An Olds physician was honoured with the 2024 Rhapsody Rural Physician Award, for his dedication to the well-being of his patients and his community.  

Dr. Jaco Hoffman received the award, presented annually by the Alberta Rural Health Professions Action Plan (RhPAP).   

The award is given to an outstanding rural physician who’s made a long-term positive impact in their community.  

Hoffman garnered 15 letters of support from community members, praising his efforts and exemplary attitude toward rural medicine and community enhancement.   

“Dr. Hoffman has dedicated the past 14 years to living and working as a family physician at the Olds Hospital and Care Centre and has made a profound impact on the community through his love for improving the health and quality of life for his patients,” reads the awards announcement.   

Hoffman, originally from South Africa, began his Alberta career in Provost before moving to Olds in 2010.  

Along with his clinical work, Hoffman performs rotations in the emergency room, and long-term care, while mentoring medical residents and student nurses at the Olds Hospital.   

“He's so kind to his patients, he has the biggest heart,” Lindsey Merrells, Registered nurse (RN) said.  “He gives everybody his time and undivided attention; you never feel rushed. He's easy to talk to and he really listens and really cares — you just know that you're in good hands.”  

A fellow RN Heather Venneman added that Hoffman nurtures a team spirit among his operating room colleagues.  

“We feel safe being able to bounce ideas off each other, and the team and the patient definitely benefit from it because we're not afraid to say what we feel or share ideas we may have,” Venneman said. “I've been in some pretty serious critical incidents with Dr. Hoffman, with very good outcomes, and I believe that's because he fosters that safe-team dynamic.”  

Hoffman is credited as being integral to the growth of the Olds Hospital’s surgical program, from providing obstetrics and general surgery to also offering orthopedic, urologic, gynecologic, and podiatric surgeries.  

“There's probably nobody who does more for the patients in their community,” Colleague and surgeon Dr. Keith Wolstenholme said. “In addition to being an anesthesiologist, he also works in the emergency department, plus he has a family practice. This guy really is the epitome of the old-school country doctor who just does everything for everyone.”  

 

**With information provided by Alberta Health Services.