University of Alberta and NWP sign historic memorandum of understanding

The future of rural medicine in northern Alberta is brightening as Northwestern Polytechnical College (NWP) and the University of Alberta (U of A) have signed a memorandum of understanding to formalize an innovative medical education partnership in northern Alberta.

More than 100 eager witnesses gathered at Northwestern Tech’s Health Education Center located within the state-of-the-art Grande Prairie Regional Hospital (GPRH) to witness this historic event. Representatives from the University of Alberta, NWP and Maskwa Health Center attended, as well as provincial councilors, local government leaders and health and education professionals from across Alberta.

“This memorandum of understanding marks another step forward for health and education in our region,” said Dr. Vanessa Sheane, president and CEO of Northwestern Tech. “We are deeply grateful to the Government of Alberta for their continued support and commitment to the North, and to the efforts of everyone who has been on this journey with us over the past two years.”

The establishment of the Rural Medical Education Program and Training Center (RMEPTC) is part of the strategy and investments announced by the Government of Alberta earlier this month.

“This agreement is an example of how higher education institutions can work together to solve challenges and create opportunities that benefit all Albertans,” said Bill Flanagan, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Alberta. “Through By exposing more students to a top-notch medical education at the University of Alberta, we are playing a leading role in ensuring people in northern Alberta have access to high-quality primary health care where they live.”

With the memorandum of understanding now in effect, Northwestern Tech and the University of Alberta will continue to collaborate to fill 30 seats in the inaugural MD program. Aspiring medical professionals will have the opportunity to become diverse, competent and compassionate physician leaders as they complete their entire medical program at the University of Alberta at Northwestern Tech’s Grande Prairie campus and adjacent Health Education Centre. Bachelor of Science.

Clinical placements in a variety of acute, community, Aboriginal and other health care settings will also be an important part of deepening physicians’ connections with the North. A unique feature of this new northern partnership is the upcoming teaching clinic within the Maswa Medical Center development. Once operational, this component of the broader RMEPTC program will add much-needed primary care capacity to Alberta.

“The CEO and Board of Directors of Maskwa Medical Center have stepped up to support the province’s medical school mission set for June 2023,” said Ken Drysdale, president of Maskwa Medical Centre. Our facility will complement the training of family physicians and provide a full range of services to GPRH staff and patients. We will continue to advocate for a team-based approach. , allowing experts to diagnose complex medical conditions.

The University of Alberta and NWP are working together to attract, train and retain doctors where they are needed most. The University of Alberta will begin accepting applications in July 2024, with expected admission in the fall of 2025.

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Information provided by Northwestern Polytechnical University

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