|Large turnout for welcoming event|
|Local Content - Local News|
|Written by publisher|
|Tuesday, 11 January 2011 14:04|
A large crowd filled the Shaunavon Senior Hall to offer a warm welcome to the community’s two newest physicians, Dr. Siva Balasingam and Dr. Velupillai Balasingam.
In fact, the visiting numbers were so large that organizers were forced to put out some extra tables and chairs to accommodate the throng.
Dr. Siva and Dr. Bala were joined at the head table by their daughter Sangeetha, along with MLA Wayne Elhard, MP David Anderson and Grant Browne of the Cypress Health Region.
Shaunavon mayor Sharon Dickie, who is also the chair of the Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee, served as emcee for the occasion.
Also making brief presentations during the event were Jay Meyer, general manager of the Whitemud Economic Development Cooperative and a member of the Recruitment and Retention Committee, as well as Grant Browne the Cypress Health Region’s Medical Affairs Coordinator.
All three speakers welcomed the doctors to the community, while also thanking the many groups and organizations that were involved in the recruitment effort.
“I can honestly say that we are very fortunate to have two highly qualified family physicians join us here in Shaunavon,” said Brown, who is the health region’s Medical Affairs Coordinator. “The Balasingams will not only be filling the void left by the departing physicians, but because of their skills, they will most certainly add to the health services here.”
“Dr. Siva has extensive training in pediatrics, which will help local families cut down on travel to larger centres for help,” he added. “Dr. Bala worked in a large trauma unit in London and has a great background in emergency medicine. And, above all, both are dedicated, caring family physicians.”
Dr. Siva moved with Sangeetha to Shaunavon from London, England earlier this year. She is currently practicing at the Avon Medical Clinic.
Dr. Bala, Dr. Siva’s husband and business partner, arrived in Shaunavon at the end of December. He had stayed behind in England, where the couple had operated a medical practice, to clear up family business before moving to Canada. He is expected to join the local Avon clinic later this year.
Dr. Bala will be part of the first group of physicians to go through the new Saskatchewan assessment process. He was set to head to Saskatoon this past weekend and will start with a three-week orientation in Saskatoon. Once he has successfully completed that process, he will be assigned to a community in another region for clinical assessment that will run until March 25th, although there is a possibility his assessment could end before that date.
Several presentations were made to the two new physicians during Thursday’s informal ceremony, including I Love Shaunavon hockey jerseys to the newcomers.
Visitors were treated to refreshments and treats and had an opportunity to speak on a personal level with the doctors at the conclusion of the event.