FOUNDATION HOUSE: Home Away From Home

At a time when communities are launching expensive recruitment campaigns to entice physicians to their communities, the Sechelt Hospital Foundation helps recruit by giving visiting medical professionals a taste of the coast.  We fund Foundation House, a lovely three bedroom home near Porpoise Bay.  For many years now we have welcomed visiting specialists, locum physicians, medical interns, residents and students to stay, at no charge, while they work in our healthcare facilities. We know how much they appreciate this homey environment, versus a hotel stay, because they tell us so, in letters and emails of thanks and appreciation.  We also know that having Foundation House available often tips the scales in favour of visiting medical staff coming here rather than to another hospital community.

Hayden Rubensohn had the house to himself for three weeks last December and was happy to have company for his final week when another resident arrived for her locum in Gibsons.

“It was great,” he says. “Foundation House made it super easy to come to town. With all the life stuff taken care of I could focus on learning medicine. The house is comfortable, beautiful and has all the amenities.”  The suite is 2200 square feet with three bedrooms and a deck with views up the inlet; not too shabby for temporary accommodation! He also notes that a four week locum rotation in a hotel would be prohibitively expensive.

Hayden was also impressed with Sechelt Hospital.  “The hospital is awesome: new, a very collegial environment, one of my favourite rotations which speaks to why I’m  coming back in the fall. There is also lots of interesting medicine there.  The collegiality is very important; I feel some comes from being in a small town but the doctors there also have worked hard to create that environment.”  He was so keen to be here that he did his locum in Sechelt during his vacation!

Medical residents do get to request the communities where they do their locums and Hayden tells everyone to go to Sechelt.  He’s tied to Vancouver for the next two years, doing a palliative medicine fellowship but after that, who knows? He might well be back.

The home is owned by Gary and Charlene Turk, who also run Prime Rentals and support the Foundation in many other ways. www.primerentals.ca

Gary says, “It’s a great fit for us as our office is downstairs; we leave at 5 and they (visiting medical staff) usually get home around then.” He’s proud of the venue and the relationship with the Hospital Foundation.

Medical professionals often stay for a week or two but we have had some who stayed for several months and we often have repeat visitors.  In total, the home’s occupancy last year was over 550 nights! While we charge a nominal nightly fee to help pay for upkeep, we do accept, gratefully, donations from Foundation House visitors.