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Suncrest announces sonography training program

College accepting applications for the six seat 28-month program until May 15.

YORKTON – Suncrest College announced Feb. 20 a sonography training program set to begin fall 2024.

"This is what we would consider a high demand program," Alison Dubreuil, President and CEO of Suncrest College, told reporters during a media scrum at the college.

"Prior to today students would have to leave the province of Sask to attain this education so we're very pleased to offer this here in the province of Sask. for students to be able to learn locally," added Dubreuil.

Applications for the program opened the day of the announcement and the six seat, 28-month program will see its first graduates in Dec of 2026. The college will be accepting applications for the fall program until May 15.

Dubreuil said the program comes with the help of the Health Foundation, noting that the college has been in talks with the organization for the "past couple years."

"We look forward to working with East Central Health Foundation to help provide the medical equipment that will be needed for our new on campus lab," said Dubreuil.

"There's been a need for years to increase the number of sonographers or ultrasound technicians that we have in the province — particularly in rural areas," told Ross Fisher, Executive Director of The Health Foundation, to reporters at the scrum.

"We've been talking with the college for some time about trying to expand some of the courses that they provide so that we can address specific shortages that we have in health care ... and the college has been terrific and receptive to that," said Fisher, adding the program will help to address shortages across the province.

"Ultrasound is a growing profession. It will continue to grow. It's non-invasive. It allows the doctors to take a look at a number of different kinds of medical conditions," said Fisher.

Yorkton MLA Greg Ottenbreit and Melville-Saltcoats MLA Warren Kaeding were also in attendance to answer questions from reporters.

"Ultrasound technicians within the province are at a shortage — it's very hard to get trained ultrasound techs here," said Ottenbreit, "to train them — not only in Sask. — but right here in Yorkton through the Suncrest College's Trades and Technologies centre is something that's very important but also very needed and very celebrated. Not only by governement but also the health region."

"By offering this course locally we're certainly hoping that we're able to retain a lot more of those trained individuals," said Kaeding.

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, read a press release from the provincial government.