Author Archives: doctors

OUR DOCS GOLF Charity Classic August 12, 2016

OUR DOCS GOLF Charity Classic


FRIDAY AUGUST 12th, 2016


Held at beautiful…

NEW All-inclusive Price



includes FUN PACK, Chinese Auction and all on-course events


  • four person scramble format
  • 18 holes of golf with power cart
  • lunch & gourmet dinner
  • includes a tax receipt
  • 18 hole golf pass for Midland Golf and Country Club
  • Live Auction – Chinese Auction


12:00 noon – 12:45 pm



To register contact:    Teresa Grattan, 705-543-9949
To sponsor contact:   David Gravelle, Physician Recruiter

Please make cheques payable to:   Huronia Community Foundation – SGBPR Golf Tournament

Our Docs Teach – NOSM Clerkship Program


It may be cliché to use the Toronto Raptors slogan #WeTheNorth, but in the eyes of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, we are considered a northern community. The Midland/Penetanguishene area became a NOSM community in 2014 and will now be accepting our fifth and sixth third-year medical students for their Comprehensive Community Clerkship starting in late August. These students – Geoffrey Leblond and Athena Young will experience all our medical community has to offer during their almost nine month long rotations. Various preceptors (physician teachers) will be involved in their training in family medicine, at Georgian Bay General Hospital, and at the Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care. As well, other professionals in the community from physiotherapists to massage therapists, dentists to optometrists will also be involved in their training. Please welcome Geoffrey and Athena when they arrive.


I was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where the majority of my family and friends live.

I completed my Honours Bachelor of Medical Sciences at Western University prior to starting at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM). My degree focused largely on the genetics and cell biology of developmental diseases and cancers.

Besides academia, in my spare time I enjoy dancing, running and being outdoors. I also really love to spend my time coaching and teaching kids. I currently coach two local cheerleading teams and teach dance classes in Thunder Bay.


Midland has been regarded quite highly amongst NOSM students for providing great learning opportunities in terms of ER exposure and hands on surgical experience. I am looking forward to developing my acute care skills, as well as learning and improving upon my surgical knowledge and skills.

Midland has also been noted to be outstanding in teaching psychiatric care, an area of medicine in which I have a keen interest. I am so happy to be in Midland/Penetanguishene for my clerkship because of its beautiful location on Georgian Bay and all of the outdoor activities there are to do! I am really looking forward to my clerkship and can’t wait to get started.


I was born in Ottawa but grew up mostly in the North Bay and Sudbury areas.

I returned to Ottawa for school and work before coming to the Northern Ontario School of Medicine at Laurentian University. I am an avid baker and cook. Other hobbies include music and sports.

I have a BSc and MSc in biochemistry from the University of Ottawa. Following my degrees, I worked in research for a couple of years. In my second life I returned to the University of Ottawa to complete a bachelor in arts with a minor in music. While at school I worked as a crisis worker on the lines of the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region.

My current specialty interests are Emergency Medicine and Psychiatry. I am also involved with LGBT Health advocacy and hope to work with this population throughout my career.

I chose to come to Midland/Penetanguishene primarily because of my interest in psychiatry,and hope to get exposure in this area through the Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care. I was also looking for a smaller centre, as opposed to cities like Timmins or North Bay.The relative proximity to Sudbury,Toronto, and the ski hills were also an added bonus. I hope to take up curling and skiing while in Midland!

Our Docs Teach – University of Toronto Rural Residents


Each year the Midland/Penetanguishene community and Georgian Bay General Hospital host two University of Toronto Rural Residents for their final year of family medicine training. As resident physicians, they are an extra set of hands in the medical clinic or the hospital, and are a valuable asset to our medical community, even though they are still learning. The University of Toronto Rural Family Medicine Residency program has been a very successful pipeline for physician recruitment. Please make our newest medical residents Joseph Gabriel and Marissa Tsoi feel welcome.

I’m originally from Cobourg, Ontario, a small town about the size of Midland. I went to Queen’s University for my undergrad and medical school, and in between I did a Master’s degree studying obstructive sleep apnea at the University of Toronto.

While at Queen’s, I was assigned to do my family medicine rotation in Midland in 2014 and loved it. Before coming to Midland, I had no idea I wanted to do family medicine and thought I would go into Anesthesia.

When I got to see all the great things family medicine-trained doctors do in Midland – deliver babies, assist in surgery, run the Emergency Department and so much more, it dawned on me that this is what I wanted to do. This, of course, was further strengthened by being around a really great inter-professional health-care team at GBGH, composed of so many people who were professional, effective and overall just really nice people to work with.

Joseph Gabriel

I applied to the Rural Family Medicine Residency Program at U of T, which would allow me to train at GBGH and in the community, and here I am!

I’m looking forward to getting to know as many people as I can and to serving the people of Midland/Penetanguishene and the surrounding area.

Marissa Tsoi

I grew up in Unionville and spent all of my summers outdoors. My favourite activities were fishing, camping, golf, and canoeing with the family. We often drove all over Simcoe County, so it is near and dear to me.

I went to medical school at the University of Alberta for four lovely years,where I got intereste in rural family medicine as I loved the generalist nature of it, and the longitudinal care I could provide.

When it came time to choose a residency, I really liked the layout of U of T’s rural family medicine program, where I could spend 1st year at North York General Hospital (where I was born) then the second year in Midland – the perfect size of community for the practice I envision having in my career.

This year I have served as a board member on a national working group for Rural and Distributed Medical Education as part of Resident Doctors of Canada,and I also represent the University of Toronto at the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada.

As for personal interests, I cannot wait to cycle, curl, and cross country ski in the area. Local tips are welcome! I am excited to meet all my colleagues, friends,and neighbours in the community and thank you so much for welcoming us residents!

Our Docs Teach – Proud of Waypoint Team

Dr. Plant Proud of Waypoint Team

By Laurene Hilderley

Dr. Sandi Plant

Dr. Sandi Plant’s medical career has taken a few twists and turns, and Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care is fortunate the last one helped her find her way here.

“Years ago I worked in dentistry. I enjoyed the work, however something was missing; interaction with patients,” notes Dr. Plant,who started working at Waypoint in January 2013.“It is really difficult for people to communicate with a mouthful of hands and other paraphernalia. This led me to pursue another career, this time in medicine.”

Dr. Plant attended medical school at McMaster University in Hamilton.While running a large hospital and community practice in Brantford, Dr. Plant established a niche working with individuals with developmental disorder and a psychiatric disorder (the dually diagnosed). Many of these individuals lived in group homes and she provided all of their medical and psychiatric care. Spending more and more time on mental health and seeing average wait times to see a psychiatrist as high as six months, helped lead Dr. Plant to change her focus to psychiatry and find her way to Waypoint.

Since arriving at Waypoint she has worked in Outpatient Services, the HERO Centre and the Bayview Program for Dual Diagnosis. She is also currently President of the Medical Staff. Dr. Plant describes the clients she works with as wonderful and appreciative for the supports they receive, and compliments the staff as very skilled and caring individuals.

“There is a strong sense of team work and the Waypoint motto “Advancing understanding, Improving lives” really rings true in both the outpatient and inpatient settings. I truly love working here and have a sense that I am making a difference, in concert with my many talented colleagues and the multidisciplinary teams. I am very proud to be a part of this organization.”

Dr. Plant was impressed by the various supports offered to clients in both the inpatient and outpatient services.There is also a sense that everyone involved in the hospital truly cares about the clients, which combined with extensive programs and supports, offers the best experience for patients and clients.

Waypoint wasn’t the only reason Dr. Plant decided to continue her career in the Midland and Penetanguishene area. As a young person she spent summers at a friend’s cottage on Christian
Island and feels Georgian Bay offers the best summer experience. She loved the serenity of the area and while the winters can be cold, they are also beautiful. “First Light at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons at the end of November is stunning.The beaches are beautiful in the summer and a leisurely jaunt on the Miss Midland is not to be missed,” she says.

While many people call the north Simcoe County area home for the weekends, Dr. Plant calls it home throughout the week. Her husband’s work keeps him about three hours southwest of here and that is where the two have their family home. What keeps her coming here? “The drive north and the time away are worth it due to the enjoyment and satisfaction I get from my work with Waypoint.”

Download Dr. Plant proud of Waypoint team here

Our Docs Teach – Physician Appreciation Week

Our Docs Teach! Physician Appreciation Week

Dr. Emily Queenan is proof that the so-called “brain drain” of talent can flow north,much like the Niagara River.

Queenan was born in Philadelphia and received her medical training at the University of Pennsylvania, which is also located in the City of Brotherly Love.

After graduation, she found herself practicing in Rochester, N.Y. for 11 years. But, something was not right.

“I was burnt-out fighting with insurance companies and particularly the injustice of the American health care system,” she said. “I wanted to give it a try in a country that valued health care as a human right rather than a commodity to be bought and sold.”

So Queenan and her husband Rick looked north,particularly focusing on Ontario because of its closeness to western NewYork and its relatively quick access to their families.Then she was drawn to the Southern Georgian Bay area.

“Life on the water was a huge draw,” she said.“Because of the quality of life that we saw and other physicians having here, it seemed like a good place to settle down.”

Queenan practices family medicine at The Village Clinic at Georgian Village in Penetanguishene, and is also absorbing the patients of Dr. Rob Stubbins as he eases into retirement.

“I’ve always practiced in an urban area,so learning what it’s like to practice in a rural community, with different resources, has been interesting,” she said. “My roles and responsibilities are different than they were in Rochester.”

Queenan said she has come across struggles since moving north, particularly in regard to accessing mental health care and some specialists. And, she is concerned about any potential changes at Georgian Bay General Hospital. But overall the experience has been a positive one, according to Queenan.

“My physician colleagues have been wonderful,”she said.“And the Family Health Team is a wonderful resource that is unique to my experience.”

Queenan is the mother of three boys, Riley,Aidyn and Rowen.

She says her sons have adapted well to the change in their life and are thriving at Burkevale Protestant Separate School in Penetanguishene.

Queenan’s husband Rick is a trained illustrator, hopes to find some work in his area but is currently a stay-at-home dad, and is sifting through the red tape associated with immigration status.

“I’m too early in my practice here to guess how everything will turn out,”she said.“But I’m certainly in love with the area and I anticipate building a fulfilling career here.”

 Download Our Docs Teach – Dr. Emily Queenan here

Dr. Emily Queenan

Our Docs Teach – How Lucky Can I Be?

Our Docs Teach! Physician Appreciation Week

How Lucky Can I Be?
By Ian Burns

Dr. Sarah O’Connell has lived a bit of a nomadic existence. But now she says the Southern Georgian Bay area feels more like home than anywhere she has ever lived.

Sarah and Eamonn

O’Connell began practicing family medicine full-time at Penetanguishene’s Baysisde Medical Centre, after taking over the practice of Dr. Louis Nel as of April 1.

But she has been in North Simcoe for a bit longer than that, providing maternity leave coverage for Bayside’s Dr.Wendy Davie last summer and fall.

O’Connell was born in Canada, but spent much of her early life abroad,moving to England at age five and Northern Ireland when she was ten.

“My parents were entertainers,” she said.“Then they got divorced and my mother married a man from Northern Ireland so we moved there.”

But she eventually returned to Canada, and completed her undergraduate education at Dalhousie University in Halifax and her medical degree at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

After moving to Kingston,ON to complete her family medicine training at Queen’s University she met her husband,Eamonn O’Connell.

“The joke was if he wanted me to stay in Ontario he had to get me near water in a small town,” she said.

O’Connell and her husband-to-be came to Midland/Penetanguishene in February 2015, on what she calls “a whim” through HealthForceOntario.

“I told them what I was looking for and they said the Midland area would be a perfect fit,” she said.“We booked a trip to come up here and the rest is history.”

O’Connell said both she and Eamonn, who she married on Valentine’s Day this year, have really felt welcomed in their new community.

“Everyone here is so friendly and you have everything you need close by,” she said. “Plus it felt like instant family here at Bayside.”

O’Connell was happy to assume Dr. Nel’s patients when he asked her to take over his practice, saying it means his patients won’t be orphaned.

“I was thinking of setting up my own practice but this was much easier,” she said.“It’s always ideal when you can take over from someone.”

Her husband, Eamonn, is a filmmaker who has also started to plant roots here. O’Connell said much of his work can be done from home, which is a four-season cottage on the water in Penetanguishene that the couple has been working on.

“I pinch myself every day,” she said.“Is this my life? How lucky can I be?”

 Download How Lucky Can I be? here

Our Docs Teach – Big City to Small Town


Although some physicians come to North Simcoe as strangers to the area,Ashley McCann was well acquainted with our sights and sounds when she decided to set up her practice here.

Her husband Tim Latour is a Midland native, so she had been up here many times. “His family’s here which is great,” she said.“ Plus I grew up on the water so it’s nice to be near thE bay.”

McCann grew up in Kingston, receiving her medical degree from the University of Western Ontario before completing her family medicine residency in Belleville. She then practiced medicine for three years in Whitby.

“We liked Whitby because it was halfway between Kingston and Midland so we could see our families,” she said.“But now it’s less commuting because we live near one family.”

McCann assumed the practice of Dr. Rick Coutts at the Huronia Medical Centre as of June 1, although she spent two weeks working with Dr. Coutts and his colleagues in January to see what the practice was like.

Big City to Small Town DR.ASHLEY McCANN By Ian Burns

Big City to Small Town
By Ian Burns

McCann said there’s a different way of practicing medicine in a small town rather than in a city like Whitby.

“In the city you basically work in a clinic and don’t have as much variety as you do in a small town,” she said.“I get to work in the hospital, which wouldn’t occur in a big city.”

McCann is so new to her practice it’s hard for her to comment on how it’s worked so far.“It’ll take time – it takes six to eight months until you’ve established a relationship with everybody,” she said.“I’m in a transitional time now, but eventually I’ll build that more personal connection.”

Although McCann and Latour married in February, they only just returned from their honeymoon.

“We wanted to set it up so it would be between me finishing in Whitby and starting in Midland,” she said.

And McCann’s looking forward to building relationships with her patients.

“Up here you get to make that personal connection more,” she said.“In a big city you don’t get to see your patients on the street.”

Download this article here 

Our Docs Teach! Physician Appreciation Week

Our Docs Teach! Physician Appreciation Week

David-GravelleEach year around this time we stage Physician Appreciation Week activities to celebrate the work of our primary care providers, specialists in our general hospital, and psychiatrists at Waypoint. It’s an opportunity to say thank you, but also a chance to profile some of the work they do.

The family physicians profiled in these pages are new to our area. They’ve stepped in to replace retiring or relocating doctors as part of our succession planning efforts. Over the years I’ve learned there are many facets to physician recruitment. Having a strong pipeline of talented candidates to replace departing physicians is critical so we don’t create unnecessary angst amongst patients who could end up orphaned.

This year, the OUR DOCS ROCK supplement in The Mirror is being re-titled OUR DOCS TEACH to reflect the fantastic work our physicians do as preceptors to medical students, clerks and residents.

Five years ago, our family physician recruitment program implemented a new strategy to attract new young physicians to our community.

Thanks to a major contribution by the Rotary Club of Midland, we launched the “Rotary Recruitment Through Education” effort. The cornerstone of this partnership with our medical schools, hospitals, clinics, and the Rural Ontario Medicine Program has been and continues to be our local physicians.

We have now re-branded our efforts to OUR DOCS TEACH. You will see these words in social media with the twitter hashtag #ourdocsteach, and you will see it on many of our promotional items we use to market our community to physician candidates.

Last week, our community hosted the 11th annual Rural Medicine Week. Eleven first-year medical students from Queen’s University, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), and the University of Ottawa spent a week living and learning in our family medicine clinics and hospitals. They are the initial members of our long-term physician supply pipeline. Three years ago, we partnered with NOSM to stage the Comprehensive Community Clerkship for third-year medical students. This is part of our mid-range plan. Each July, two rural family medicine residents from the University of Toronto spend their final year of training in Midland/Penetanguishene. This rotation has proven extremely successful as we’ve retained an overwhelming number of these trainees. We also have numerous elective rotations throughout the year in family medicine, emergency medicine, hospitalist, surgery and psychiatry, among others.

All of these learning opportunities have positioned the Midland/Penetanguishene area to become one of the premier rural academic training sites in the province. Interactions with medical students and residents take time, patience, and a skill to impart knowledge in positive manner. Our physicians, whether they are family doctors in clinics or specialists, have embraced this focused strategy, and it’s paying dividends.

I am also extremely thankful to the volunteers and community stakeholders for their support and engagement in physician recruitment. A few volunteers have moved on to support other causes, so a big THANK YOU to Sandra Boucher, Jane Barnett, Judy Galloway, Mary Sallinen and Glenn and Judy Howard.

Glenn and his family will be continuing the legacy of Wayne and Sherry Middaugh’s Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament supporting Georgian Bay General Hospital.

Meanwhile the OUR DOCS GOLF Charity Classic in support of Family Physician Recruitment will be continuing on and will be held at the Midland Golf and Country Club on Friday, August 12. Once again, the presenting sponsor is Scotiabank.

If you would like to participate as a player contact Teresa Grattan at or to sponsor contact me at or 705-526-1300 X 5466.

Download this Introduction to Physician Appreciation week here

OUR DOCS TEACH Recruitment Strategy

OUR DOCS TEACH Recruitment Strategy

We have now re-branded our recruitment efforts to OUR DOCS TEACH. You will see these words in social media with the twitter hashtag #ourdocsteach, and you will see it on many of our promotional items we use to market our community to physician candidates. Thanks to a major contribution by the Rotary Club of Midland, we launched the “Rotary Recruitment Through Education” effort five years ago.  With this support we have partnered with the Rural Ontario Medical Program (ROMP), the University of Toronto and Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) to bring learners to our community.

Each July, two rural family medicine residents from the University of Toronto spend their final year of training in Midland/Penetanguishene.  This family medicine rotation has proven extremely successful as we’ve retained an overwhelming number of these trainees.

All of these learning opportunities have positioned the Midland/Penetanguishene area to become one of the premier rural academic training sites in the province.  Interactions with medical students and residents take time, patience, and a skill to impart knowledge in a positive manner.  Our physicians, whether they are family doctors in clinics or specialists, have embraced this focused strategy, and it’s paying dividends.