New general surgeon, family physician recruited to St. Paul

November 10, 2020

ST. PAUL – A new general surgeon and family medicine physician have been recruited to St. Paul through the efforts of Alberta Health Services (AHS), government and community partners.

The new general surgeon is expected to be practising in St. Paul in February, and will be moving here with family from Saskatchewan in the coming months. Recruitment for this position began last month after the town’s previous general surgeon announced a move to Cold Lake.

“It is very exciting that a new general surgeon is coming to work in St. Paul,” says Dr. Albert Harmse, Acting Zone Medical Director, North Zone. “We heard from the community, including from other local physicians, and their perspective and input on the need for recruitment to begin for a new general surgeon right away was instrumental to this work. We are pleased we’ve been able to make progress so quickly, and looking forward to welcoming a new surgeon to St. Paul.”

The new surgeon accepted the position on Nov. 6 and more information about the surgeon and the anticipated start date will be shared as it becomes available.

A new family medicine physician has also been recruited and is expected to be working in
St. Paul by April. This physician will be joining the community from overseas and AHS is currently working closely with the physician and the College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSA) to finalize details. AHS will update the community as more information becomes available.

“We appreciate the support of local physicians and community members,” says Greg Cummings, Chief Zone Officer for AHS North Zone. “By working together, we can ensure that our recruitment processes are transparent and co-operative. Recruiting a physician to a rural or remote location is a complex process and requires a collaborative approach.”

Recruitment has been ongoing for other physician vacancies in St. Paul, including two family medicine physicians with low-risk obstetric skills. All vacancies are posted online at

“I’m thrilled to see more doctors coming to our region,” says David B. Hanson, MLA for Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul. “St. Paul has had a challenging year and I know this will alleviate many concerns our community has faced. I look forward to continuing to work with the physicians in St. Paul to improve health delivery in our area.”

AHS continues to recruit for physicians across northern Alberta to meet community needs and has physician resource planners who are dedicated to identifying and pursuing international and domestic physician recruitment opportunities. They work closely with various community partners and organizations, such as local Health Advisory Councils, the Rural Health Professions Action Plan, and independent physician recruitment and retention committees.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.