Rural Alberta Health-Care Heroes Receive Recognition


A community icon in Fairview and a pillar of the medical community in Peace River are both recipients of a 2022 RhPAP Rhapsody Award.


Fairview resident Kim Ruether, who is a medical radiation technologist and basic life support instructor, has won the Rhapsody Health-care Heroes Award.

Kim Ruether is a pillar in her community and “an icon in proving the difference one individual can make.”


In addition to increasing the number of AEDs and those trained to use them in schools, Project Brock and Ruether’s advocacy efforts were key in making changes to the dispatch protocols of the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. Now, emergency medical dispatchers ensure 911 callers use available AEDs when necessary.


This change in protocols affected not just dispatchers in Alberta, but over 29,000 dispatchers worldwide.



Dr. Karen Lundgard of Peace River has won the Rhapsody Physician Award.

Dr. Lundgard has done amazing work for Peace River in terms of medicine, teaching, leadership, advocacy, health workforce attraction and retention, and community building.

In the words of one committee member, “There is no part of healthcare in Peace River that she hasn’t touched.”


In addition to being an excellent rural generalist, she has been an important voice for community physical, mental, and social health—especially women’s health.


Dr. Lundgard has served as an educator, a mentor, an ambassador, a team player, an advocate, and a medical leader at the community and zone level as well as on medical committees and boards that are too numerous to list.


Her involvement was integral to the building of the new Sunrise Medical Clinic and the Peace River Shell Rotary House, where visiting medical staff can stay close to the hospital.


Throughout her over 40-year career in Peace River, she has continually worked to help patients overcome barriers to accessing care and supported students and colleagues to continually learn, to teach, and to share their passion for rural medicine. It’s estimated she's helped deliver 2,500 babies.


The RhPAP Rhapsody Awards continue a long tradition of celebrating rural Alberta’s health-care heroes and rural communities.


Nominations are evaluated by an awards selection committee composed of a practicing rural Alberta-based physician, a member of an active rural community health workforce attraction and retention committee, and one rural Alberta health professional, all from different zones.


The award recipients are celebrated with a recognition event in their home community.

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