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Northern Physician Resources Task Force (NPRTF)

On January 24, 2018, in response to an urgent need for action, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency and the Northeast and Northwest Local Health Integration Networks joined forces to host Summit North: Building a Flourishing Physician Workforce.

Summit North was held in Thunder Bay and brought together over 125 stakeholders from across Northern Ontario including municipalities, Indigenous and Francophone communities, Health Service Providers (hospitals, family health teams), physicians, educators, administrators, policymakers, and others. Participants spent the day identifying and gathering innovative ideas and strategies that could be considered to help solve ongoing challenges with physician recruitment and retention in the North.

Despite the efforts of many, there are Northern communities that continue to struggle with physician recruitment and retention. Summit North focused on family physicians in rural and remote communities and resulted in a compilation of short and long-term actions to help build a flourishing physician workforce that meets the needs of the people of Northern Ontario today, and into the future.

Following Summit North, a decision was made to create a multi-stakeholder Task Force to ensure that a summary report is finalized and that those actions from the Summit are realized and momentum is sustained across Northern Ontario. It was also recognized that it is critical to align our efforts with those of previous related initiatives. To help support the next stage of work, the Task Force is currently undertaking work to map out strategic initiatives derived from proposed ideas from the Summit to ultimately create a “made in the North” Action Plan.

The Task Force will oversee the work of the consultant and will review the material generated at the Summit to help formulate an action plan that is achievable and impactful in helping transform physician recruitment and retention effectiveness in those areas of the North that continue to struggle.

Building health workforce capacity in the North and introducing innovative models of care will lead to more equitable access to care for patients and greater health equity for rural, remote, Francophone and Indigenous communities. Your participation on this exciting journey will be most appreciated.

For more information about the task force, please e-mail Mélanie Gagné at



Dr. Sarah Newbery
Co-VP, Clinical Services
North West Local Health Integration Network
Dr. Paul Preston
VP, Clinical Services
North East Local Health Integration Network