Sasha Langille-Rowe, a Terrace physician, is recognized by the BC College of Family Physicians with the First Five Years in Practice Award for her patient care and leadership in family medicine.
Langille-Rowe began her practice in 2018 after graduating from UBC’s rural family medicine program in Terrace. She said the recognition was “humiliating” after being nominated for the award by a colleague.
“It was kind of a special moment. It just made me grateful to be able to work in a place like this with so many supportive colleagues and such amazing patients.
Despite her many accomplishments, Langille-Rowe finds it especially rewarding when patients tell her they feel well cared for and supported. She said that’s a key role for family physicians, whom she calls medical quarterbacks.
The health care system, she said, is not working for patients who don’t have access to family doctors, who are the first point of contact for people when they feel unwell or they seek clarification.
“They are the ones that tie all the pieces together and help support patients through different health journeys,” Langille-Rowe said.
“Without this quarterback, it’s really difficult for patients to navigate this complex medical system. It becomes difficult for the rest of the team to function without someone who can drive the team forward and make sure everyone is communicating properly.
After covering maternity leave, Langille-Rowe established her own community practice, including working in the office, as a hospitalist with her patients and in the emergency room.
She is passionate about addiction medicine and was chosen to help establish an opioid agonist clinic (OAT) in Terrace. She has since provided community OAT clinics and educational support at Mills Memorial Hospital (MMH) to implement Suboxone treatment in the ER.
“People who succeed at our facility really do recover. To be able to help people through this process is really fantastic,” Langille-Rowe said.
“I hope we can get more support for addiction treatment in our community. Because I think we really need more support in this area.
She said she hopes Terrace will one day have its own drug rehabilitation center so patients don’t have to travel to Prince George for these services.
Throughout the pandemic, Langille-Rowe has stepped up its efforts to help COVID patients, establishing itself as a central support for not one but two health crises in British Columbia.
After MMH was identified as a COVID treatment center, she volunteered to work clinically at the center and take on some unpaid management duties.
Langille-Rowe has served as president of the Local Medical Staff Association since 2021. She also teaches in the Integrated Community Internship (ICC) program for medical students at UBC.
Terrace stood out this year in the Family Physician Awards, with two local physicians being recognized. This included Dr. Jaco Strydom, who won the 2022 My Family Doctor Award for the Northern Health Region.
Langille-Rowe attributes this success in part to the work environment.
“I think it’s the collegiality and the fact that we have a great group of doctors who work really well together and support each other and care about the community. It’s really hard to make changes if you don’t have that,” she said.
“We’re just like two representations of a fantastic medical community here.”
Do you have a comment on this story? E-mail: