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Inaugural workshop was a smashing success!

On April 6th, the Alberta Paramedic Association’s first educational workshop was held at the Lister Center in Edmonton, where paramedics came together to learn from Alberta’s top sport medicine physicians and athletic therapists. Attendees learned the latest joint taping techniques and advanced assessment of the injured joint in a mixed lab/lecture format.

As an added bonus, Edmonton Oilers team physician and UofA professor & researcher, Dr. Naidu joined the workshop in the afternoon to share his expertise in concussion assessment and current recommendations for return to activity.

ECG guru and paramedic Jameson McIntosh shared his advanced knowledge in ECG and cardiac changes in the athlete. This 1hr presentation was subsequently the highest rated of the day and the most requested presentation to be expanded upon in future workshops. Please give Jameson a pat on the back when you run into him in the halls of Calgary.

This was only the first workshop in what will become a regular association function. We cannot thank those involved enough for their hard work and dedication to the success of this day. A big thank you to the Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic and Varsity Health at the UofA.

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Educating University of Calgary on paramedic titles

January 30, 2018

Kelly Johnston, Senior Communications Specialist
Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
2500 University Dr. NW
Calgary, AB  T2N 1N4

Re: Stroke Poster

Dear Kelly Johnston:

We have a few concerns and a lot of excitement regarding poster in the Calgary Airport featuring a program that, we understand, includes your involvement.  The “How do we increase the chances of walking away from a stroke?” poster outlines a significant study that would be of great value to our profession.

The Alberta Paramedic Association (APA), is a representative society working throughout this province in an organized and strategic manner to enhance the skills, knowledge and wellness of the practitioners while promoting an understanding of the profession to the public.

With consideration to the advocacy aspect of our role, we were greatly disappointed to have our profession relegated to being “ambulance drivers” on the University of Calgary poster. Each member of our profession has worked hard to develop an expertise and skill set dedicated to the healthcare profession. In addition, they make extended daily sacrifices– time away from their families and impacts on their lifestyles – to perform this essential work on extreme schedules. To imply the entire skillset is based on “driving” is extremely derogatory and diminishes the profession. We would be more than happy to publicize an apology to those in the profession regarding this misnomer, as the poster has recently been published on Facebook and significant displeasure is being generated.

Despite, the downgrading of our profession within the study information, it is recognized the value results of such learnings can have across the health industry in the province. Having identified the role of paramedics within the prognosis of those who suffer a stroke demonstrates a potential change or improvement in our practice. In the future, the Association would be supportive of working with organizers of such academic initiatives where it has implications on the paramedic profession. Be it for language verification or support of research criteria.

While we appreciate the intent of the poster and the study, it was a significant misstep to refer to those in the paramedic profession as “ambulance drivers” and we hope you will see the benefit of respecting the profession with a removal of the poster and a public apology.

If we as an Association can be of assistance in this or other matters related to our profession, we hope you will reach out at dusty@albertaparamedics.ca or 780-904-3619 and perhaps, such inadvertent misunderstandings can be avoided in the future.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Dusty Myshrall, ACP, Flight Paramedic
President

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Alberta Paramedic Association meets with Alberta’s Health Minister

The importance of meeting with Deputy Premier and Health Minister, Hon Sarah Hoffman in November cannot be understated!

During friendly chat over a cup of coffee, Hon Sarah Hoffman, Dusty Myshrall (President) and Marc Moebis (Executive Director) got down to business.

Two main topics were discussed on behalf of our members.

1) Association members as stewards of the healthcare system
Paramedics working the frontline have firsthand experience with the healthcare system every day!

We have ideas of how the health system can be improved, including better patient flow, decreasing wait times, reduced long distance transfers and cost savings. The Alberta Paramedic Association has a membership base that would like to communicate those ideas and we are a resource for the government to get frontline feedback.

2) Alberta Paramedic Association support.
With the support of a strong association, the HPA has afforded paramedics the opportunity to expand into new roles, grow in scope of practice and enjoy greater independence. We asked the Health Minister to support the Alberta Paramedic Association as we continue to evolve as a VOICE for the profession and a place for paramedics to connect, share, learn and support each other. We reinforced our encouragement for the government to support the Alberta College of Paramedics in it’s mandate and vision of achieving excellence in regulation.

Hon Sarah Hoffman expressed her gratitiude for the support the Alberta Paramedic Association offers it’s members. She wanted to extend a great appreciation for the service Alberta’s paramedics provide and the passion you all have for the highest standard of patient care. This was a very positive first meeting and we are pleased with the relationships we are establishing with stakeholders on behalf of our members.

Do you have something to add to our messages to the Health Minister?
Email us at info@albertaparamedics.ca

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Insurance policy clarification

December 13, 2017

Re: Professional Liability Insurance Clarification

Dear Members,

The Alberta Paramedic Association (APA) is an independent, representative organization of its members with an aim of implementing programs and services that improve the lives of paramedics in Alberta. This includes paramedics having a choice of insurance providers.  The Association has worked diligently to introduce an alternative professional liability insurance option to provide balance and reduce premiums, or at least prevent rising premiums, in the liability insurance market. We have also worked to ensure practitioners have information to understand this relatively new requirement.

However, an article published by Marsh and disseminated by the Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC) in the latest edition of Canadian Paramedicine magazine, misinforms practitioners about their options, failing to accurately report the facts. The APA wants to ensure you have the necessary clarity to support your professional liability insurance decisions.

  1. While the article stated the cost of insurance through the APA is $75 plus tax, it is actually an APA membership that has a $75 value, including the tax and professional liability insurance that has been designed around the specific needs of practitioners in this province.
  2. The article also noted that insurance through Marsh has a cost of $59, but failed to mention it is only available to members of PAC, which is a mandated requirement by the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP), at a cost of $17 per year and included as part of the required annual registration fee charged by ACP.
  3. Additionally, this article fails to bring to light the fact that Marsh insurance does not provide coverage for the timeframe prior to a practitioner’s departure from the profession. It has been established that even if a practitioner pays for professional liability insurance through Marsh, once they leave practice, don’t renew or take a leave of absence, that entire coverage period is void.

Having heard so many concerns from practitioners regarding liability insurance, it is important to the Alberta Paramedic Association that you have the right information available. Please reach out and let us know if you have other questions or concerns relative to the requirement for professional liability insurance. Further details regarding insurance can be found on our website – www.albertaparamedics.ca.

Dusty Myshrall Signature

Dusty Myshrall, ACP, Flight Paramedic