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About Prairie Diagnostic Services

Our Vision 

A Leader in Veterinary Diagnostic Services


Our Mission



Provide client focused laboratory services and expertise in diagnostics, surveillance, teaching and research in support of animal health, public health, environmental health, food safety and market access.

Overview of PDS 



Prairie Diagnostic Services Inc. (PDS) is a member type non-profit corporation dedicated to providing veterinary diagnostic services. It's members are the Province of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan. The company was incorporated in 1998.

PDS, as a not-for-profit, has a unique business model among Canadian publically funded laboratories. Other labs that serve the public interest are typically governed and funded by the Province/State either directly, or through Universities in association with Veterinary Colleges. In contrast, PDS is governed by a Board of Directors and operates independently. Laboratory services are supported through the provision of grants and in-kind contributions from the Province and the University as well as fee for service from clients.

Governance and Management

PDS operations are overseen by a thirteen member Board of Directors appointed by the PDS members.  The Board includes four representative directors, two each from the U of S and the Province, and nine independent directors.  Representation from one or more of the other Prairie provinces is maintained on the Board to reflect the existing client group, and to position the company for strategic partnerships with the other provincial laboratories, clients and governments in supporting delivery of a comprehensive diagnostic service across the Prairies.   

PDS Board of Directors 

Dr. Harold Fast, Board Chair, Fast Pigs Inc.
Dr. Neil Shantz, Board Vice-Chair, Warman Veterinary Services. 
Dr. Douglas Freeman, Board Secretary/Treasurer, Dean, Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), U of S 
Ralph Hildebrandt, CFO and Director of Operations, WCVM, U of S PDS Board Members
Paul Johnson, Director, Livestock Branch, Ministry of Saskatchewan Agriculture
Godwin Pon, Livestock Analyst, Policy Branch, Ministry of Saskatchewan Agriculture 
Michael Spratt, Beef Producer and Board member of Saskatchewan Cattleman’s Association 
Dr. Tracy Fisher, Albert North Veterinary Clinic
Brendan Redding, President, OndaGo Leadership and Management Corp
Dr. Sandra Stephens, Program Specialist, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Dr. Craig Dorin, Partner, Veterinary Agri-Health Services
Dr. Jagdish Patel, Section Head, Pathology, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
Dr. Tracy Gilson, A/Assistant Deputy Minister, Manitoba Agriculture and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI)

The PDS Board of Directors has three sub-committees to support the work of the Board: the executive committee, a governance committee and a finance committee.  PDS operations are managed by a team of four senior staff, including CEO, Marilyn Jonas. 

Funding

Laboratory services are supported through the provision of grants and in-kind contributions from the Province of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan as well as fee for service from clients.

The grant and in-kind support from the Province supports the provision of diagnostic testing services to the livestock industry as well as core disease surveillance work, while the grant from the University supports undergraduate and graduate teaching of veterinary students, diagnostic support for research and test development at the College, and maintenance of professional diagnostic expertise among faculty at the College.

Laboratory Operations

PDS is located at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in Saskatoon with laboratories integrated directly into the College. The laboratory provides a full range of diagnostic services including: necropsy, surgical pathology, clinical pathology, histology, bacteriology, immunology, molecular diagnostics, virology, and toxicology. A contract lab at WCVM provides endocrinology services.


Diagnostic service is provided by 8 professional diagnostic staff and approximately 45 laboratory technologists and administrative staff. WCVM faculty actively participate in providing the diagnostic service through contract arrangements with PDS.

PDS implements a quality management system in accordance with the current version of ISO/IEC 17025 and is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) as a testing laboratory for specific tests as listed in the Scope of Accreditation.   The laboratory participates in proficiency test programs, inter-laboratory comparisons, and in-lab assessments to ensure the standard of testing expertise is maintained.  

CAHSN Partnership

PDS, along with other University, Provincial and Federal laboratories across Canada is part of the Canadian Animal Health Surveillance Network (CAHSN), which was established to increase surveillance and diagnostic testing capacity for emerging and Foreign Animal Diseases.

 In support of the CAHSN initiative, PDS operates a Level 2+ bio-security testing laboratory where testing on highly pathogenic organisms can be performed.  The lab is currently accredited by the SCC to test for Avian Influenza via both Real Time (RT) PCR and serology, Swine Influenza Real Time (RT) PCR, Newcastle Disease Real Time (RT) PCR, Foot and Mouth Disease via both Real Time (RT) PCR and serology, and Classical Swine Fever Real Time (RT) PCR.