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Left to Right: Justin Frey, NMP graduate (2011) and previous recipient of a grant from the NMPT, Art Kaehn, President of the NMPT and Chair of the Regional District of Fraser Fort George, Colleen Nyce
NEWS RELEASE · 26th August 2011
Rio Tinto Alcan Completes $500,000 Pledge to the Northern Medical Programs Trust

August 25, 2011

With a payment of $100,000 being made today, Rio Tinto Alcan has completed its $500,000 pledge to the Northern Medical Programs Trust, a unique partnership involving northern communities and UNBC to improve the education and retention of health professionals in northern BC.

“Six years ago, I participated in announcing this pledge and it’s amazing to see how much has changed with respect to medical education in northern BC since then,” says Colleen Nyce, Manager of Corporate Affairs and Community Relations for Alcan Primary Metal Group in Northern BC. “It’s a privilege for Rio Tinto Alcan to be part of such a transformative program. It’s great to see young doctors who have benefited from this Trust already completing residencies and setting up practices in northern BC.”

One of them is Justin Frey of Vanderhoof who spoke at the event on campus to celebrate the completion of the RTA pledge. He is currently completing a residency in Family Practice in Prince George after graduating from the Northern Medical Program earlier this year. “As a student, it can be expensive to travel to multiple communities and the Trust provides valuable financial support,” says Dr. Frey, who completed seven hospital-based placements during his fourth year alone. “At the same time, getting into communities around the region has exposed me and my classmates to the terrific opportunities there are for practicing in the North. My plan is to stay here.”

To date, the Northern Medical Programs Trust has raised about $6.5 million and the endowment fund has provided just over $400,000 in support for students in the Northern Medical Program and the University’s Family Nurse Practitioner program who travel to northern/rural communities to participate in clinical placements as part of their education. The original fundraising goal was based on the populations of communities throughout northern BC. About 30 municipalities and regional districts are members of the Trust and the Rio Tinto Alcan contribution has directly supported the pledges of Prince George, Burns Lake, Fort St James, Fraser Lake, Granisle, Hazelton, New Hazelton, Houston, Smithers, Telkwa, Vanderhoof, Terrace, Prince Rupert, Kitimat, and the Regional Districts of Bulkley Nechako and Kitimat Stikine.

“The Northern Medical Programs Trust is an amazing testament to what’s possible when communities, the University, Northern Health, donors, and industry work together for the benefit of the region,” says UNBC President George Iwama. “Thank you Rio Tinto Alcan for investing in the Trust and continuing your long association with UNBC.”
nice to get the money but........
Comment by phil germuth on 26th August 2011
lets be realistic here.

This is nothing but a photo op bribe by RTA to try and make everybody think they actually care about our communities.

And of course it comes just as they announce Kemano Completion- or modernization or whatever the heck they're callin it now.

To put it in perspective by taking our resource, putting it thru a turbine and selling it back to us at 1000 % plus profit margin RTA makes back that 500,000 dollars in less than 27 - yes twenty seven- HOURS