Meet Kincardine’s new doctor recruiter

Section: 
News

By Kristen Shane

 

Peggy Zeppieri has a vested interest in attracting more doctors to Kincardine.

 

Kincardine’s new doctor recruitment co-ordinator doesn’t have a doctor herself.

 

She and thousands of other local residents are orphan patients.

 

“I think, like everyone else, I want a physician,” says Zeppieri.

 

Peggy Zeppieri

 

It’s part of the reason why she applied for the job in November, when her predecessor, Margo Eno, said she was leaving.

 

For a time after Zeppieri and her husband moved here in 2007 to take contract work at Bruce Power, Zeppieri trekked back and forth to see a Hamilton doctor near her former home in Ancaster.

 

“I thought, this is not right,” she says.

 

Seven doctors are currently working at the medical clinic, and another two are on maternity leave. Dr. Rejean Duwyn is set to join them in July, after he finishes his residency. Dr. Steven Poirier is also planning to settle into a Kincardine family practice after he is finished his medical training in the summer of 2012.

In the mean time, Zeppieri is determined to recruit at least one other doctor during her 12-month contract, which her employer, the Kincardine Physicians Group, is hoping to turn into a long-term contract.

 

The Municipality of Kincardine has contracted the doctors to recruit other health care professionals.

 

Dr. Lisa Roth, a member of the Physicians Group, says Zeppieri is well placed to do the job.

 

“Personality-wise, she seemed really quite enthusiastic and caring and personable,” says Roth.

 

Zeppieri’s past recruiting experience for dentists should also serve to help her reach her goal. She started off as an assistant and moved her way up to management. She’s also done teaching, marketing and sales. Her latest job in the dental industry was travelling across North America developing marketing strategies for her clients’ dental practices.

 

Then she changed careers and started on a Business Analyst certificate through McMaster University in Hamilton. It was that field that brought her to Bruce Power and Kincardine.

 

Like the need for doctors, Zeppieri can personally attest to Kincardine’s appeal.

 

“It’s easy to sell our community – we have a fantastic community and the support from the municipality and the doctors is fantastic,” says Zeppieri.

 

But, enticing a doctor to settle here is more complicated than just showing them the boardwalk and lighthouse. It’s about finding them a place to live, giving them the tools to search for a job for their spouse, perhaps, and the right school for their kids.

 

During Zeppieri’s transition period last month with Eno, an American doctor practising in Hawaii, Dr. John Engle, visited the municipality to get a feel for what it might be like to live and work here.

 

“We’re in the process of completing our due diligence with respect to that,” says Zeppieri. She expects to know within the next few weeks whether Engle will come to Kincardine or not.

 

In the mean time, Zeppieri is also busy preparing a recruiting plan on how the municipality’s dollars would be best spent. She expects to present it to the doctors, and then Kincardine council at the end of February or early March.

 

Zeppieri may also soon be communicating with a new recruiter to be funded by Bruce Power and shared between Kincardine and Saugeen Shores. The company committed in the fall to funnelling half a million dollars toward the project over the next two years.

 

Zeppieri says she isn’t concerned about the duplication of duties with a new recruiter.

 

“We need all the support that we can get, and if Bruce Power is willing to help with the recruitment process I think we have everything to gain and nothing to lose.”

 

She says the company may be able to use its resources to reach further.

 

“It will enable us to have more to draw on, more to follow up (on),” she says. “And hopefully, together, we can have an overabundance of doctors, which would be ideal.”