NBMS, Horizon partner on physician wellness project

This article was published in collaboration with the New Brunswick Medical Society (NBMS) Communications team.

When physicians at Horizon’s Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital (DECRH) in Fredericton approached the NBMS Wellness program about supporting the installation of a bicycle rack at the hospital, it was a natural fit.

Dr. Erica Frecker and Dr. Liam Hickey

“NBMS Wellness is here to support physician wellness initiatives, and this was a project that had been on the minds of physicians for some time,” says Lisa LePage, chief operating officer of the NBMS. “We saw great value in partnering with Horizon Health Network on this project.”

Though it was delayed by the pandemic, a new bicycle rack that accommodates modern bicycles and fat bikes was installed in November 2020 at the physician entrance at the DECRH. The rack, installed on a new concrete pad, enables physicians to better secure their bicycles if they cycle to work. It has spots for 14 bicycles.

“Physicians are extremely busy, so it can be hard to find time for exercise,” says Dr. Erica Frecker, the head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the DECRH who initially approached NBMS Wellness about this project. “Biking is a great way to clear my head between home and work.”

Daniel Lynch, Manager of Facilities Management at the hospital, said the previous bike rack was older, less secure and did not accommodate some modern styles of bicycles.

“This was on our wish list for a couple of years but when the NBMS reached out in support, we were able to expedite the project,” he says. “We had a lot of communication back and forth in terms of timelines. We tried to push it through quicker but given the year that we’ve had with COVID and delays securing a contractor, it just wasn’t possible.” Despite the delays, he was glad to see it installed.

Dr. Liam Hickey, a urologist at the hospital, believes health facilities play an important role in promoting healthy choices.

“Encouraging and facilitating active transportation is a simple way to send a positive message to the public about making healthy choices,” he says. “I know I feel better when I am more physically active. With our busy schedules, finding time for exercise is difficult. Now that there is a reliable place to secure bicycles at the hospital, there is one less barrier for us to work physical activity into our commute.”