In January 2015 Dr. Alex Atfield had completed the end of his residency in late 2014 with a four week rotation in emergency at St. Francis Memorial Hospital before beginning his practice. For six years he served as a primary health care provider in Barry’s Bay. Likewise he now ends his time in Barry’s Bay within our Emergency Department after turning over his practice to two new doctors in December 2020. Above Erica Atfield and Dr. Alex Atfield (photo Elser Lee Archer)
Originally from Deep River, Alex participated in the Return of Service program with placements here during medical school and residency. Erica, a nurse, left a Clinical Team Lead position at Trent University, came to Barry’s Bay, and helped Alex set up the practice. They married here and built a family with children, Audrey and Soren. Erica has coached children’s soccer and worked in Golden Lake and Rainbow Valley Community Health Centre.
During his time here, Alex developed a proposal for the Madawaska Valley Family Health Team with contacts in the Champlain Lhin and with the support of Council and the Madawaska Community Circle of Health. He was familiar with the model of a family health team in Peterborough when he was a resident and understood the Ministry’s requirement for transparent support from the local community. The proposal was approved and staff were hired in summer 2018. When asked about the legacy of the Family Health Team, Alex replied, “It’s gratifying to have worked with a team of people who have created a long term asset in the community that works with vulnerable and high risk patients along with other clinicians.”
Alex said of his time in Madawaska Valley, “I’m grateful. It’s not easy for patients to train a new doctor and provide their trust and patience. I’ve had my first six years of practice here. It’s a wonderful place to work and we’ve met some really good people and I’m thankful for that.”
Alex begins some Emergency Department shifts in Peterborough in early 2021. When he, Erica and their beautiful family depart in March, they leave behind a legacy built with friends, professionals and a practice of approximately 650 patients, and our Family Health Team — and, most of all, relationships in a community close to Dr. Alex’s roots in Deep River.