Bluewater Health Welcomes Nine New Physicians

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 12:18pm

Lambton wins: hospital’s recruitment efforts successful for highly competitive posts 

SARNIA & PETROLIA – July 14, 2020 – Bluewater Health is pleased to announce that nine new physicians have joined its Professional Staff, increasing the existing expertise and clinical services of the hospital:

Dr. Amanda Giffin, Internist specializing in Geriatric Medicine
Dr. Basavaraj Shettar, Neurologist
Dr. Brittany Hoover, Obstetrician/Gynaecologist
Dr. Jason Akindolire, Orthopaedic Surgeon
Dr. Ibraheem Afzal, Radiologist
Dr. Rushika Perera, Emergency physician
Dr. Nick Latham, Emergency physician
Dr. Mark Woodcroft, Emergency physician
Dr. Gregory Douglas, Emergency physician

“I hope that Sarnia-Lambton will join me in welcoming our nine new physicians to Sarnia-Lambton,” said Dr. Mike Haddad, Chief of Staff. “We have been focused on ensuring our patients have access to the clinical services they need, such as neurology and geriatric services, closer to home. We have also had an unexpected shortage of emergency physicians last fall, so I am really pleased that we have four new emergency physicians joining us.”  

Dr. Amanda Giffin, a Sarnia native, completed her medical degree at Ross University in Dominica, followed by her specialty training in Internal Medicine at the University of Western Ontario. She recently completed her Geriatric Medicine residency at the University of Calgary. “Having left Sarnia for my education and training, which has given me the opportunity of living in different places over the years, I always envisioned myself returning and practicing in Sarnia,” said Dr. Giffin. “This is my home – I’ve always felt pulled to community medicine and the collegiality and relationships that come with that.” 

Dr. Basavaraj Shettar completed his medical degree at Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences in Hubli, India. He then pursued Neuroscience research at Dalhousie University, Halifax. He completed specialty training in Neurology at Western University. “I have family friends in Sarnia who highly encouraged me to move here. The hospital and the city have been very warm and welcoming. I admire the collegial work environment and look forward to working here,” said Dr. Shettar.

Dr. Brittany Hoover completed her medical degree at Queen’s University, followed by her specialty training in obstetrics/gynaecology at the University of Toronto. Since graduating, Dr. Hoover has been working at North York General Hospital, Sault Area Hospital, Grand River Hospital, and Niagara Health. Dr. Hoover commented that "with close ties to Sarnia, I have spent a lot of time here over the years and have always loved visiting. The community is cohesive and vibrant, and the area is beautiful. The hospital comes with great resources and state-of-the-art equipment, and the people of Bluewater Health are supportive and collegial. My husband and I are thrilled to be able to call Sarnia home.”

Dr. Jason Akindolire completed his medical degree at Saba University in the Dutch Caribbean, followed by his specialty training in Orthopaedic Surgery at Western University.  He also has a Master’s of Science degree in Kinesiology/Sports Medicine, and played for the Western Mustangs football team. “I chose to practice in Sarnia because of the shared sense of community and patient-centred ethos I observed from physicians and staff at Bluewater Health,” said Dr. Akindolire.  “I look forward to joining the team.”

Dr. Ibraheem Afzal completed his medical degree at Dalhousie University, following by his Diagnostic Radiology specialty training at McMaster University. Dr. Afzal also completed a Fellowship in Breast and Cross-sectional Imaging at the Juravinski Hospital & Cancer Center/Hamilton Health Sciences. “Bluewater Health has an efficient, synergistic and collaborative team-based approach for high-quality patient-centred care,” commented Dr. Afzal. “It is exciting to be part of the great atmosphere of friendly and supportive colleagues and to be involved in providing a broad variety of state-of-the-art imaging services.”

Dr. Rushika Perera is an Emergency Medicine physician who joined Bluewater Health last fall. Dr. Perera completed her Doctor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, followed by her Family Medicine residency at Western University, and then her Family/Emergency Medicine Fellowship also at Western University. Dr. Perera also has a Master’s of Science from McGill University. Prior to coming to Bluewater Health, Dr. Perera was working at Windsor Regional Hospital. “I think the primary reason for choosing Sarnia is because my husband and his family are from Sarnia. I have come to love Sarnia – I really enjoy the small-town atmosphere and feeling that Sarnia offers,” stated Dr. Perera. “The population is kind, accepting and very appreciative of new doctors which really helps.”

Dr. Nick Latham grew up in Brockville, Ontario before attending universities in Guelph, Ottawa, Kingston and Hamilton. He completed his medical degree at Queen’s University, followed by his Family Medicine residency and a Family Medicine Rural Enhanced Skills Fellowship at McMaster University.  He also has a M.Sc. in Cellular and Molecular Medicine. “I am pleased to be starting my full-time emergency practice in Sarnia as I have always wanted to return to a vibrant waterfront community, like the one I grew up in. Having started my position in late January, I have been continuously impressed by the warm and collegial work environment at Bluewater Health,” said Dr. Latham. “I am looking forward to providing ongoing care in the Sarnia area, while enjoying the impressive list of recreational activities that the community has to offer.”

Dr. Mark Woodcroft completed his medical degree at Queen’s University, followed by his Family Medicine residency in Collingwood through McMaster University. He also completed an Emergency Medicine residency at Western University. Prior to medicine, Dr. Woodcroft completed his PhD in Pathology and Molecular Medicine at Queen’s University. “Sarnia has a great group of emergency physicians, nurses and support staff, and I was made to feel very welcome when I was here during residency,” commented Dr. Woodcroft. “Sarnia has a very busy emergency department with a diverse patient population and this will allow me to continue my development as an emergency physician. I love the water and look forward to spending my downtime on my paddle board.”

Dr. Gregory Douglas completed his medical degree at the University of Ottawa, followed by his Family Medicine residency at Western University. He recently completed his Emergency Medicine residency at Western University as well. “I completed several rotations in Sarnia during my residency training and really enjoyed the staff and hospital,” stated Dr. Douglas. “I’ve had the opportunity to explore the city and surrounding shoreline and I’m excited to make this area home and join Bluewater Health’s fantastic team.”

Bluewater Health, with locations in Sarnia and Petrolia, cares for the residents of Sarnia-Lambton. With close to 2,500 staff, Professional Staff and volunteers, Bluewater Health provides an array of specialized acute, complex continuing care, allied health and ambulatory care services. Bluewater Health’s Mission is: We create exemplary healthcare experiences with patients and families every time. For more information about Bluewater Health, visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.


MEDIA Contact: 

Birgit Lacey
Communications & Public Affairs

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