ANTIGONISH: Antigonish town and county councils, as well as the St. Martha’s Regional Hospital Foundation board of directors, have all passed motions to enter into an inter-municipal agreement to create a new Community Navigator position.

This position will help showcase what Antigonish and surrounding areas have to offer and help encourage the integration and retention of physicians to the area.

“Antigonish is very fortunate to have a regional hospital here in the heart of our community,” said Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher. “This partnership between the town, county and the hospital foundation is vital to protect the long-term sustainability of not only our hospital, but the health and well-being of our community. Town council is in full support of this investment to create the navigator position. This position will serve as a local expert who will assist Nova Scotia Health in all stages of the hiring process by showcasing the best attributes of our community.”

This role will support Nova Scotia Health’s current recruitment effort and will be a local expert to provide a clear and direct connection between physicians, the community, and its resources.

This could mean helping new physicians and their families find a home, introducing them to school administration, helping to introduce them to activities in the community, and supporting site visits for those looking to learn more about the hospital, and community.

“Our council is very pleased to partner with the town and the foundation to create this position,” said Antigonish Warden Owen McCarron. “We are committed to ensuring that St. Martha’s Regional Hospital is well staffed with physicians and has a bright future.”

“We look forward to working with local businesses, organizations and Nova Scotia Health to support the navigator in their new position,” said Wayne Ezekiel, St. Martha’s Regional Hospital Foundation Chair. “We see a lot of value in this position and recognize the importance of recruiting and retaining physicians to our community, and our hospital.”

According to a press release issued by the partners, they are all very excited about the potential of this position and the benefit it will bring to the hospital and community since the area has so much to offer to individuals and families looking for a new place to call home, including a wonderful hospital with a talented health care team ready to bring new people on board. The partners said this position will help capture the community’s second-to-none-hospitality, and helping physicians and their families thrive in the community long-term.

The partners will undertake a competitive hiring process for this position. Over the next few weeks, a process will be put into place in order to move forward with posting a job description and hiring a candidate. The goal is to have the position in place by the end of the fall.