News release

Supporting Community Efforts to Recruit and Retain Doctors in the Annapolis Valley

No one knows communities better than the people who live and work in them. That is why government is supporting two community-led projects in the Annapolis Valley designed to support doctor recruitment and retention.

“We know when community leaders and volunteers get involved in recruiting new doctors and their families to their communities and supporting them as they settle in, there are positive results,” said Kings South MLA Keith Irving on behalf of Leo Glavine, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “In Kings County, we are taking a partnership approach -- pooling government resources and drawing on expertise in our communities with the ultimate goal of attracting and retaining more doctors.”

The Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville hosts up to 10 medical residents at a time who spend the first two years of their career in the region. The Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce is kicking off a new project that will connect medical residents with volunteers in the community to provide one-on-one support to encourage doctors to stay once their residency is complete. The organization will also gather information to help the community better understand local issues and opportunities related to doctor recruitment and retention. Government will provide $20,000 toward this project.

The Town of Middleton will use a $10,000 grant to continue its work to build a community of support for doctors and their families. This project includes conducting focus groups and interviews with doctors and families who have moved to the area in the last five years and building programs that draw from best-practices in other communities. Representatives from the counties of Annapolis and Kings, villages of Kingston and Greenwood, and the Soldiers Memorial Hospital Foundation will be invited to sit on the steering committee for this project. Quotes:

As an organization that has supported and celebrated the Annapolis Valley business community for many years, we see this work to create a more welcoming community for doctors and their families as a natural fit. We recognize the work of government and the health authority in recruiting and retaining doctors, and believe community-level engagement is a critical component to ensure continued access to essential health care for all citizens. Mark Vardy, vice president, Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce

We are very appreciative of this assistance as we work with our neighbouring communities towards building a welcoming and supportive place for both new and existing physicians and their families. Our focus is to retain physicians who are completing a residency, a short-term contract or new assignment in the area. With the upcoming completion of the new Primary Health Care Centre in Middleton, this is the perfect compliment to support new and existing health care practitioners in our community. Sylvester Atkinson, mayor of Middleton

Quick Facts:

  • municipalities, museums, libraries, social enterprises, First Nations, communities and community groups and cultural organizations that are registered Nova Scotia not-for-profits may apply
  • funding is available through the program to a maximum of $25,000
  • $200,000 is available each year in the Healthy Communities Stream
  • the next round of applications for the program opens April 1
  • so far this year, government has supported projects in Chester, Port Hawkesbury, Canso, Guysborough and Cumberland County

Additional Resources:

For more information, visit: https://novascotia.ca/culture-innovation-fund-healthy-communities/ Nova Scotia’s Culture Action Plan: https://novascotia.ca/culture

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Media Contact:

Sarah Levy MacLeod
902-478-3229 Email: