Two doctors from Xaayda Gwaay Ngaaysdll – Haida Gwaii Hospital and Health Centre were recognized for their commitment to serving rural communities, the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC) announced on May 6.
“Many rural and remote regions across Canada are underserved and struggle to recruit and retain physicians. Their commitment and years of service deserve to be celebrated,” SRPC stated.
Dr. Gordon Horner was one of eight recipients presented with the Rural Long Service Award. This award is intended to recognize doctors who have practised in a rural community for 20 years or more and have already won a Rural Service Award.
Dr. Horner spent the past twenty years living and working in the south end of Graham Island.
“I feel really lucky to have such wonderful colleagues and a wonderful population to work with, and for, and alongside,” Dr. Horner said on May 10.
“It’s been an incredibly fulfilling time here, and so far they haven’t voted me off the island, fingers crossed.”
Dr. Tracy Morton received the Rural Service Award as one of five doctors recognized in 2022. The Rural Service Award celebrates physicians who have served rural communities for 10 or more years.
Dr. Horner recognized and congratulated his colleague for his achievement.
“I kind of consider him like the flashy forward, and I’m the grinding defenseman who kind of keeps him going,” Dr. Horner said.
Doctors must be registered with the SRPC for the last five consecutive years to be eligible for an award. Dr. Horner noted that some of his colleagues had served the community for more than 20 years, but they were not registered with the society and therefore did not receive recognition. Dr. Horner said he tried to convince the society to honour them anyway, but he was unsuccessful.
The awards were presented during an annual gala event in Ottawa on April 22.
Kaitlyn Bailey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View