Atikokan General Hospital provides high quality health care that
promotes wellness and safety and appropriate health services.
Board of Directors for Foundation 2015 – 2016
The Atikokan General Hospital Foundation was formed on January 1, 2004 as an independent charitable corporation with its own Board of Directors.
Back Row: L to R: Kim Cross – Foundation Executive Director, Cheryl Fairbairn – Foundation Chair, Joan McIntosh, Pat Halwachs Front Row: L to R: Donna Doucette, Shirley Rasinaho Missing from photo: Linda Lindsay
ATIKOKAN GENERAL HOSPITAL
Meet The Doctors
Dr. Sara Van Der Loo
Dr. Sara Van Der Loo worked in Atikokan since 2005.She grew up in London Ontario and completed a BSc In Biology at Western. She attended medical school in Ottawa and completed Residency in Rural Family Medicine in Thunder Bay and many parts of Northwestern Ontario.
The challenges of full scope family practice and a love of the wilderness and the outdoors are what drew her to Northwestern Ontario and Rural Medicine. She and her husband chose Atikokan as a place to raise their young family because of the strong sense of community they feel exists here, and the proximity to Quetico Provincial Park and beautiful wilderness. The collegial nature of the group practice and the supportive environment with other physicians always willing to help out were also deciding factors.
Dr. Van Der Loo’s hobbies include hiking, snowshoeing, camping, and generally playing in the outdoors with her family. Work life balance is important especially in a career such as medicine. In choosing where to settle, Dr. Van Der Loo was looking for a place not only to work, but where she and her family could live for a lifetime and feels that in Atikokan they have found that.
Dr. Joanne Spencer
The Atikokan General Hospital is pleased to announce Dr. Joanne Spencer as Chief of Staff since January 1, 2014 and has had her Atikokan practice for over 2o years . With this background she will certainly be an asset to the hospital and Board of Directors over the next year of her term.She grew up in Southern Ontario and attended her hometown university, McMaster, for her degrees in Engineering and Medicine. She came to Northwestern Ontario for locums for her first job after internship.
She was drawn to the area by childhood family holidays to Northern Ontario. Friends were close by too, as a number of medical school classmates were residents of the charter class of the Northern Ontario Medical Program for family medicine residents.There is no shortage of broader professional opportunities here [in Atikokan]. All the physicians are involved in training others, through the Thunder Bay-based family residency program and the new med school. And other growth opportunities are not hard to find.“Whenever I’ve been ready for a different challenge, it was there,” said Dr. Spencer, who became Chief of Staff at AGH in 2006.
While the opportunity to use all of their training can be an exciting challenge, it can also be daunting. That’ s where the collegiality of the practice here is a big factor. “It can be scary to think you’re working in a remote community,” said Dr. Spencer, “But we are aware, we have confidence, that if there is a serious emergency, there is help on the horizon.”In fact, that collegiality led directly to her decision to settle in Atikokan. She first came to serve a pair of extended locums, which then grew to include covering a maternity leave. After almost a year, she felt she had become part of the team, and “it was hard to leave.”
Within a year, Dr. Spencer was back as a full member of Atikokan Medical Associates.“We rely on each other – and all of the members of the health care team,” said Dr. Spencer. “Without every member of the team, the patient won’t get the care needed.”If you want to be involved in things, people are very welcoming,” said Dr. Spencer. “Events like the 100th Birthday, the adventure race, the Outers 40th, bring the community together, and really make it apparent how strong that sense of community is here.”