Manitoulin Health Centre welcomes new physicians

Dr. Kathleen MacKeracher

LITTLE CURRENT— Both the Little Current and Mindemoya sites of the Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) are welcoming new physicians to their teams. Dr. Maryna Harelnikava joined the Mindemoya Medical Clinic earlier this year, while Dr. Kathleen MacKeracher will be joining the Little Current Medical Associates in January of 2016.

The addition of these two physicians fill vacancies that the MHC has been diligently working with a recruiter to occupy.

“I came here as a resident a few years ago and really enjoyed it,” said Dr. Harelnikava of Manitoulin. “I really liked the doctors and the team here (at the Mindemoya Hospital). I was happy to come back to work here and for them to welcome me.”

Dr. Harelnikava completed her Doctorate of Medicine at the Belarussian State Medical University and her residency program at the University of Ottawa.

“I find the team very supportive here,” continued Dr. Harelnikava. “I can turn to anyone for advice. I also really enjoy rural medicine. I grew up on the Russian classics with doctors who did it all. Doctors here are like that—the real deal. I enjoy how diverse it is, unlike how in the city you see the same things over and over.”

Dr. Harelnikava moved here with her partner, three daughters and dog Monty.

“We enjoy the outdoors and paddling,” added Dr. Harelnikava.

“The Mindemoya Medical Clinic is excited to announce the joining of a new physician, Dr. Maryna Harelnikava, to the team,” said a press release from the Mindemoya Medical Clinic. “Through a joint effort undertaken by the Township of Central Manitoulin, Manitoulin Health Centre, recruitment officer Sally Hagman and the Manitoulin Central Family Health Team, the three year campaign to recruit a new physician was a success.”

“I saw an advertisement online for a locum position on Manitoulin,” explained Dr. MacKeracher of what first brought her to the Island. “I did my residency in Newfoundland and really have a passion for rural medicine.”

Beginning her locum in January of this year, Dr. MacKeracher said she fell in love with Manitoulin, prompting her to apply to the full-time position with the Little Current Medical Associates.

“Manitoulin just seemed like a really good fit for me,” she shared with The Expositor. “I really like the working environment and the Island is a beautiful place. I like the outdoors, so Manitoulin has been great. I also like locally made products and food. I admire the independent spirit of Islanders.”

Dr. MacKeracher grew up in Collingwood, where her mom still resides. She attended McMaster University for her undergraduate degree, earning a double honours degree in Bio-chemistry and Arts, before attending the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University.

Her residency was spent in Newfoundland, with a focus on rural medicine. The 31-year-old doctor moved back to Ontario to be closer to family but wanted to practice in a rural setting.

“I hate city life,” said Dr. MacKeracher. “I like the rural lifestyle and the medicine is so varied—it’s never dull.”

When Dr. MacKeracher isn’t working, she enjoys cooking, baking, hiking, canoeing, camping, sailing and snowshoeing.

“I really love Little Current,” she said. “The downtown is so pretty and the water with the mountains really reminds me of Newfoundland. I’ve enjoyed shopping at the farmers’ market and exploring the Island’s many hiking trails.”

Dr. MacKeracher is finishing up her locum on Manitoulin this week, but will be returning full-time in 2016. She explained that she had already accepted locum positions throughout the North (Marathon, Blind River, Wawa and Sioux Lookout) for the remainder of this year, but is looking forward to returning to what will soon be her new home.

“We are very happy that Dr. MacKeracher will be joining our team,” commented Dr. Ben Quackenbush on behalf of the Little Current Medical Associates. “Her interest and training in rural medicine make her a great fit for Manitoulin.”