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All in the family, Kerrobert doctor joined by daughter in his rural practice

The KLD foundation, representing communities of Kerrobert, Luseland and Dodsland, was instrumental in finding an additional doctor for Kerrobert Health Centre.

KERROBERT — It's all in the family for Kerrobert physician services. Kerrobert’s Dr. Wentzel is soon to be joined by his daughter serving Kerrobert and area.

When a story broke in early January that Dr. Johann Wentzel will no longer be the only physician in Kerrobert, excitement was evident. Learning the doctor will be joined in February by his daughter, Dr. Mada Wentzel, expanded the excitement for communities these physicians will serve. In an era where doctor shortages are common, this news brought optimism to the community.

This will be Dr. Mada Wentzel’s first job after completing her residency in Ottawa in December.

Some may have questioned her decision to serve her first job as a physician in rural Saskatchewan where resources are limited. However, others are lauding her decision.

Kerrobert Mayor, Wayne Mock, says, “The town of Kerrobert is very excited to welcome Dr. Mada Wentzel back to our community. Dr. Johann Wentzel began his practice here approximately 30 years ago, so his daughter Mada, having grown up here and knowing the kind of work her father has put in over these years, Mada is quite familiar with what to expect coming back to practise in a small-town setting.”

Mock adds that this will obviously bring some much-needed relief to the community’s health care facility, which is a shared facility of the KLD. The KLD is a partnership between Kerrobert, Luseland, Dodsland and surrounding RMs of Oakdale, Mariposa and Progress.

“The clinic has had to refuse new patients as the waiting times have been pushed to four to six weeks to be able to get in to see a doctor, other than emergencies. Like many communities, it is challenging to bring in new doctors, especially to smaller areas, so again this is fabulous news that has been in the works for awhile now,” says Mock.

The KLD foundation has been instrumental in helping with the process of finding additional physician care, keeping dialogue open with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and Dr. Johann Wentzel. Mock says the community feels extremely fortunate to have had Dr. Johann Wentzel here for as long as they have and are equally excited for his daughter to join their facility and the caregivers already have in place.

Luseland mayor Kathy Wurz says, “We’ve known for some time that the KLD was working on this new addition but kept fairly quiet about it until it was a definite possibility. The town of Luseland is delighted that Mada will be returning to her hometown of Kerrobert.

“Doctor recruitment and retention are always ongoing challenges for rural communities. It is difficult to attract and retain physicians when they are working in solo practises, with limited ability to take time off and rotate weekends. It is also hard to attract doctors to small communities who grew up in larger centres and are unaccustomed to rural life.

“We are excited about Mada coming here as she has grown up in Kerrobert and has roots in the community. She will also have the support and confidence in knowing her colleague, as it is her father. I feel confident that with the addition of Mada, the Kerrobert Integrated Health Centre will be well positioned for the future to serve the community and area’s health needs.”