Bruce Power recruits Kincardine’s doctor recruiter

Section: 
News

By Kristen Shane

 

Bruce Power has hired Kincardine’s part-time physician recruiter, Peggy Zeppieri, to do the same job full time for both Kincardine and Saugeen Shores.

 

Murray Elston, Bruce Power’s vice-president of corporate affairs, announced Zeppieri’s new role in a news release last week.

 

Although she’s being paid by Bruce Power, Zeppieri will report to not only Elston, but also Kevin Carter, chair of the Saugeen Shores doctor recruitment committee, and John deRosenroll, Kincardine’s chief administrative officer. The three formed a working group after Bruce Power announced last fall that it would offer $500,000 over two years for a full-time doctor recruiter to serve both municipalities, in which most of the company’s employees live.

 

Kincardine council gave its support, in principle, to the idea. At the time, council members were worried Bruce Power’s ‘third way’ would replicate ongoing recruitment efforts in the two municipalities.

 

Bruce Power’s news release was careful to state that the new recruitment position is designed “to complement, not compete with, programs already underway in both communities.”

 

Although Zeppieri started with Bruce Power last Monday, she is still technically also working for the Kincardine Physicians Group. Kincardine’s doctors hired her on a year-long part-time contract in the winter, using $24,000 funded through the Municipality of Kincardine.

 

Zeppieri will keep working out of the Kincardine Community Medical Clinic, at least temporarily, said Elston. But she won’t be getting two pay cheques for doing the same job, said deRosenroll.

 

Peggy Zeppieri

 

Elston is set to come to Kincardine council within the next month to introduce Zeppieri as Bruce Power’s new recruiter, which should trigger a council discussion to potentially phase out the municipality’s need for a local recruiter (the municipality also pays a retainer to a recruitment company in the city that works by commission). Any unused money from the $24,000 budgeted to pay for a doctor recruiter’s salary this year may be left to offset next year’s budget, or used for something else; it’s council’s decision, said deRosenroll.

 

With the likely addition of two more doctors this summer, and return of a couple others so far this year, Kincardine is in pretty good shape. All patients without a family physician should be matched to one by the end of the summer, the physicians group predicts.

 

“Yet at the same time, we fully realize that the demographic indicates that over the next four years there will be a series of retirements,” said deRosenroll.

 

With Bruce Power’s greater resources and contacts, he said, “I honestly believe it’s going to bring more results to the whole area.”

 

At least one of Zeppieri’s predecessors has said that there was enough work for the part-time Kincardine recruiter to make it a full-time job.

 

Elston doesn’t see the job shuffle as a loss for Kincardine.

 

“I think she has an interest in two locations, but now it’s full time as opposed to part time,” he said. “I think there are some really good synergies that make her efforts better for both places.”

 

Zeppieri knows Kincardine pretty well, he said. One of her first tasks in her new job with Bruce Power is to meet key contacts in Saugeen Shores.

 

The municipality’s doctor recruitment committee, headed by Carter, is volunteer run. Zeppieri will take over roles such as attending job fairs and marketing the community, said Elston, but local volunteers will still be needed to host interested doctors. Ditto for Kincardine.

 

While Kincardine is focused on attracting family physicians, Saugeen Shores has an acute need for emergency room physicians. The Southampton hospital emergency room faced potential closure last summer because of a lack of doctors.

 

The two communities and Bruce Power are putting their faith in Zeppieri to ease the pressure. Although the working group interviewed other candidates, said Elston, Zeppieri won out because she had some creative ideas to use social media, for instance, to attract physicians.

 

“She’s obviously goal-oriented, has energy, and she’s got a creative side to her as well,” said Elston. Her Kincardine experience and high level of interest add to her appeal.

 

“So when you put all that together, we think it’s a good combination,” he said.