Traditionally, entering the field of medical sonography has meant that Saskatchewan trainees must cross provincial borders for their education. Now, Suncrest College in eastern Saskatchewan will be the first post-secondary institution in the province to offer an advanced diploma in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. The program will be offered at Suncrest’s Yorkton campus beginning this fall. 

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers provide ultrasound tests for patients and are in high demand in communities across the province. Saskatchewan residents who want to become sonographers currently go to Alberta to access training seats that are reserved for Saskatchewan students and complete the clinical component of their training in Saskatchewan. The new program potentially changes the playing field for Saskatchewan candidates.  

"Our government is committed to increasing training capacity for high demand health professions, and giving our students more opportunities for rewarding careers," Advanced Education Minister Gordon Wyant said in a government release. "This new program at Suncrest College will attract students from across Saskatchewan, help meet the demand for diagnostic services, and ultimately speed up treatment for our residents." 

"We are thrilled to bring this program to Suncrest College and to the province of Saskatchewan," Suncrest College CEO Alison Dubreuil said. "This new innovative training program reflects our commitment to excellence and ensures we contribute to the development of the health care workforce for Saskatchewan."  

The same release noted that the Ministries of Advanced Education and Immigration and Career Training will provide funding to support the program, and the Health Foundation of East Central Saskatchewan has offered to raise $300,000 for equipment costs. Other community donors will support the remaining capital costs. 

"The Health Foundation strives to expand the quality of health care and medical services in east central Saskatchewan," Foundation Executive Director Ross Fisher said. "Through this training partnership with Suncrest College, we hope to address sonography and other hard to recruit careers in health care and revitalize our local services." 

The government's recent expansion of seats in this program have been secured until at least 2024-25. Students may also compete for a non-reserved seat at other institutions outside Saskatchewan. 

"This new sonography program is another important step for our government to deliver on a key pillar in our Health Human Resources Action Plan to Recruit, Train, Incentivize and Retain," Health Minister Everett Hindley said. "I look forward to newly trained sonographers joining our health workforce and building a rewarding career in Saskatchewan."   

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