Dr. Shane Barclay isn’t a first time visitor to Sun Peaks. But when he first visited thirty years ago, sleeping in his van and skiing Tod Mountain on a cross country road trip, the mountain looked a little different.
Now returning to the area Barclay will fill the role as medical director, being the first full-time doctor at the newly completed health clinic. Barclay will be joined part-time by Dr. Harpreet Kelly in January.
Barclay is no stranger to working in a rural community. He has worked across the country, completing his M.D. at the University of Saskatchewan in 1978 before working in North Vancouver, B.C. then moving north to Fort Simpson, Hay River and Yellowknife in the N.W.T.
Most recently he opened a family practice on Salt Spring Island, B.C., providing general and emergency care to island residents.
Looking to move to Kamloops to be closer to his children and grandchildren Barclay learned about the Sun Peaks clinic and decided to apply.
“It was kind of by fluke,” Barclay said. “It looks totally different now.”
He said his first love is family practice but he has experience in obstetrics, emergency, trauma, cardiac life support and more.
Barclay has a lot of work ahead of him to prepare to open the clinic on Dec. 11, such organizing the four exam rooms and setting up the space from scratch.
“This is a beautiful facility,” he said. “The community has done a great job.”
The Sun Peaks Health Association has been fundraising to build and outfit the clinic for over 20 years.
After getting everything arranged Barclay wants to start meeting the community and caring for locals and residents.
“The priority is people who live here and work here. The plan is to open phones December 4 and register those people first.”
His vision for the clinic includes moving away from the urgent care model of the past clinic and toward primary care.
“The urgent care clinic next door did a phenomenal job,” he said. “My primary objective is primary longitudinal care to residents. It’s not a ski resort clinic, it’s a family practice clinic.”
He said he is looking forward to being joined by Kelly in the new year.
Kelly, who has lived part time at Sun Peaks for three and a half years, will act as a part-time family physician at the clinic while continuing to work in Kamloops as a hospitalist and in low risk obstetrics at Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) .
“I’m excited,” Kelly said of coming to the clinic. “I think it’s going to be great and things seem pretty well organized. There will always be growing pains when starting a new clinic but this community always comes together when needed to make things happen….It will be nice to get started seeing people in the clinic.”
Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality Mayor Al Raine, who has been a major supporter of the clinic for years, said Sun Peaks is excited.
“After a very long journey we have completed work on the building itself and found this excellent medical team to lead the establishment and operation,” Raine said. “We are about to realize our vision of having primary care on the mountain for residents, visitors and the broader community.”
Raine has also encouraged Barclay to get back into skiing, something he hasn’t done in 15 years.
Instead, in his free time, Barclay spends time with his grandchildren, three dogs, and six horses. He also plans to spend time teaching at RIH.
“I’m looking forward to this,” he said. “You never know what’s going to walk through the door.”