Letters to the Editor

Nelson walk-in clinic saved, but help needed

The Kootenay Lake Medical Clinic will have new owners as of April 1. - Bob Hall photo
The Kootenay Lake Medical Clinic will have new owners as of April 1.
— image credit: Bob Hall photo

An open letter to the people of Nelson and area, and your friends and family who know and love this amazing place. And in response to Louise M. Cheshire’s and Joan Reichardt’s recent letters to the editor in the Star, thank you both for your clear messages about the importance of keeping the Kootenay Lake walk-in Clinic open.

Good news! The Kootenay Lake Medical Clinic will stay open in its current location, under new ownership. As the new owners — Peggy Aitken (clinic manager) and husband Paul Lamoureux (recruiting and marketing) — we are hoping for continued community support in keeping this very vital service open for a long time! Established in 1998 by Dr. Dale and his wife Diana Haschke, this clinic provides an invaluable service not just to Nelson, but the entire West Kootenay. The Kootenay Lake Medical Clinic is currently the only medical practice that sees patients seven days a week without appointments. It is the only true walk-in clinic in all of the West and East Kootenays.

The clinic is a unique mixture of dedicated family practice and urgent care medicine. There are many patients that the clinic has been following for nearly 14 years continuously and who consider the clinic’s physicians as their primary caregiver.

The current owners have done an amazing job in challenging times, keeping the clinic staffed with (as Ms. Cheshire points out in her February 29 letter) “very friendly receptionists, unrushed, caring and concerned medical staff” all in a “pleasant atmosphere [and] great location.”

We will become the new owners officially on April 1 and it is critical, in terms of keeping the clinic open seven days a week, to find doctors who want to work and live in Nelson. Our first priority will be to continue with the incredible job Dr. Dale and Diana have done recruiting doctors. This will be an ongoing task that we are asking you, our friends and family, and the community to help us with.

Word of mouth is an amazing thing!

If you have a family member, a friend, a co-worker that is a doctor, or is acquainted with a doctor who might be interested in relocating to Nelson, please put them in touch with us ASAP. We have two guaranteed full time positions (35 hours per week) available immediately. A physician with a BC or other Canadian provincial license would be the best immediate hire, but we are working towards being able to hire international medical doctors again in the very near future. You can call 250-352-6442 or email sweetwater@netidea.com with any leads.

We are also looking for any locums or other doctors (e.g. ER, semi-retired) already working in the Kootenays who may want to put in a Saturday or Sunday at the clinic (so they can ski/play mid week).

Peggy Aitken and Paul Lamoureux, Nelson

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