From its inception in 1992, the Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan (RPAP) has served a critical role through its support of rural Alberta community health care attraction and retention, and education initiatives for rural health care professionals.
The Alberta Rural Physician Award of Distinction was launched in 2002 as part of a larger strategy aimed at keeping physicians in rural Alberta communities. The award recognizes rural physicians who provide Alberta's rural communities with outstanding medical services, and who also make significant contributions to their communities.
What does it take to be a Rural Physician of Distinction?
The 2008 recipient of the RPAP Rural Physician Award of Distinction believed there was more to life than making money and lived the mantra, channeling his beliefs into three decades of service to rural Albertans.
Dr. Hess Boschma of Wabamun made a quiet commitment to First Nations communities and those in need, and overcame personal adversity to do so.
“He’s a person who’s not afraid to speak his mind, and his leadership is not words but actual action,” said Grace Moe, CAO of the West View Primary Care Network in 2008. “We call him our gentle healer.”
On 13 June 2008 the Jubilee Hall in Wabamun was filled with well-wishers who helped Dr. Hess Boschma of Wabamun celebrate his selection as the recipient of the 2008 Alberta Rural Physician Award of Distinction. In a celebration co-sponsored by the RPAP, WestView Primary Care Network, Westview Physician Collaborative and the Wabamun community, RPAP Board Chair, Dr. Clayne Steed, presented the award to Dr. Boschma.
Sadly, less than a year after the celebration, Dr. Boschma passed away suddenly on 17 February 2009 at the age of 58 years.
Click here to view the entire RPAP Rural Physician Award of Distinction playlist and other great videos on our YouTube channel.