Falher, McLennan welcome family doctor

Dr. Lynn Hanekom with husband Roberto Mathys on the grounds of Sacred Heart Community Health Centre during their cite tour of the Smoky River region on March 5, 2020.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

The ongoing struggle to find family physicians to practice in the north is not as bad as it was last month.

A new family physician is now practising in McLennan and Falher, improving access to primary care for local residents.

Dr. Lynn Hanekom, who arrived last month, is providing care out of the Falher Medical Clinic and Sacred Heart Community Health Centre in McLennan.

Dr. Hanekom received her medical training at Stellenbosch University and medical residency at Kimberly Hospital, both in South Africa.

“The arrival of Dr. Hanekom is good news for the residents of McLennan and Falher area, who now have another family physician to help them meet their healthcare needs,” says Todd Loewen, MLA for Central Peace – Notley.

“I am committed to continue to work with the Government of Alberta to recruit more physicians for our communities in rural Alberta.”

Dr. Frank Akwa, Associate Zone Medical Director for McLennan and Falher in Alberta Health Services North Zone, says Dr. Hanekom will be a welcome addition to both communities.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Hanekom and her husband to McLennan. Family medicine physicians are an important part of a person’s healthcare team as they are often a patient’s first point of contact. She’s a great addition to our local care team and her skills are a valuable asset to residents,” he says.

Dr. Hanekom and her husband have two “fur babies”: Coco, a Boston terrier, and Roiboos, a Rhodesian ridgeback. Together, they enjoy early morning runs and afternoon walks.

Dr. Hanekom also enjoys reading, cooking and exploring the outdoors.

“We are looking forward to becoming involved in community projects,” says Dr. Hanekom.

“I am excited to assist improving the community’s health and wellness. I am passionate about what I do and love to help others,” she adds.

Having a new doctor could not have come at a more opportune time, says Myrna Lanctot, co-ordinator for Smoky River Region Physician Recruitment and Retention.

“It brings me great pleasure to welcome Dr. Lynn Hanekom and her husband to the Smoky River area,” she says.

“Dr. Hanekom opened her office in Falher, which allows the community to access her skills through clinical appointments. Dr. Hanekom’s work will also support our McLennan hospital on-call needs.”

AHS continues efforts to recruit for family physicians across northern Alberta to meet community needs.

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