Luxury of diversity for new Chief of Staff at Almonte General Hospital

Almonte General Hospital’s new Chief of Staff, Dr. Melissa Forbes, is no stranger to Almonte and surrounding area. She grew up in Perth – in fact her parents still live there – and moved to Ottawa to pursue her studies.

A coop placement at AGH provided the unique opportunity for her to follow both the emergency department and operating room. That spark as a high school student ignited her desire to be in medicine in Almonte. “Mrs. Charlie Lunn was my mentor and Dr. Franz Ferraris was a role model and mentor in medicine for me. They were both so generous to me, I was so very lucky,” declares Dr. Forbes.

Dr. Forbes studied Biology at Carleton University and Nursing at the University of Ottawa. Ottawa University is also where she completed her Doctorate of Medicine, and her Residency in Family Medicine with an additional specialization in Anaesthesia.

There are a number of factors in Almonte that Dr. Forbes holds in high esteem. The relationship with the Family Health Teams and the Hospital gives doctors in this community what Dr. Forbes calls “the luxury of diversity”. Having the clinic style Family Health Team on site gives direct access to the hospital and allows for a greater diversity in her practice.

Unlike typical physician practices, Dr. Forbes is able to provide a wide range of care – from Emergency Medicine, to Anaesthesia, through to Long Term Care. “It’s very progressive, leading edge in fact,” Dr. Forbes explains with enthusiasm. “I work at other hospitals in the area, and I know first-hand that we are very lucky to be able to provide the breadth and scope that we do in Almonte.”

Patients are the real beneficiaries since the spectrum of care and ease of transition minimizes the likelihood of system related obstacles or waits. And the benefits don’t stop there. The doctors on this team take us back to a time when house calls were not above and beyond. “Home visits by doctors, are normal here in Almonte,” Dr. Forbes explains with pride.

As Chief of Staff, Dr. Forbes is appointed by the Board of Directors to oversee medical care at the Hospital. Dr. Forbes sees her priorities for her two-year term including growing the surgical program and putting her efforts in recruiting physicians for the needs of the community.