August 4, 2022
Four local Sarnia based physicians have teamed up with Blue Coast Primary Care – Recruitment & Retention to offer medical elective opportunities to students studying abroad.
Throughout June & July, Blue Coast Primary Care awarded 4 Visiting Elective Bursaries through their Ron Prior Visiting Elective Awards Program that began in 2019. This year, three of the four recipients thus far were born & raised in Sarnia. “Being able to offer local medical students the opportunity to come back to their hometown for an elective is an experience they will likely never forget and invaluable connection we can make as a recruitment strategy.” says Blue Coast Recruiter Carly Cox.
The program was established to allow the Blue Coast recruitment team to showcase Sarnia to additional medical students, help these students build medical connections in the community, and showcase all that Lambton County would offer as a place to build a prosperous lifestyle and primary care practice. Many medical students that study abroad struggle to secure Visiting Electives in Ontario and therefore are not able to learn through the Ontario healthcare system and/or obtain letters of recommendation they need for their Family Medicine residency applications. Blue Coast wants to bring our local medical students’ home, and this program assists in that!
Dr. John O’Mahony welcomed Sarnia locals Matthew Laird and JessicaLangevin throughout June & July for 4-weeks each. Recipient MatthewLaird said, “I was very excited to be back in my hometown of Sarnia working with Dr. John O’Mahony and his wonderful staff. It is a great opportunity to be able to learn from someone as experienced as Dr. O’Mahony and learn all aspects of Family Medicine. Additionally, this elective provides a very rewarding opportunity to give back to my own community.”
Dr. Dbenga Ajayi-Obe welcomed a medical student from British Columbia and Dr. Sean Peterson was joined in his practice by Sarnia local Maria Kurian.
In addition to the 4 students that trained in June & July, 2other medical students will be joining Dr. O’Mahony and Dr. Jasmine Davies in August through September. Cox says, “We are extremely pleased with the success of our visiting elective program, and I will remain in touch with each of these students throughout the rest of their medical training journey.”
To be successful in recruiting our future physicians it is important for Blue Coast to nurture relationships built with medical students as they move into residency.
Applications and more information for the 2023 Visiting Elective Program Bursaries can be found at www.bluecoastprimarycare.com.
After 50 years of providing care to the residents of Sarnia Lambton, Dr. Michael O’Mahony is retiring and a new Family Physician will be relocating to Sarnia, to take over the Family Medicine practice. Blue Coast Primary Care –Recruitment & Retention wishes to announce that Dr. David Bastien, will be joining the Bluewater Medical Clinic (481 London Rd. Sarnia) on January 1, 2021.
Blue Coast wishes to extend its sincere gratitude to Dr. Michael O’Mahony for the outstanding commitment to our community and his patients over the past 50years. Dr. Bastien having trained under Michael’s son; Dr. John O’Mahony, is an outstanding successor for Michael to entrust with his patients.
“For the last 50 years it has been an absolute pleasure to get to know you and your families.” Michael shared in a letter to his patients notifying them of his retirement! “I have shared heartache and joy with thousands of you over the years and it will never be forgotten.” He continued… “I truly believe Dr. Bastien is the ideal person to take over my practice and your care.”
After growing up in Windsor, Ontario, Bastien worked at Ford Motor Company as a journeyman Tool and Die Maker. Being laid off in 2004, Bastien started volunteering in the Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare Emergency Room and with aspirations of attending university. “Dr. Bastien is a natural fit to our community, and I think his patients will enjoy his blue-collar attitude and relatability!” says Blue Coast, Recruitment Coordinator Carly Cox.
Bastien pursued the necessary prerequisites and went on to the University of Windsor to complete a Bachelor of Science, Honours and earned a Master of Business Administration at the Odette School of Business. Dr. Bastien then finished his Doctor of Medicine at the University of Toronto in 2016 and his Family Medicine Residency with a focus on Emergency Medicine at Western University in London in 2018. Dr. Bastien trained in the Emergency Department at Bluewater Health and with Dr. John O’Mahony. The two remained in contact, which led to him settling here today.
“Dr. John O’Mahony has been very engaged in the recruitment and retention initiatives from a Board Member level, and I really have him to thank for making his happen!” says Cox. Dr. John O’Mahony has been a board member of Blue Coast Primary Care – Recruitment &Retention for 4 years and has played a role in the recruitment of many physicians to Sarnia Lambton.
Dr. Bastien, his wife Sarah; who is a paramedic, and 14-month-old son, Luke will be relocating to Sarnia in the next month. Dr. Bastien looks forward to practicing family medicine here and for him and his family to be able to contribute to the community at large in the years to come.
Dr. David Bastien will not be accepting new patients as he will be acquiring the practice from Dr. Michael O’Mahony in January and the practice of Dr. Heather Rogan in February 2022.
The Physician Recruitment Taskforce of Sarnia Lambton is very proud to announce the recruitment of Dr. Nicolaas van As to Sarnia Lambton. He will be practicing temporarily in Corunna at 348 Lyndoch St., alongside Dr. Borek and Dr. Clifford.
Dr. Nic van As is a very familiar face to the Sarnia Lambton Community. As an avid outdoor enthusiast and fisherman, Dr. van As was drawn to the area for our blue coast. He holds a BSc in Agriculture and Nature conservation, along with his second degree in Medicine; both from the University of Stellenbosch.
He has been working at our Bluewater Health Sarnia site in the Emergency Medicine department for over 16 years intermittently, while travelling back and forth to South Africa, where his family resides.
Dr. van As was born near Cape Town,South Africa, and worked in the UK after graduation. He and his wife spent sometime in Newfoundland and then Sarnia from 2000-2008 before returning to their beloved Cape Town to start a family.
With his 2 boys now 6 and 9, the family have decided to relocate to Lambton County where Dr van As will run a family practice. He will continue to do shifts in the EM department as well.
“I am looking forward to serving the community as a family doctor. I hope to play my part in evolving primary health care amidst COVID-19 and beyond, to make it more accessible in the area” said van As. “I wish to express my gratitude to Carly Cox, the Taskforce and their benefactors for assisting me throughout this process and inthe relocation of my family.”
Dr. van As is the 35th family physician recruited to Sarnia Lambton by the Physician Recruitment Taskforce of Sarnia Lambton.
“Especially during these challenging times, we are extremely lucky to have Dr. van As join our team of family physicians in Lambton County. He brings a great deal of experience and knowledge to our community!” said Carly Cox, Recruitment Coordinator for the Taskforce.
Dr. van As is accepting new patients! To complete a patient application form, patients can:
- Download an application from at www.drnvanas.ca and return it via fax to: (855) 941-4641
- Or by registered mail to: 348 Lyndoch St. Corunna, ON N0N 1G0
- OR Call his office at (519) 862-1461 for assistance
The Physician Recruitment Taskforce of Sarnia Lambton in partnership with the North Lambton Community Health Centre are proud to announce the recruitment of Dr. Elisa Fuller.
Dr. Fuller will be working 4-days per week at the North Lambton Community Health Centre at the Forest and Kettle Point sites. Kathy Bresset, Executive Director for the Health Centre noted the position became available when a couple of longer term physicians adjusted their current schedules.
Dr. Elisa Fuller was born in Bright’s Grove, which put Sarnia Lambton on her radar when she began the decision process of where to practice. Carly Nienhuis, Recruitment/Coordinator for the Taskforce says, “We are thrilled to have Dr. Fuller joining the medical community in Sarnia Lambton. She is a great addition!” Alongside the recruitment of Dr. Fuller, her partner; an Emergency Medicine Physician, will be joining the team at Bluewater Health.
The North Lambton Community Health Centre provides primary health care, health promotion and chronic disease services to clients in Sarnia, Forest, Kettle Point, Watford and surrounding communities.
“The recruitment of Dr. Fuller marks 3 female family physicians the Taskforce has brought to Lambton Shores in 2 years working with Kathy Bresset!” says Nienhuis. The partnership between the Taskforce and the North Lambton Community Health Centre continues to be successful. Both parties will continue to work together to prepare for upcoming retirements and shortages.
"My name is Elisa Fuller and I am a recent graduate of the family medicine residency program in Toronto. I grew up in the Sarnia area and have lived in various cities since moving away many years ago. I attended University of Toronto for both medical school and family medicine residency. I finished residency one year ago and spent the last year doing locums in the Ottawa area and two months in Sioux Lookout. I am exicted to return to the Sarnia area, the area in which I grew up, for this exciting opportunity at the Community Health Centre in Forest and Kettle Point. I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with such a well organized and hard working team."
- Dr. Elisa Fuller
The Physician Recruitment Taskforce of Sarnia Lambtonis extremely proud to announce the recruitment of Dr. Noranda Nyholt to Sarnia.
Dr. Nyholt has been practicing in Belleville, ON along with her husband Dr. Ryan Dobbs as a Family Physician for 5 years after completing her training at Western University, but the importance of family drove them to Sarnia Lambton.Dr. Nyholt says, “As a mother, my family is my foundation. My husband, Dr. Ryan Dobbs, grew up in Sarnia, and our extended family lives in South Western Ontario. We are looking forward to raising our two girls in a close-knit community alongside our family and friends.”
Dr. Nyholt and her family will begin settling in Sarnia in early September to enroll their children in the new school year. However, Dr. Nyholt has committed to finishing at her Belleville clinic in late October. She will begin practicing full-time in Sarnia on November 1, 2016. “As a family doctor, and a mother of two, I hope to bring to Sarnia a clinical practice that treats each patient as a whole. When working with my patients, I do my best to understand their concerns and provide the necessary support and resources they need to make educated decisions and reach their clinical goals. With my family practice, I strive to operate a punctual, efficient office, with approachable and helpful staff.” says Nyholt.
Dr. Nyholt will begin accepting patients on September 1, 2016 and applications will be available at her office located at 239 George St. in Sarnia or call the Physician Recruitment Taskforce at 519-383-7265.Carly Nienhuis; Recruiter Coordinator, for the Taskforce says, “We are so pleased to welcome Dr. Nyholt to our team of family physicians in Sarnia. The community had expressed a need for more female physicians to us and we are fortunate to have found such a dedicated physician to fill our need!”
The recruitment of Dr. Nyholt marks the 23rd family physician recruited to Sarnia Lambton by the Physician Recruitment Taskforce of Sarnia Lambton. Nyholt’s husband, Dr. Ryan Dobbs has accepted a hospitalist position at Bluewater Health.
The Physician Recruitment Taskforce of Sarnia Lambton is proud to announce the recruitment of Dr. Matthew Clifford to Corunna. Alongside the recruitment, comes the retirement of Dr. Peter Wakely who will be handing over the reigns of his practice after 36 years to Dr. Clifford.
Dr. Clifford; a native of London Ontario, recently completed his 3-year residency at Crittenton Hospital through the Wayne State University Family Medicine Program. He completed his bachelor and Masters degree of Science at Wilfred Laurier University before studying at the Medical University of the Americas, in St. Kitts and Nevis where he obtained his medical degree. Despite his educational travels, Dr. Clifford always imagined settling in Sarnia to begin his medical career. Dr. Clifford says, “As a London native, Sarnia was always close and I was able to live here while playing hockey and attending high school. Sarnia, from that point, was an easy sell for me to return and lay down some roots. The landscape and the friendly atmosphere generated by the people, truly speak for the city itself.”
Dr. Clifford has settled into Sarnia and will begin practicing alongside Dr. Wakely in mid-October. The pair, plan to make the transition as smooth as possible, working alongside one another for the first few months. “In taking over for Dr. Wakely, I hope to build as strong of relationships with his patients as he did and maintain the level of care they were receiving as well.” states Dr. Clifford.
Both Doctors credited the Taskforce for making the initial connection between them and assisting them individually through their transitions. “The Taskforce was instrumental in helping me facilitate the move back to Sarnia from Michigan. My liaison, Carly Nienhuis, was very informative, went above and beyond providing options and information, often times before I even asked. Without the Taskforce this process would have been cumbersome and difficult to navigate.” says Clifford.
At this time, Dr. Clifford will not be accepting new patients, as he will be focusing on getting familiar with the patient list being passed down to him from Dr. Wakely.
Dr. Peter Wakely and his wife Kathy; a retired local family physician, are parents of 4, and grandparents to 6 young children. Wakely’s retirement plans include many trips to Victoria and Vancouver, BC to visit his daughters and grandchildren. “It was a difficult decision to make to retire from my practice and the patients I have cared for, for many years! I have built many great relationships in this community and I am grateful for them all!” says Wakely. Although retiring from his family practice, Dr. Wakely plans to continue doing some work at Bluewater Health.
Nienhuis says, “Dr. Wakely has made a very positive impact on this community providing outstanding healthcare for over 36 years in Sarnia Lambton. He will certainly be missed, and we wish him all of the best in his retirement! If there is anyone who deserves retirement, it is him!”
The recruitment of Dr. Clifford marks the 24th family physician recruited to Lambton County by the Physician Recruitment Taskforce of Sarnia Lambton.
The Physician Recruitment Taskforce of Sarnia Lambton is happy to announce the recruitment of Dr. William Southcott to Sarnia. He will be working alongside Dr. John Bartlett and Dr Gert Schlebush at the London Road Diagnostic Clinic.
Dr. William Southcott is a Board Certified Family Physician who was born and raised in Sarnia, attended St. Christopher's High School, and is a graduate of the University of Waterloo.
Like many modern physicians, Dr. Southcott travelled abroad to pursue his medical degree, beginning in Poland, then to the United Kingdom, and the USA. Dr Southcott graduated with his medical degree from The Medical University of Lodz, Poland. He further went on to postgraduate training at the Wheeling Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program in Wheeling, WV.
Taskforce Recruiter; Carly Cox said, “I try to keep in touch with all of Lambton County’s students pursuing medical school. I have found many of them to appreciate all that Sarnia has to offer, and they are pleased to return home to practice!”
“I have traveled abroad and had the opportunity to experience various medical cultures, and through those, I bring a unique and global perspective home with me.” says Dr. Southcott. He and his family; Erica and new baby boy ‘Jay’, are pleased to be settled in Sarnia. “I look forward to working in my home town and strengthening my roots in our community.” He stated.
Dr. Southcott will begin practicing full-time in Sarnia beginning in December of this year and will begin to accept new patients in the new year.
The recruitment of Dr. Southcott marks the 25th family physician recruited to Sarnia Lambton by the Physician Recruitment Taskforce of Sarnia Lambton and their third recruit for 2016.
The Physician Recruitment Taskforce of Sarnia Lambton, in partnership with the Bluewater Primary Care Centre is extremely proud to announce the recruitment of Dr. Mercy Akinsipe to Sarnia. She will be practicing in the newly renovated building at 481 London Rd. Sarnia.
Dr. Akinsipe will be acquiring many patients from Dr. Cynthia Arnold, due to her retirement.
Dr. Akinsipe attended McMaster University where she received a BSc in Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, in addition to completing a postgraduate research program in Pediatric Oncology. She received her medical degree at the Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica and continued her training by completing a Family Medicine Residency at the North Florida Regional Medical Center where she was awarded Junior Faculty and Chief Resident.
Carly Cox; Recruitment Coordinator, for the Taskforce says, “We are so pleased to welcome Dr. Akinsipe to Sarnia! Not only is she an award-winning physician, but also a great person, who is looking forward to growing her roots in Sarnia!”
Dr. Akinsipe decided Sarnia was where she and her family would call home, based on the lifestyle Sarnia could offer.
“Sarnia is a beautiful family community and great for young families with kids. The people here are extremely friendly, it also has beautiful recreational areas with fun activities for the family. In addition, Sarnia is in need of family physicians so I am looking forward to being of help to the community. My husband is in the oil and gas industry and has been frequenting Sarnia for the last 2 years from Toronto. Lastly, there does not seem to be traffic in Sarnia which is awesome as everything is accessible. All these reasons put together made my family and I choose Sarnia.”
Akinsipe and her family have already settled into Sarnia to enroll her daughter into the new school year and she will begin practicing full-time on October 1, 2018.
Dr. Akinsipe credits the Taskforce for her securing her new positions and the smooth transition to Sarnia. “The Taskforce especially Carly Cox, played a huge role in getting my new job. They were very supportive in the relocation of my family from Toronto to Sarnia. They also helped us settle into the town by providing realtor services, other amenities and Carly was a great point of contact for any questions or concerns I had.”
Dr. Akinsipe will not be accepting patients at this time, as she will be getting familiar with her current list of acquired patients from Dr. Arnold. She will however, be accepting new patients in the coming months. “The fact that we were able to replace Dr. Arnold with another female physician, I can imagine is very much appreciated by her patients!” says Cox.
The recruitment of Dr. Akinsipe marks the 30th family physician recruited to Sarnia Lambton by the Physician Recruitment Taskforce of Sarnia Lambton.
The Physician Recruitment Taskforce of Sarnia Lambton is happy to announce the recruitment of Dr. Laura Silvestri. She will be working alongside Dr. Patrick Boyle at Rapids Family Health Team on Pontiac Dr.
Dr. Laura Silvestri and her husband both grew up in the Sarnia area and their families still live here, which ultimately drove them back to the area.
“With the addition of our third child and my husband opening his counseling practice we decided we wanted to be closer to friends and family that we were still very connected to. We are enjoying being back where we started and raising our children here; it has been a great choice for us!” said Silvestri.
Dr. Silvestri completed her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at Queen’s University and then entered Medical School in Missouri at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. She then did residency a bit closer to home at Michigan State University. After graduating she practiced at the Bluewater Area Family Health Team in Zurich, ON for a few years before moving back to Sarnia; and filling a locum position at the West Lambton Community Health Centre.
Dr. Silvestri will begin practicing part-time with Dr. Boyle on March 1st.
Silvestri said, “It was great to find a retiring physician so we can practice share while my children are still so young and I can ease into taking on a full practice. As I start with Dr. Boyle, I am looking forward to getting to know his practice and building relationships with the patients.”
Taskforce recruiter; Carly Cox said, “Matching a new physician with one that is looking to transition into retirement; to practice share, is a model we have found has worked great in the past, and hopefully something we will see more of, as the number of other expected retirees make their transition.”
Silvestri credits the Taskforce with listening to what she was looking for in a practice and providing her with the opportunities that fit her specific needs.
The recruitment of Dr. Silvestri marks the 31st family physician recruited to Sarnia Lambton by the Physician Recruitment Taskforce of Sarnia Lambton and the 12th recruited by Carly Cox in her 5 year term.
“Two more female family physicians will be announced in the coming months.” says Cox.
The Physician Recruitment Taskforce of Sarnia Lambton in partnership with the West Lambton Community Health Centre are proud to announce the recruitment of Dr. Jasmine Davies.
Davies will be joining the team of physicians, nurse practitioners and other allied professionals at the Community Health Centre in Sarnia. Kathy Bresset, Executive Director for the Health Centre says, “Dr. Davies will be a welcome addition to our team with her knowledge of Sarnia and surrounding area and her keen interest in helping clients achieve their best possible health.”
Davies credits the Taskforce with helping to connect her with different practice opportunities and assisting her in determining the best fit for her! In addition, the Taskforce assisted her fiancé in searching for job opportunities in the area. “I also really appreciated how they connected me with different scholarship opportunities throughout my training.” Says Davies; who was one of the recipients of the 2018 Norma & Don Moore Scholarship, through the Sarnia Community Foundation.
Dr. Davies completed all of her training at Western University, where she received a Bachelor of Medical Sciences degree in 2012, and a Medical Degree in 2016. After completing one year of Internal Medicine training, she realized how important preventative medicine and continuity of care was to her, which resulted in the switch to Family Medicine.
Family and friends are not surprised Davies landed back in Sarnia as she never wanted to move too far away. “As both my fiancé and I grew up in Sarnia and the majority of our family lives here, it has always been our goal to move back. Sarnia is a beautiful and supportive community. We both loved growing up here and knew it was where we wanted to settle down and to raise a family.” Says Davies.
Taskforce Recruiter Carly Cox said, “Although Dr. Davies always anticipated returning to Sarnia, I am so happy there was an opportunity available that was the perfect fit for her!”
Dr. Davies will be starting at the centre on April 8th. The West Lambton Community Health Centre is a satellite site of the North Lambton Community Health Centre which also operates sites in Forest, Kettle Point and Watford as well as a Cardiac Rehab Centre in Sarnia. The North Lambton Community Health Centre provides primary care, health promotion, and chronic disease services to low income seniors, persons with mental health and addictions, First Nations, youth at risk, and rural populations.
Dr. Jasmine Davies marks the 32nd family physician recruited by the Physician Recruitment Taskforce of Sarnia Lambton.
The Physician Recruitment Taskforce would like to send our deepest condolences to the Prendiville family on the passing of Dr. William G.M. Prendiville.
He dedicated many years to caring for the residents of Sarnia Lambton and he will be deeply missed.
Patients of Dr. Prendiville’s are encouraged to continue to call his office where they will be triaged and their medical needs will be managed with the support of the Rapids Family Health Team - Access to Care Centre.
The Physician Recruitment Taskforce and Dr. Prendivlle’s family are currently in talks with a family physician to resume the practice and hope to confirm a successor in the near future.
It is with great pleasure that the Physician Recruitment Taskforce wishes to announce the recruitment of Dr. Cassandra Taylor.
Alongside the recruitment of Dr. Taylor, comes the retirement of Dr. Gert Schlebusch. The transition of physicians will take place on May 1st, 2019; however, Taylor and Schlebusch have been working together over the past few months to ease the transfer. Dr. Taylor will be accepting new patients in late summer.
Dr. Taylor attended the University of Western and completed her Honors BSC in Molecular Cell Biology. Her medical school journey took place on the island of SABA in the Netherlands – Antilles, before she returned back to UWO - London and Sarnia, for her Residency training.
Dr. Taylor has lived in Sarnia her entire life (other than her medical training). She has always been drawn to the beauty of the city and its surroundings. “The people in this community have always been wonderful to me, and I want to be able to give back to them by practicing family medicine here.” says Taylor. Dr. Taylor has 2 young children who are heavily involved in community sports and school activities, and her husband works in the chemical refineries.
Dr. Taylor has been in communication with the Physician Recruitment Taskforce of Sarnia Lambton since medical school. “They have always kept their doors open for me and stepped up to the plate when I was ready to start working!” says Taylor. “Carly Cox was instrumental in facilitating the transition to take over for Dr. Schlebusch and I am so grateful for her help!”
Dr. Gert Schlebusch was one of the initial recruits of the Physician Recruitment Taskforce’s 14 years ago. “On behalf of the entire Taskforce board of directors, we wish to thank Dr. Schlebusch for his years of service in this community and we wish him all the best!” says Recruiter Carly Cox.
Dr. Cassandra Taylor marks the 33rd family physician recruited by the Taskforce.