Moms, Babies and PAs
Michele Poirier Amantea, CCPA and Dr. Niki Panich, BSc (Hon), MD, CCFP
Michele Poirier Amantea is a physician assistant (PA) practicing in Calgary Alberta. Her area of specialty is maternity care and obstetrics. Michele is originally from rural Manitoba and has an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from the University of Calgary. She completed the University of Manitoba Physician Assistant program in 2011. Upon completion of the program, Michele moved back to Alberta where she did contract work in a variety of settings. She also did a lot of ground work to create the first Physician Assistant job in Alberta. Michele was initially hired as an Active Living Coordinator by the Mosaic Primary Care Network (PCN). Soon afterwards, the PCN Executive Director came to learn more about Michele’s PA background and knew there was both a role and a fit for her working with Dr. Niki Panich, PCN Board Member. One year later, the first Physician Assistant job in Alberta was created, working under the supervision of Dr. Panich with the Maternity Care Clinic low risk obstetrics group.
Dr. Panich grew up in Alberta. She did her undergraduate science degree at the University of Alberta and studied medicine at the University of Calgary. She completed a rural family medicine residency based out of the University of Western Ontario in London. Since 2007, she has been practicing family medicine with a strong-focus on low risk obstetrics in Calgary. Dr. Panich and her partner physicians run a full time prenatal clinic and deliver 120-150 babies per month at the Peter Lougheed Centre in northeast Calgary. The patient population is very diverse, often requiring the use of interpreters and translation services, as well as an understanding of different cultures. These important issues necessitate an element of time, a precious piece in the world of medicine.
Adding a Physician Assistant to the practice has helped manage flow of patients, especially post-partum cases in the hospital while the on call physician is in a delivery or assisting the obstetricians in caesarian sections. Michele manages postnatal care and newborn exams as well as prepares patients for hospital discharge. She is able to order appropriate tests for moms and babies in hospital. She also assists with initial prenatal assessments at the MCC clinic. She looks after any prenatal medical issues that need follow up and initiates referrals as required. Michele also plays a role prenatally in seeing patients that are referred to the clinic late or have had little prenatal care and require more time to ensure that the appropriate tests have been done and follow up is organized through to delivery. Most recently, Michele has been working alongside a lactation consultant in a newly established drop-in clinic for moms and babes that focuses on breastfeeding, however, can also be a place for new moms can discuss any issues that have arisen after their discharge from hospital.
Michele really enjoys her role working with young families and new moms both pre- and postnatal. She has great satisfaction in knowing that she is making a difference in the lives of the patients she sees. Most exciting for Michele and Dr. Panich is the growing scope of practice as the team works together to optimize patient care for families as they go through a very exciting time in their lives.