Madigane leaves remarkable legacy in grateful province

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Dr. Joyce Madigane

Fierce defender of rural health care broke down barriers during career

When Dr. Joyce Madigane came to this province almost 40 years ago, she appeared to be an unusual candidate to establish a medical practice in rural P.E.I. The exact details of how the native of Zimbabwe ended up in Tyne Valley have become lost over the years. It soon became apparent no one really cared about that because they were just happy and grateful that such a talented, remarkable woman was their doctor.

At the time, Tyne Valley was in urgent need of another physician to provide services at the Stewart Memorial Hospital to ease the workload of overworked medical staff. Today, the community wonders how it ever would have survived without her. Now it must do exactly that, as Dr. Madigane died Thursday night, a month after taking leave from her Tyne Valley clinic to battle cancer for the second time.

She was a fierce defender of rural health care and opposed the gradual loss of services at Stewart Memorial. That passion, community involvement and importance to the Island’s medical community earned her the Order of Prince Edward Island last June. In 2010 she was named one of the top 25 immigrants in Canada.

She broke down barriers and won the hearts and the loyalty of her thousands of patients through her skill, compassion and no-nonsense approach to medicine. The community’s problems became her problems. Politicians courted her because her support was essential. And if she opposed a policy, it was usually doomed to failure. When she took leave because of cancer, it rocked the province. This was a final battle she couldn’t win.

She will be missed.

 

Weekend thoughts

 

The world’s greatest sports spectacle is underway in Sochi, Russia with the official opening of the 2014 Winter Olympics on Friday. P.E.I. is proud to have three athletes as representatives there. Heather Moyse of Summerside is part of the Canadian women’s bobsleigh team and defending Olympic gold medalist in the two-woman bobsled event. Billy Bridges of Summerside is a member of Canada’s men’s sledge hockey team for the 2014 Paralympic Games while Mark Arendz from Springton is a member of the Canadian Para-Nordic Team, also in the Paralympics. We join others in offering congratulations and best wishes to these outstanding Island athletes.

 

P.E.I. farmers are wondering how to deal with the insidious wireworm. The pest is not just threatening potatoes but corn, carrots, cabbage and grains, among others. No approved chemical can kill it. A retired farmer from the Tracadie area says wireworms had infested his turnip crop and the only control was an extended crop rotation, sometimes as long as seven years per field to get rid of the pest. Brown mustard has proven an effective natural control and a major market for the crop exists in Europe where it is used in specialty mustards such as Dijon. The new CETA free trade deal with Europe could open up lucrative new markets for P.E.I. and save our crops as well.

 

Why in the world is the Discovery Channel making a stop in Charlottetown to mark the 10th anniversary season of Canada’s Worst Driver? It’s not like we have drivers who glide through stop signs, or challenge pedestrians for the right of way, or accelerate approaching red lights, or use mobile devices while driving, or tailgate so relentlessly that a coat of paint clearance is considered too lenient. Hmmm. What could it be? We doubt there will be many applications but hang onto your seatbelt.

Organizations: Stewart Memorial Hospital, Canadian Para-Nordic Team, Discovery Channel

Geographic location: P.E.I., Tyne Valley, Zimbabwe Summerside Canada Europe Sochi Russia Tracadie Charlottetown

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