The Creston Valley’s approach to attracting new physicians to the area has won recognition and accolades. And it’s now about to be featured in a provincial recruiting film being made to supplement efforts to address the doctor shortage.
A film crew visited Creston on Friday, shooting footage of Dr. Susan Hopkins, who chose Creston as her family’s new home last year. She was actively courted by what is now the Health Working Group and recruiter Marilin States. The program is jointly funded by the Town of Creston and Regional District of Central Kootenay areas B and C.
Health Match BC, the agency designated to fill health care vacancies around the province, is now creating a film to promote the benefits of working in B.C.
“The film is being produced to showcase B.C. to physicians practicing in the United Kingdom through the eyes and experiences of physicians who have located to our provinces,” States said. “Dr. Hopkins was one of three physicians chosen to appear in the film — the other two are males, one in a large urban community and another in a small rural community with no hospital.
“Health Match BC represents and showcases all of B.C. in both the national and international physician recruitment marketplace. Their level of service to the applicant and the Creston Valley health working group is outstanding.”
John Mabbott, executive director of Health Match BC, said on Tuesday that Creston was selected to be featured in the film for three reasons.
“First, Dr. Hopkins is a perfect subject, being British and having a family with her in Creston. Second, Marilin States was available to assist the film crew with the logistics and, third, and certainly not least, Creston is a gorgeous setting.”
Mabbott said the film will be available on the Health Match BC website and YouTube when complete.
“We are renewing our marketing materials and we try to show each rural area in B.C.,” he said. “A video like this helps put the icing on the cake when we are showing doctors in Canada and in other countries what we have to offer, both in the way of their practise and in lifestyle.”
Hopkins first connected with Health Match BC when she was considering a move to Canada. She graduated from University of Birmingham Medical School in England and practised in the United Kingdom until she and her husband started talking about relocating with their two children. They wanted more of an outdoor lifestyle, she told the Advance in an article written prior to her arrival in Creston last May.
Hopkins had visited several Kootenay communities on an earlier tour that included Creston. She had already heard from States, who wrote to extol the virtues of the Creston Valley, its culture and geography.
“While I was in Creston I was impressed by the sense of community that came from everyone I met,” she said in the Advance article. “Marilin was a great host and I had the chance to meet some of the physicians in town, who gave me the impression they worked hard but also had a good work-life balance and were enjoying raising their families in the valley. We think that the climate and spectacular surroundings will make for the perfect place for our family to grow up.”
Movie camera rolling, Hopkins ducked into the changing room and emerged in her bathing suit. She slipped into the busy pool and joined her children, a regular Friday routine for the family. They made several trips around the lazy river water feature, which was filled with yellow plastic ducks, as it is every Friday morning.
Earlier, she was filmed at Skimmerhorn Winery, where the agricultural aspects of the Creston Valley are in full and dramatic view, as are the Skimmerhorn mountains, which loom over Canyon to the east.
“The health working group is a good investment by the town and RDCK directors,” Mayor Ron Toyota commented. “It shows what we can do when we all work togeter.”