GBGH welcomes students to grow future healthcare talent and teams

Student stands over table on hospital patient unit

Photo: Naomi Pham, a student in Georgian College’s Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant program, prepares to work with patients on Georgian Bay General Hospital’s Complex Continuing Care and Rehabilitation Unit during a placement.


June 26, 2024 – Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is focusing on growing and investing in future health care professionals through valuable educational partnerships, like the one it has with Georgian College. The two organizations have a long-standing history of working together to provide placement opportunities to health care students in a variety of disciplines.

Throughout the two organizations’ relationship, they have found innovative ways to ensure students receive the comprehensive training and skill development they will need in their career. Over the past nine months, GBGH has welcomed more than 30 Georgian College students – giving them access to diverse equipment, new technology and mentorship from experienced professionals on the hospital’s team.

“GBGH is committed to working with educational partners to innovate, encourage excellence and serve our community,” says Angela Wiggins, vice president of People and Culture and chief human resources officer, GBGH. “If Georgian College students enjoy their time in our region while going to school and then have a positive experience completing academic placements at local hospitals, it’s a benefit to the whole area. Some of the students will hopefully decide to stay in our region and build a life here, which includes making a career at our hospitals. This is one way to ensure our region has a pool of talented healthcare professionals for decades to follow.”

Over the past few years, GBGH has diversified the types of students to whom it can provide hands-on training. The hospital now works with Georgian College to facilitate placements in the areas of:

  • Medical laboratory technology
  • Nursing
  • Occupational therapy and physiotherapy
  • Personal support worker
  • Pharmacy technician

The Medical Laboratory Technology program and its placements are new and give GBGH the opportunity to help educate these in-demand professionals. Overall, this practical experience in a variety of disciplines will not only enhance students’ academic journey, but also prepare them to meet the evolving needs of healthcare with confidence and proficiency.

“Georgian College is grateful to have many significant partnerships with local health care providers like Georgian Bay General Hospital to support student learning. Our students train in innovative spaces, such as our new Brand Family 360° – Interdisciplinary Simulation Space, with high-tech equipment that prepares them for hands-on learning experiences in placements and their future careers,” said Sanja Beca, Dean, Health, Wellness and Sciences at Georgian College.

In 2021, GBGH was recognized by the Georgian College Board of Governors with a Community Partner Award for the hospital’s outstanding contribution to the college and for demonstrating an ongoing commitment to excellence. The award was attributed to the hospital’s willingness to continue working with students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The two organizations developed creative ways to provide learning opportunities to students so as not to hinder their progress in becoming healthcare professionals.

Naomi Pham, a student in Georgian’s Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant program, is currently in a placement at the hospital. “I’ve been on an occupational therapist assistant placement at GBGH since mid-May and I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to learn in a hospital setting,” says Pham. “GBGH has been a great environment for me because we’ve been able to build connections with the patients and utilize a full scope of equipment to assist patients in the rehab process. The preceptors from the school and the GBGH staff have also been so helpful and open to answering any questions I have.”

As promoting a culture of continuous learning and growth is a top priority for GBGH, the hospital provides ongoing learning opportunities for staff through its Professional Practice and Organizational Development teams. GBGH has plans to make an extensive investment in the education of its team members by developing its own Simulation Lab at the hospital where staff can further their skills using simulation models of patients. The hospital also works with medical schools to provide opportunities for medical learners and high school co-op students to provide them with insights into a future career in health care.



Jennifer Moore

Director, Communications & Community Relations

Georgian Bay General Hospital

705-526-1300 ext. 5177