Sharon Wards, chief executive of the Tararua Health Group, wants to reassure the community the group is active and resourceful in recruiting and attracting health professionals to the Tararua district.
While some locum contracts will run out this year, replacements are already in New Zealand, Wards said.
"We have Dr Craig arriving in the next fortnight who will be with us for 12 months with a view to extend and Dr Neil and Dr Reid are arriving on August 6 for 12-month contracts, so there is definitely continuity and consistency in our service."
In a new initiative last Friday, Tararua District Mayor Tracey Collis hosted a welcome and thank you lunch for staff from Tararua Health Group, with the promise this will be an ongoing event.
"We're welcoming our health professionals with open arms," Collis told the Dannevirke News. "The Tararua District Council has played its part in helping to promote our district to new recruits and it's working."
"These people are part of our community and they really get themselves into the community and love living here," Wards said.
"Health professionals put in the extra effort when working rurally because there are challenges, but some GPs from mainstream, big city practices want to be immersed in our community. They choose to work here."
Wards, who recruits worldwide by Skype, said the district council's marketing team had provided her with extensive material for new staff.
"When they get here they already feel part of our community," she said.
Dr Abbie Ward has joined the Tararua Health Group as a permanent GP working four days a week at Dannevirke's Barraud Street Health Centre.
"Abbie was one of our registrars several years ago so it is an absolute delight to have her return to our service and take up permanent residence in Dannevirke," Wards said. "Abbie is a really positive sign that if you invest in training development it pays off."
With family in Hawke's Bay and having lived in Palmerston North, Dr Ward told the Dannevirke News she's loved living here.
"It's central, the job was an attraction and the people and this community are great," she said. "I love living and working here."
Dr Philip Lingard, a United Kingdom-based GP, chose to come to Dannevirke for lifestyle opportunities.
"Philip is with us on a six-month contract and will be returning to London in mid-July," Wards said. "During his time here he is getting out and about whenever he can and the day after he arrived he was on his bike riding to Waihi Falls."
Last Friday Dr Lingard was unable to attend the welcome function as he was on leave, preparing to run the Rotorua Marathon.
"With the fantastic midwives and GPS we are bringing into Tararua, it's important our community wraps their arms around them," Wards said. "This council lunch is a very positive way to demonstrate to people they are very special to us."
Nurse practitioner Victoria Perry had a long career as a respiratory specialist at Palmerston North Hospital before she was 'head-hunted' by Wards. She is now a permanent member of the Tararua Health Group team, working two days a week.
"While her specialist expertise is in respiratory conditions, she has had a huge, positive, dynamic influence on our team," Wards said.
Dr Harry Bilkhu joined the Tararua Health Group last year on a 12-month contract as a locum GP.
"He has made a wonderful contribution to our service and he assures us this has been a very positive experience for him and his family," Wards said. "And he loves Dannevirke."
Dr Bilkhu was thrown into the deep end when he arrived in Dannevirke in July last year.
"We had a number of long-serving GPs retire, but Harry survived well," Wards said. "And while his contract runs out in June and he is due to return to Sweden, I am working on him because he's a very steady, solid GP to have on our team."
Dr Pernille Winkler, a Danish GP, came here on a six-month contract which runs through until the end of July. She is aiming to see some of the country while here.
"It's a huge punt for people from the other side of the world to come here," Wards said.
Nurse practitioner Kathleen Brown has worked on and off for Tararua Health Group, but in the past six months she has taken on a fixed-term contract until mid-July.
With a national shortage of GPs, Wards admits Tararua Health Group's revolving doors are the way of the future.
Manage My Health:
* 10 per cent of the population of Tararua is signed on to the online Manage My Health app.
* You can order a script, see results of blood tests and make appointments through the app.
*To register visit the Barraud Street Health Centre, provide your email address and you will be sent a link.
* Manage my health can be accessed from your desktop computer, smartphone or iPad.