South Peace News
A Peace River doctor is one of several 2022 RHPAP Rhapsody Award recipients in Alberta.
Dr. Karen Lundgard was named Rhapsody Physician Award winner May 31. The award recognizes the contributions of rural physicians, especially those unsung heroes, who provide Alberta rural communities with outstanding patient care and make notable contributions to medical practice and to their communities.
In a news release issued by the Rural Health Professions Action Plan, Dr. Lundgard was cited for her amazing work for Peace River in terms of medicine, teachings, leadership, advocacy, health workforce attraction and retention, and community building.
“There is no part of health care in Peace River that she hasn’t touched,” wrote one committee member.
Dr. Lundgard has also provided an important voice for community physical, mental, and social health, especially women’s health. She has served as an educator, a mentor, an ambassador, a team player, an advocate, and a medical leader of the community and zone level, as well as on medical committees and boards too numerous to list.
Her involvement was integral to the building of the new Sunrise Medical Clinic and the Peace River Shell Rotary House, where visiting medical staff can stay close to the hospital.
Throughout her career, Dr. Lundgard has continually worked to help patients overcome barriers to accessing care and supported students and colleagues to continually learn, to teach, and to share their passion for rural medicine.
She encourages clinic staff to enjoy activities outside of work that allow them to be creative and to laugh. As a fabulous cook and avid hiker, her colleagues appreciate her willingness to share her recipes, trail maps and tales. Her love of travel is evident in her involvement with the women’s travel group that organizes excursions and helps build friendships among members of the community.
She has also volunteered for the Girl Guides, the Local Canadian Parents for French, the women’s choir, and she was a founding member of the Peace River Book Club which she has been a member of for 40 years.
Dr. Lundgard is “not just a pillar of the medical community, but of Peace River as a whole. She invests in people, not just knowledge. . .and that has always been what makes her special,” writes her nominator.
Dr. Lundgard has shared her warmth, humour, and passion, to help sew the social fabric of Peace River.
Dr. Lundgard will be celebrated at a recognition event in her hometown.