June 1 saw the appointment of the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA) announce the upcoming appointment of Dr. Claudia Kraft as Territorial Medical Director.

“The TMD is the most senior physician leadership role at the NTHSSA and provides direction related to medical staff and services across the NWT Health and Social Services System,” reads the NTHSSA notice.

Beginning June 20, Kraft will take on the role of TMD with a term of three years.

“This new role presents an opportunity to continue to focus on high quality care that meaningfully improves our health and wellness while addressing health inequalities,” said Claudia Kraft, incoming Territorial Medical Director. “I look forward to working on focusing on sustainability of core services, while also building collaborative relationships to improve and innovate within our system.”

Having lived and practiced in the NWT for 10 years. Kratt is versed in a variety of medical roles including family practice, maternal-child and women’s health and specialties in inpatient, emergency, and addictions medicine practices.

“Kraft spent parts of her early career in Nunavut, completing a portion of her residency and also holding medical leadership roles as Chief of Emergency and Physician Lead for the territorial electronic health record project. Most recently, Kraft has held the role of Area Medical Director for Stanton Territorial Hospital,” reads the notice.

In addition to leadership roles and front-line experience Dr. Kraft’s background includes teaching, research, and other roles such as Medical Director/Expedition physician with the Students on Ice project.

“I look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Kraft in this new role where she will bring significant experience and a strong understanding of our system and challenges and opportunities. As we focus on continued improvement in our system Dr. Kraft will be an important part of the NTHSSA’s leadership team and our practitioner staff,” said Kimberly Riles, Chief Executive Officer of NTHSSA.

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  1. Congratulations, on your new position, it will be challenging as you know and we wish you well in it. One thing is for sure change is needed in a terrible way.
    Perhaps you can start with the process of getting a doctor’s appointment in Yellowknife. People are fed up with the current non-humanized phone system process to get an appointment. Someone with two feet and a heartbeat are needed to answer the phone and direct calls. As things are now it is next to hopeless to get through the current phone system in place.
    Then there is the situation with what is called, your walk-in clinic, which is anything but a walk-in clinic. I was told there are only 12 openings a day for that clinic. To get into that clinic one must show up at 8 AM and wait for the door to open for an appointment or call persistently to ask for an appointment. That is not a walk-in clinic! It is an overflow clinic because doctors in clinics cannot handle the numbers.
    For what is called a walk-in clinic and if you have 12 patient slots it should be walk-in with first come first serve, services. Perhaps in the AM, there could be six numbers to give out to walk-ins as they arrive. Starting in the afternoon 6 more numbers for walk =in the clinic.
    AS patients arrive at the walk-in clinic they should be triaged. If they are found to have a problem that needs immediate attention and they cannot wait for care then they could be referred to out-patients / emergency at the hospital.
    Perhaps we need more walk-in clinics which means you will need more doctors or a walk-in emergency clinic is an addition to walk in for normal things. Individuals I have talked to who have experienced your system feel much of what is happening now can be elevated in spite of challenges with Doctors’ availability by a better organizational system.
    For what it is worth this is my opinion and that of others in the community who are defiantly talking about the lack of services we all are feeling present who need them.