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Dr. Kweku Dankwa
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The Republic of Ghana, Africa, is a long ways away from St. Anthony, Newfoundland. Ghana is hot and tropical and St. Anthony… is not. Why in the world would Dr. Kweku Dankwa move to St. Anthony? The answer is simple: he fell in love with the place. You could say it was love at first sight.

Dr. Dankwa moved here 15 years ago to work with the Labrador Grenfell Health Authority. "I came here in the peak of winter for my interview and I was sold on it," says the chief of pathology and director of physician recruitment. "I found this place very interesting. I took a number of pictures, showed them to my family, and they immediately liked this place."

Dr. Dankwa and his family were living in the US at the time, but wanted a change. They were given an advertisement for a position in St. Anthony and decided to apply. "They [the health authority] were the first ones to respond to my application. That is one of the main reasons I came here. They were fast. As I recruit new doctors for the hospital, I now use the same process – reply quickly." Dr. Dankwa knew very little of Newfoundland and Labrador before coming here. He recalls being in elementary school and having an assignment that involved writing to embassies around the world in search of information on different countries. When he received an information package on Canada, in the section about Newfoundland, he saw a picture of a man standing next to a cod fish that was bigger than the man himself. He says he never forgot that image.
"The immigration process for us was quite good," explains the doctor. "It was excellent and clear cut. They said do this and that, and we did it. There was a lot of clarity in the Canadian immigration system. We have lived in several countries around the world. Considering what I have experienced in the past, the difference between the Canadian system and the other countries we lived in is like day and night!"

"Living here is quite different," he says. "Back in Ghana, we have seen our fair share of military governments but for over a decade now we have had civilian governments and the country is making great strides. It is so open and stable here." Dr. Dankwa says that his family has settled in very well and that they have been welcomed into the community
with open arms. "The hospital and community really welcomed us," says the husband and father of four. "The people have helped us out with our children, even offering
to babysit free of charge with no strings attached. At first we were not sure, but soon we realized that this was an aspect of the good nature of the people we are now living with." Dr. Dankwa volunteers with various organizations in St. Anthony, but is mainly involved with the local radio club.

"We help out at different community events, like Ski tournaments and when the recent Olympic Torch Run came through our town."

In addition to having good community support, Dr. Dankwa says that his colleagues at the hospital have been "excellent." He said that there is great teamwork among the staff and that they work well together. "We have no regrets about moving here – we love it!"
 
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