Dr. Steven Viherjoki of Dryden has been rewarded for his hard work and dedication to the community by being this year's recipient of the Rural Service Award by the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC).

“I was really pleased when I found out that I had been selected to achieve their rural service award. I have no idea who nominated me or the process by which I sort of came to their light, but I was thrilled, it's nice to get recognition for long service in under-serviced areas, absolutely,” said Viherjoki

“The SRPC is an excellent organization with regards to both support and education of rural doctors and to help bring the issues we have working in the north in both rural and remote communities to the forefront. To be recognized by them was really quite an honor, and I'm absolutely thrilled,” added Viherjoki

The Rural Service Award is given to physicians that have continuously worked in rural areas for at least 10 years and that have been a part of the SRPC for the last 5 consecutive years.

Northwestern Ontario is home to Viherjoki as he grew up in Thunder Bay. He moved to Dryden after he finished medical school and his residency and has been working continuously between the Dryden Regional Health Centre and the Dingwall Medical Clinic.

Viherjoki has been the Chief of Staff for 6 years at the Dryden Health Centre, the managing physician at the Dingwall Medical Clinic and is the District 10 chair of the Ontario Medical Association.