Statement on Racial Injustice and Anti-Oppression

The Canadian Association of Physician Assistants grieves with our members and joins them in speaking out against the appalling acts of anti-Black racism and violence we have all witnessed over the past several days and weeks.

These actions are completely deplorable, they are not new, and they also occur in Canada.

Physician assistants value compassion, empathy, respect for all persons, justice, and accountability. These foundational values are instilled in our training. Through our professional and personal lives, we can all contribute to efforts to eliminate health disparities in our communities.

As health care professionals, we recognize that racism affects our racialized patients who face negative outcomes and poor experiences with the health care system. We also recognize that racism affects physician assistants in daily clinical work and academia. As a member-led association, we are committed to acknowledging the impact of all forms of discrimination and oppression, accepting the responsibility to make a difference, and using our collective voice to stand against intolerance and racial injustice.

ABOUT CAPA

CAPA is the national professional association representing physician assistants (PAs) in Canada. We are the national voice of PAs and work to support quality standards and competencies, and help establish the profession within the national health care framework. Learn more: capa-acam.ca.

The Unsinkable Doc

Sub-Lieutenant Nicole Spivey, HMCS Nanaimo’s Physician Assistant

“Is the Doc in here?” asks a member of the ship’s company as they poke their head into the wardroom.

The Doc is in.

Sub-Lieutenant (SLt) Nicole Spivey, HMCS Nanaimo’s Physician Assistant, or Doc as she is known, waves the person in. Nanaimo’s Doc is a former Medical Technician of 13 years who commissioned as a Physician Assistant in January 2020 after completing her training.

The patient takes a seat while SLt Spivey does a quick examination of what ails: a bump to the head, but it’s not too bad. A quick clean of the wound, a couple Band-Aids, and a few encouraging words and the patient is good to go. Today, it’s a minor head wound; tomorrow, who can say.

The medical needs of a ship’s company can be vast, varied, and as complex as the human beings on board. The relationship that forms between individual members and the specialists on board who nurture their welfare is unlike any other, especially with the person who provides medical care…read more in CFB Esquimalt Lookout Navy News.

Get Involved with CAPA! Join the Revenue Generation Committee

CAPA is recruiting members to join the new Revenue Generation Committee. We’re looking for three PA members-at-large from across Canada who are eager to get involved in your professional association.

As a member-at-large, your roles and responsibilities will include:

  • Providing strategic direction in the development of a plan to solicit funds to support the operations of CAPA over the short and long-term;
  • Identifying opportunities for revenue generation and prospective sponsors;
  • Networking in your professional communities and helping solicit prospective sponsors, as required;
  • Acting as ambassadors, who will champion the importance of investing in and supporting CAPA as the national voice for PAs and the PA profession.

By applying for a position, you confirm that you are willing and able to meet these responsibilities and be an active, contributing member.

About the Revenue Generation Committee

A strategic priority for CAPA is continuing to strengthen the long-term financial sustainability of our association. Establishing a Revenue Generation Committee is intended to help us engage members in our efforts to enhance conference sponsorship options, expand partnerships, and cultivate new partners who can support our efforts over the long term.

Commitment

You are asked to participate in 1 meeting (one hour) once a month or as determined by the Chair.

How to apply

We encourage members in good standing to consider applying (you must maintain your membership status during your term, if you are appointed). Committee member appointments are made by the CAPA Board of Directors.

Apply by sending an email with the following information to admin@capa-acam.ca by June 20, 2020.

  • First and last name
  • Employer and specialty
  • Any experience with revenue generation, sponsorship requests etc.
  • Your interest statement (maximum of 150 words)*

*Your interest statement should briefly tell us why you are interested in serving on this committee, what skills you bring, any previous involvement in revenue generating activities or organizing CPD events, and how you would like to contribute.

The call for volunteers closes June 20, but don’t wait, apply today!

Physician assistants can help strengthen Ontario’s long-term care workforce

Dear Minister Fullerton and Deputy Minister Steele,

On behalf of physician assistants (PAs) across our province, we thank you for your tireless dedication to the wellbeing of Ontario’s seniors and your tremendous support of frontline health care professionals throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Given that your ministry recently asked certain long-term care (LTC) homes to submit detailed plans on how they will stabilize the spread of the virus, ensure the provision of onsite medical coverage, and keep staffing levels up, we are writing to provide information on the PA model of care in LTC.

We would be pleased to discuss this model with your officials and are requesting the opportunity to speak by phone at the earliest opportunity.

The attached briefing note and our recent position statement summarize the PA role and broadly outline the positive impact PAs have on the delivery of care in LTC homes. As you consider our recommendation to expand and further integrate PAs in eldercare, we invite you to read the messages below from PAs working at the frontline of the crisis:

“I am working within a family medicine practice in addition to my involvement within a retirement community and LTC home. Since April 2020, we have had approximately 70 cases of COVID-19 within our residence. I am the sole clinician coming in to assess COVID patients. My physician has been supervising remotely, as they do not want to be exposed to the virus.

I am assessing all these patients, performing NP swabs, and performing follow-up visits as well as communicating with families. For patients who rapidly deteriorate, I have performed palliation and comfort measures within their home to avoid transfer to hospital, as per their wishes and goals of care.

I have personally sat with many of them as their journey ended, as their family could not be present due to current circumstances. Without PA support within my retirement community, the nursing staff and families would be left unsupported and without a doubt patient care would have suffered.”

Joshua Diamante, Physician Assistant
Family Medicine and Long-Term Care

“With the increased demands on my supervising physicians at the local rural hospital to support COVID-19 measures, I am increasingly the physical presence within our long-term care home.

My role has evolved since the start of the pandemic and involves supporting the care of all 200+ residents within the long-term care facility. I often function as the first point of contact for assessments, maintain lines of communication with families regarding goals of care, transition residents to palliative care, help develop protocols related to preventing the spread of COVID-19, and facilitate twice weekly physician rounds through video conferencing.

As a PA in long-term care, I am undoubtedly part of the pandemic health care workforce and it has been a privilege to care for this vulnerable population and their families during this unprecedented time.”

Jessica O’Neil, Physician Assistant
Family Medicine and Long-Term Care

Since the outset of the pandemic, we have seen your ministry act quickly to protect our most vulnerable citizens. With officials projecting that Ontario could be dealing with the effects of COVID-19 for up two years, now is the time to consider new workforce strategies that will effectively strengthen our LTC system over the long term.

Today, CAPA submits our brief in the spirit of collaboration and innovation. We strongly believe that by integrating the PA model of care, your government can improve medical coverage, efficiently use skilled resources, and increase capacity during a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Thank you in advance for your consideration. And, more importantly, on behalf of our members we thank you again for your leadership and compassion during this very difficult period.

Sincerely,

Sahand Ensafi, CCPA
Provincial Director, Ontario

Patrick Nelson
Executive Director

SickKids maximizes frontline PA team in virtual Emergency Department workflow

In a new First View Commentary in the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine authors Dr. Daniel Rosenfield, Jordan Levinter, CCPA, et al. outline how Toronto’s SickKids hospital established novel roles for self-isolated physicians and its frontline PA team during COVID-19.

The authors describe how self-isolating physicians work as a “virtual attending” and use the PA team to help with gathering history, performing physical examinations, providing discharge instructions, and more. The article also examines issues around patient selection, communication, and medicolegal risks.

“By implementing creative staffing configurations, leveraging off-site access to EMRs and modern communication tools, these individuals [isolated physicians] can still contribute meaningfully to the operations of the department.”

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