Three new physicians have recently begun practicing in Grass Valley, and another is due in September, according to Debbie Wagner, RN, coordinator of physician recruitment and community outreach for Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH).
“These physicians are a great addition to our region and come at an ideal time to meet the needs of our community,” Wagner said.
Already here are Frances Canet, MD, a cardiologist, Ana Lizama, MD, a neurologist, and Thomas Kanomata, MD, an internal medicine specialist who took over the practice of Dr. George Rice earlier this month.
Jamie Hung, DO, is due to arrive in September and practices in hematology and oncology.
Wagner said a new general surgeon has also committed to establishing a local practice in January.
Making certain that there are enough physicians to serve the residents of Grass Valley/Nevada City is an ongoing effort that involves community members, independent physicians, group practices and specialists, Wagner said.
“It’s perpetual,” she explained “We’re always looking into the future.”
Physicians are independent practitioners — not employees of the hospital — but the hospital can assist in their recruitment to insure that comprehensive care is available to residents in our service area, Wagner said.
An outside firm is engaged to do an assessment of medical staff needs every three years, she said. The survey helps forecast needs within the established physician community, including upcoming retirements or moves planned by physicians, as well as the changing needs of community members themselves, such as growth and an aging population.
“They make recommendations about specialty areas that our community may need to fill, so that we can continue to adequately serve the community,” she said.
Currently, there are searches under way in the fields of orthopedics, OB-GYN, family practice, pediatrics, and l medicine, she revealed. There is a national shortage of primary care physicians, so searches for them are ongoing, Wagner explained.
Tools used to find physicians include visits to medical schools, letters to potential candidates, and job postings in medical journals, she said. Physicians are sought as independent practitioners, to join groups, or for hospital-based needs.
Candidates look at the local community, as well as the reputation, technology, and resources of the hospital, and the connections they make with others during the interview process to help make their decisions, she added.
“We’re fortunate to be located in this wonderful area that is attractive to anyone who loves outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or skiing,” Wagner said. “The level of quality, expertise and technology at our hospital truly makes it exceptional. Some physicians seek out smaller communities to build a stable practice where they may wish to raise their own families. It says a lot about our hospital, local physicians and community that we are able to attract these talented physicians.”
All physicians providing care for patients at SNMH are members of the medical staff and are independent practitioners, not employees of the hospital.