Fellowships: Investing in the Future

our support of the Fellowship Funding Program will fill service gaps and meet patient needs, support and retain young talent, and enhance treatment options.

The program’s premise is to ensure funding supports areas of medical training that fit with the needs of the hospital. It offers financial support in exchange for a return-of-service to Saskatoon.

“Bricks and mortar are important part but so are people,” says Dr. George Pylypchuk, chief of staff for the Saskatoon Area. “You can have the nicest hospital in the world, but if you don’t have anyone working in it, it’s nothing.

“Recruiting trained experts is difficult because they’re often in high demand,” he adds. “It makes good sense to train homegrown physicians and guarantee them a position to return to.

“There are two ways to recruit expertise – you can look for physicians with particular expertise or you can support training of people who are here and who will honour a return of service commitment. The Fellowship program helps us do that.”

“The initiative was presented to us through the Joint Foundations Forum,” says Steve Shannon, CEO of Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation. “We realized the benefits it could have and presented it to the board, who committed $100,000 a year for six years, or $600,000.

“Through the initiative, we’re hoping to support training and recruitment of physicians in areas where the hospital needs more physician resources or specialization,” says Steve Shannon, CEO of Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation. “The board agreed that one of the Foundation’s immediate areas of support would be Physical Medicine and Rehab. Due to demand, the hospital’s Rehab Centre is grossly undermanned.

“Another area is geriatrics. Currently there is only one geriatrician in the entire province. Saskatoon City Hospital is very busy serving this area with departments such as Transitional Care, Convalescent Care and also the Geriatric Evaluation and Management (GEM) program.

“To support Saskatoon City Hospital the best we can and assist in areas of greatest need, we have opened our program to considering funding for final years of residency training as well as Fellowship training. That’s a major win for the hospital and patients.

“It’s a unique opportunity for donors,” Shannon says. “You can directly invest in the future but also address current areas of need.”