October 4, 2017 • Written in Community Support Practicing Physicians Allied Health 0 Comments

• Written by Bobby Jones

From the centre of Grande Cache, you can see 21 mountain peaks.  If you love living right in the mountains, this may be the place for you.

With a population of about 3,600, Grande Cache lies approximately halfway between Hinton, an hour and a half drive to the south, and Grande Prairie, two hours to the north.

It's best known for hosting the Canadian Death Race. Held each year in August, it's a challenging 125 km. trek up and down mountains that draws competitors from all over the world.

Split Rock

One of the town's physicians, Dr. John Gillett, has competed numerous times as part of a team, and even once as a soloist.

The area is blessed with jaw dropping landscapes.  Sulpher Gates at the confluence of the Sulphur and Smoky Rivers is one example.

Sulphur Gates

"Grande Cache is as beautiful as it gets.  To me its more beautiful than Jasper, more beautiful than Banff," says Dr. John Gillett, a physician in Grande Cache and a director with RhPAP. 

Grande Cache's new recreational centre boasts a large pool area, an NHL sized area, a curling rink and a fitness centre.

Grande Cache Recreation Centre

Grande Cache Aquatics Centre

For many healthcare professionals, living and practicing here is very rewarding.

Registered Nurse Melanie McKale loves it here. "I grew up hunting with my dad and my mom.  Fishing and what not in the mountains and I couldn't imagine being anywhere else."

L to R: Melanie McKale, RN, Dr. Louise Viviers Fourie, Lab Assistant, Dr. Esther Barnard

"Our little health care team is like family.  We are personally invested in each other." says Dr. Louise Viviers Fourie, a physician at the Grande Cache Medical Centre and the Grande Cache Community Health Complex.

"We try and give positive feedback, and we try and expose the team, as much as we can if we have a good case.  We try to make sure everbody learns from it," says physician Dr. Esther Barnard.

"We all work together for the good of the patient and we have fun, " adds Dr. John Gillett, a physician in Grande Cache and a director with RhPAP.

Dr. Viviers Fourie sees a young patient in emergency at the Grande Cache Community Health Complex

"If you are looking to practise in a community where people care for each other genuinely, where you would be expected to be part of a family that provides essential needs for this community, then you should come here," says Dr. Viviers Fourie.


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