Feb. 7, 2023

Tracy Danylyshen-Laycock envisions interdisciplinary, team approach to supporting SK physicians

As Director of Continuing Care for the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Dr. Tracy Danylyshen-Laycock (PhD) saw the positive impact that a team approach – drawing on the expertise of psychiatrists, psychologists, care home aides, and nurses– had on long-term care residents.

In her new role as the SMA’s Director of Physician Wellness and Support Programs, Danylyshen-Laycock would like to apply a similar approach to helping physicians, students, residents, or family members facing individual and workplace challenges. She oversees the staff providing services through the Physician Health Program; Physician in Need; Medical Benevolent Society; and the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion program.

Danylyshen-Laycock will carry on the outstanding support that Brenda Senger has been providing to physicians in this province for the past 20 years. Brenda will gradually ease back from her duties starting this spring.

As a step toward achieving Danylyshen-Laycock’s vision of providing Saskatchewan physicians with the best, most appropriate supports for their workplace issues, Physician Wellness and Support Programs is increasing its staff complement. The team is currently recruiting for two workplace wellbeing consultants — to be based in Saskatoon and Regina — as well as physician advocates to support these new roles. This group will work with physicians and other stakeholders to constructively resolve workplace conflicts, whether it’s within a clinic, in acute care, or other areas of practice.

“I want us to have this high-functioning team that can, at the drop of the hat, come together, work cohesively, and provide support to SMA members in a timely, effective manner that shows results,” says Danylyshen-Laycock. “That could mean a physician is able to go back to work sooner, a workplace relationship issue is resolved, or they’re able to write their licensing exam if they’ve been struggling with anxiety.”

Danylyshen-Laycock joined the SMA in November 2022, after 22 years with the SHA (and prior to that, the Saskatoon Health Region), where she held a variety of management and clinical roles. She has a PhD in Health Sciences through the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan as well as a Bachelors and Masters in Social Work from Dalhousie University, and a Bachelors of Science in Physical Education from the University of Saskatchewan.

Systemic issues left to fester can lead to an unwell workplace that negatively affects a physician’s mental health, says Danylyshen-Laycock. Where appropriate, the workplace consultants and physician advocates may go into the workplace to meet with the parties involved. “I think having this sort of hands-on support will be a great service to our members,” says Ms. Danylyshen-Laycock. “It won’t be just a telephone call, it’ll be on the ground meetings with the stakeholders doing what they need to do to try and help resolve the situation.” They hope to have the new positions filled by early spring.

I want us to have this high-functioning team that can, at the drop of the hat, come together, work cohesively, and provide support to SMA members in a timely, effective manner that shows results.

Tracy Danylyshen-Laycock

Recent Posts

Follow us for all the latest updates