, will also receive recognition for going Above and Beyond.
All recipients will receive plaques and the community of Whistler and Dr. Shearer will each receive a cash prize of $2500 to support a celebration in their home communities.
RCCbc Executive Director, Dr. Ray Markham, said: “British Columbia has many amazing rural doctors who do so much good work in our communities. Without a doubt, the winners we are recognizing today are exemplary and our province is a richer place because of them and many others.”
RCCbc presents its annual BC Rural Health Awards at its BC Rural Health Conference, which, this weekend, is being held in person for the first time since 2019 at the Penticton Lakeside Resort.
Recipients of RCCbc’s annual Rural BC Community Award are selected for developing innovative and collaborative solutions to local healthcare issues. Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award must be a rural doctor who has served one or more rural communities throughout their career and significantly impacted provincial, national and/or international rural health. The Above and Beyond recognition is for a rural physician’s exceptional rural BC service and contributions in supporting rural health care.
See backgrounder with stories about the 2022 BC Rural Health Award winners and Above and Beyond recipients.
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About the Rural Coordination Centre of BC
Led by rural physicians, the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc) is a network that improves the health of rural people and communities across British Columbia. We cultivate relationships and networks, facilitate rural health discussion, coordinate rural health projects, create learning opportunities for rural healthcare practitioners, advocate for a healthy rural British Columbia, stimulate rural health research, and develop healthcare leaders. Funded primarily by the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues, our network partners include healthcare providers and administrators, community members, policymakers, academics, and non-profit and business leaders. We serve all communities covered by the Rural Practice Subsidiary Agreement.