1035 – 1125

Stephanie Schneider, CCPA and Jan A. Drutz, PA-C 


Stephanie started her employment with the Northern Regional Health Authority four and a half years ago. She was the first PA in Manitoba’s Public Health System servicing 26 northern and remote communities, more than 800km from a tertiary centre. Since 2013 they have added another PA in both The Pas and in the clinic in Thompson, they have also had another work in satellite locations in a community hospital. At this time they occupy roles as hospitalists, emergency medicine, cancer care, primary care, surgical assist and isolated locales. Familiarity with the PA role is finally becoming more recognized and utilization of them in nursing stations has started to become a dialogue that upper levels of management are excited to consider.

Northern Manitoba has some of the highest rates of TB in the developed world, highest rates of MRSA in Canada, a devastating community presence of chronic disease processes such as diabetes, and a suicide epidemic among youth that has been the centre of a 5th estate documentary in the past year. People continually suffer from the lack of access to continuous primary care and the current infrastructure/budgets don’t reflect a paradigm shift despite the ongoing dialogues demonstrating the consequences of healthcare resource paucity. Recruitment and retention is very low due to the demanding workloads imposed upon physicians, the vast majority being IMG’s who step up to do work that Canadian physicians generally do on a locum basis.

One of the largest communities for example has a population of 7,000 people with a nursing station that has 1-2 physicians, 5-6 nurses, and only POC labs and diagnostics.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Analyze community and population health demographics
2. Discuss health professional resources for healthcare aides, nurses, and physicians
3. Propose supportive integration of the PA profession as a healthcare resource to benefit the healthcare funding and infrastructure models, as well as provide physician support.
4. Analyze PA professional preparation needed for healthcare system integration.
3. Propose adaptation of healthcare guidelines in support of PA professional supportive integration in marginalized communities.


Posted in: Friday, October 19, 2018