Born and raised in the suburbs of Vancouver, Kirsten joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 1987 upon graduating from highschool. Joining as a medical technician she served in a variety of postings from training systems, to the army, Air Force and multiple deployments to Haiti, Afghanistan and Alert (North Pole). In 2007 Kirsten was selected to the CAF PA and graduated in the inaugural PA degree class in 2009 receiving her Bachelor of Science from the University of Nebraska, after which she was posted to the Canadian Forces Medical School assigned to teach in the PA program. During her time at the CAF Medical School, Kirsten was the CAF representative to CAPA Board of directors where she volunteered to chair the CAPA Bylaws committee. While on her 2nd deployment to Afghanistan in 2013 she completed her Master of PA studies in Education and ER medicine from the University of Nebraska. Kirsten retired from the CAF in 2014 to accept a position in Alberta’s Demonstration Project in the Department of Neurosurgery at University of Alberta where she currently works. During her time in Alberta, Kirsten has been involved in many speaking engagements promoting the PA profession to various organizations within the University of Alberta.
Over the past decade the transformation of the PA profession in Canada has taken amazing leaps and bounds. From the CAF to the 3 civilian schools and 4 provinces employing PA’s one must recognize the amazing leadership gained from the past CAPA board of directors, and many individuals who have taken advocacy of the PA profession to heart. The incredible leadership of so many individuals in the past becomes infectious to many who dream to continue the advocacy of PA’s in Canada. I have a vested interested the Prairies in particular as this is where I have decided to make my home since retiring from the CAF. Although amazing work has been done to date there remains work to be done. We need to ensure that in Alberta regulation continues to progress and that the regulatory policies are finalized to allow PA’s to work in their full capacity. In Manitoba, a leader in the PA profession, I hope to continue protecting the incredible advances that they have acheived. Eventually in the years to come work towards expanding in Saskatchewan. We need to work together and remain open to all ideas that all members in these provinces have to move the PA profession forward, in order to do I hope to work closely with the Prairie Vice Presidents to continue current goals and look at future ideas to advocate for out incredible profession.