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As the struggle continues to attract more doctors to Fort St. John, we have confirmation one already practicing in the community has been named among the winners of this year’s Awards of Excellence in Rural Medicine.

Doctor William Watt of the Fort St. John Medical Clinic was one of eight B.C. physicians recently recognized at the Rural Emergency Continuum of Care Conference in Penticton for accomplishments and contributions to rural medicine.

More specifically, Dr. Watt was one of five honoured for their outstanding service, their facilitation of best clinical practices, their role as community opinion leaders, and their personal and professional excellence in rural medicine.

Dr. Watt has been practicing in Fort St. John for more than 30 years.

“Willie is not only an opinion leader but a person of action,” Dr. Paul Mackey said in his nomination of Dr. Watt.

“During the ongoing very acute crisis of physician supply in Fort St John, he has devoted every Saturday morning to participating on the Short Term Health Solutions committee chaired by MLA Pat Pimm. Physician, nurse, pharmacist, and other healthcare colleagues have enormous respect for him and over two thousand patients trust and rely on him.”

Dr. Watt’s wife, Jo, runs the Watt School of Irish Dance for local dancers in Fort St. John.

Meantime, the community, medical profession, and provincial leaders are working to address Fort St. John’s medical service deficiencies and are preparing for another meeting next month.

Steven Brown, the provincial Deputy Minister of Health, will be here in Fort St. John July 8 to meet with local doctors and Northern Health officials.

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