President's Message

Current CAPA-ACAM President Kirsten Luomala

Dear CAPA Members,

In reflecting on the PA profession in Canada, over the past decades, it's evident that our efforts have been marked by numerous challenges and uncertainty. Yet, in the last four years we have been more determined than ever, to come together and show the value of our profession.

Four years ago, we faced a global pandemic that affected us all in so many significant ways. From general day to day struggles coping as the world shut-down, burn-out from long work hours, recovering from Covid-19, in some cases, long-covid, to losing close family and friends. The impact from the pandemic was immense. In the middle of it all, every one of you demonstrated daily just how instrumental we are to Canada’s Health Care system through the hard work and dedication to our profession.

Over the past two years we have seen the results of individual PAs and CAPA’s tireless advocacy, resulting in an unprecedented expansion of the PA profession in Canada.

  • Nova Scotia’s orthopedic pilot project successfully concluded resulting in expansion into other areas of medicine. Regulation soon followed with Dalhousie University launching the first Masters PA program since 2010.

  • Newfoundland invested in a demonstration project.

  • Prince Edward Island passed legislation to introduce PAs in the province.

  • Quebec launched a pilot program within the James Bay Cree Nation.

  • Ontario increased the number of training spots by 52 and is in the final stages of enacting


  • Saskatchewan passed legislation to regulate PAs and is developing a master’s program starting in


  • Alberta will start a master’s program at the University of Calgary in September of 2024.

  • The government of British Columbia announced PAs were able to practice in emergency

    departments in the province, which will be used to leverage the utilization of PAs in other areas.

  • The Yukon government unanimously passed a motion to introduce PAs in the territory.

    We are on the verge of seeing coast to coast employment of PAs!

    None of these remarkable achievements could have been realized without the invaluable contributions of those who dedicated their time and efforts to CAPA. From the committed Board of Directors, volunteers and allies who tirelessly champion our cause, to the diligent staff who provide essential support, all play a pivotal role in driving progress forward. Their collective commitment is indispensable for CAPA as the driving force behind positive change within the PA profession.

    CAPA, as the national advocacy body often struggles to find volunteers from the PA community to assist with various activities. John F Kennedy once famously said “Ask not what your country can do for you, - ask what you can do for your country”. In his spirit, I challenge every one of you to ask not

The Conference Board of Canada recently published an enlightening report on Exploring Physician Assistant Funding Models and Impact Potential for Three Practice Settings. We will build on this report as we continue to advocate for better funding models and compensation including billing codes like the Doctors of Nova Scotia APP funding trial.

what CAPA can do for you but what you can do for CAPA and for the PA profession to help move us forward in the years to come, on the heels of the incredible results of the last four years. I encourage you to reach out to your provincial directors, CAPA staff, or myself to see where we can help advocate and move your profession forward. Every year the Board of Directors has vacancies that need passionate, engaged PAs to push the PA profession forward.

I also request that you look at your fellow PAs & colleagues and see what work they are doing. Do any of them deserve recognition with one of the awards? It doesn’t take much to nominate a deserving colleague, educator, or advocate for recognition.

The CAPA annual conference, CAPA 2024 will be held in Ottawa our nation’s capital this year. I look forward to seeing you all there in what will be an excellent opportunity to earn valuable CPD credits to maintain your certification and the chance to network with PA colleagues from Coast to Coast!


Kirsten Luomala, CD, DMSc, MPAS, CCPA|