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2014 News

November 26, 2014 – PRAXES to be Global Medical Support Partner for Clipper Race 2015-16

November 4, 2014 – Pii Software release major software update for Nova Scotia Ground Search & Rescue

October, 2014 – Clipper Race & PRAXES report results of their partnership

September 9, 2014 – Getting to know operations manager Michelle Currie

July 22, 2014 – Canadian Eric Holden wins Clipper Race

June 9, 2014 – Assurance from afar

June, 2014 – Welcoming new Operations Manager Michelle Currie

May 21, 2014 – The Daily Telegraph article

April 29, 2014 – Man goes overboard mid-Pacific

March 21, 2014 – China bound and back to the cold

February 26, 2014 – PRAXES Welcomes Dr. John Ross as new Medical Director

February 7, 2014 – Out of Oz and Singapore-bound

January 31, 2014 – PRAXES CEO Susan Helliwell speaks at Northern Lights conference in Ottawa

PRAXES to be Global Medical Support Partner for Clipper Race 2015-16

PRAXES Medical Group to be the Global Medical Support Partner for Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2015-16

The Halifax, Nova Scotia, based company PRAXES Medical Group will be a fleet sponsor and medical support partner providing global medical coverage for Clipper Round the World Yacht Race crew and skippers for the second time in the upcoming 2015-16 race. PRAXES will now be providing the on-board medical kits and supplies as well, a new service for this race. The team at PRAXES is thrilled to continue to build on this exciting Clipper Race partnership.

In the 2013-14 Clipper Race, PRAXES team of Canadian emergency physicians responded to more than 100 calls from Clipper Race yachts regarding a wide range of medical situations. PRAXES doctors advised on everything from respiratory problems, infections, eye injuries, rashes, dislocations, broken ribs and emergency advice following Andrew Taylor’s man overboard rescue in the North Pacific Ocean. When incidents happen, a qualified physician will swiftly respond within five minutes of the call to assess the illness or injury, recommend treatments and give permission to administer drugs.


According to Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Founder and Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, having PRAXES support to count on provides unlimited peace of mind.

“Knowing the PRAXES doctors were available during emergencies and other medical situations was extremely reassuring for our crew on the last race so I am delighted to be continuing the partnership,” said Knox-Johnston. “The safety of our crew who are tackling Mother Nature’s toughest conditions is paramount for us. Knowing expert medical advice is available should anything happen means the loved ones of crew are reassured at home as well.”

PRAXES doctors have access to the medical records of the Clipper Race crew and skippers. They also provide a “virtual clinic” by video at each stopover port. Sailors can get immediate access to healthcare advice, even though they are thousands of miles away from their own physicians. The service significantly reduced the number of in-port hospital visits during the 2013-14 race, which had a positive impact on insurance costs.

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with the race,” said PRAXES CEO Susan Helliwell. “Sir Robin, the skippers, staff and crews have all been enthusiastic about our 24/7 service. We are very pleased to play a role in supporting crew health.”

About Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the world’s longest ocean race, also known as one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges. The race is 40,000 miles long and takes almost a year to complete. Twelve teams race on a matched fleet of Clipper Race 70 ocean racing yachts.

Established by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in 1996 to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to experience the thrill of ocean racing, it’s the only event of its kind for amateur sailors. Approximately 40 per cent of crew have no sailing experience before they sign up to the challenge. This is where everyone from doctors to massage therapists, truck drivers, students, nurses, and landscape gardeners join together to take on Mother Nature’s toughest conditions.

About PRAXES Medical Group 

Established in 1997, PRAXES specializes in advanced telemedicine services for the marine and energy sectors. PRAXES is on-call for clients such as the Canadian Navy, the Coast Guard, the oil and gas industry, mine sites, and prisons. Using satellite phones and customized software, emergency medical professionals are available to guide clients through medical situations and emergencies no matter where they are located in the world. The PRAXES mission is to improve remote health care while simultaneously reducing cost and risk for clients.


For further information on PRAXES visit www.praxes.ca or contact: John Hockin, VP Marketing (705) 706 2891/Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

For further information on the Clipper Race please visit www.clipperroundtheworld.com 

Pii Software release major software update for NSGSAR

Pii Software release major software update for Nova Scotia Ground Search & Rescue


PRAXES subsidiary company Pii Software has released an updated version of its EMwerx Incident Management software now being used by the Nova Scotia Ground Search & Rescue.  This release includes over 40 different feature changes aimed at facilitating search event activities.  Based on feedback provided by the NSGSAR Technical Committee and members, the feature changes are part of a series of development improvements on track to continue through to spring 2015.

In conjunction with this release, Pii Software provided assistance during a training session attended by all 23 NSGSAR teams on October 25.  Held in camp Aldershot, the training session reviewed the Members, Assets, Reports & Documents sections of the software as well as touched on the basics of Incidents.  Smaller more focused training sessions will be held in early 2015 to cover the Incidents section in full.

Pii Software’s EMwerx Incident Management software is also currently being used by the Manitoba Office of the Fire Commissioner and the Yukon Emergency Measures Organization.  EMwerx is also used for information management within a medical context for clients such as SBM Offshore, Frontier Medex, and Clipper Round the World Race.  For more information on our software, please contact us.

Clipper & PRAXES report results

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and PRAXES Medical Group report the results of their partnership

A dramatic drop in the number of medical expenses was the result of a partnership between PRAXES and the Clipper race 2013/14. PRAXES was the global emergency medical partner for the race. With PRAXES on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the crew members on-board Clipper yachts had ongoing assistance no matter what medical situation transpired, anywhere in the world.

This was the first time the Clipper race utilized a dedicated telemedicine support service, with resoundingly positive results. Over the duration of the 2011 – 2012 race, Clipper experienced 196 claims for on-shore medical services.  That number fell to only 71 claims during the 2013 – 2014 race, once PRAXES’ support was in place.


According to a representative from Clipper’s insurance broker Oval Insurance Broking “the introduction of PRAXES Medical Group to the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2013 – 2014 has helped achieve a significant reduction in the number of crews needing onshore medical practitioner appointments, and thus reduced insurance claims.”

For Clipper this means better crew support and reduced costs.

It’s tangible results like these that have further solidified the relationship between PRAXES and Clipper. PRAXES Medical Director, Dr. John Ross, and CEO, Susan Helliwell, visited

Portsmouth and Gosport, United Kingdom, recently to meet with the Clipper Ventures partners, debrief on the 2013 – 2014 race and begin planning the 2015 – 2016 race.

During their UK visit, Ross and Helliwell, also had a chance to meet with Clipper 2013 – 2014 winning Canadian skipper, Eric Holden, and get his specific thoughts on the service provided. With Holden’s firsthand feedback in mind, the team at PRAXES plan to further customize and improve the support available for future races.

Ross and Helliwell also attended the annual conference of the Institute for Remote Health Care in London. In attendance were medical directors from important major players in the offshore oil and gas industry (such as Shell and BP), medical service and equipment providers, members of the military, representatives from public health care and academia. With the topic of telemedicine at the forefront, Ross and Helliwell returned to Nova Scotia excited about further opportunities to refine their global medical support service.

Getting to know operations manager Michelle Currie

In May 2014, Michelle Currie joined the team at PRAXES as operations manager bringing her unique experience and passion for telemedicine to the position. Prior to joining PRAXES, Currie worked as a registered nurse and developed a strong interest in telemedicine after a neck injury sidelined her from providing direct patient care. An opportunity to work on a chronic disease management telemedicine project materialized with Capital Health District Authority and Atlantic Health Sciences and Currie delved into this project for five years. Through this experience she truly “learned how technology could be a platform to deliver clinical services and care to people no matter where they were.”

More recently, Currie worked as operations manager and then moved into the role of manager of privacy, quality and emerging business/client relations with McKesson Canada and was instrumental in developing the 811 service in Nova Scotia. When the opportunity emerged with PRAXES, Currie didn’t hesitate to make the well-suited transition. The energetic mother of four, avid sailor and business leader took some time to answer a few questions on her new role.

What have your impressions been of working with PRAXES so far?

The first thing that strikes one about working with PRAXES is the team. It’s a small amazing group of people who put their hearts and souls into the business. I really love that and I’m so excited about the type of work PRAXES does and the passion they have for what they do. The philosophy at PRAXES really comes down to delivering the best possible care to people no matter where they may be and I really believe that what we’re doing makes a big difference.

Can you describe what your position as operations manager entails?

One of my biggest roles is to make sure that things are constantly moving forward. When we establish new contracts, I ensure that everything that needs to happen is happening including setting up consultations, fostering business relations and building strong relationships with clients. Since it’s a small company, there’s the wonderful opportunity to wear many hats and with my telemedicine experience I think I can contribute and support CEO Susan Helliwell in that specific area. Making sure that we’re following proper operational procedures and working closely with our physicians are also key aspects. Encouraging and building the team, supporting them and helping them to develop their skill sets is very crucial to me. Honestly, the position is growing and changing all the time and I’m just trying to grow with it!

What do you see as one of the most important aspects of your role?

I think that a huge part of it is client relations and making sure that we are providing very high quality service. Quality is very important to me. Being able to foresee and mitigate any potential risks and getting clients that face to face time that they need are top priorities. We want our clients to know that there’s someone they can always contact if they have issues and that we’re constantly in touch with them. As the business grows, it is so important to always make sure that the clients’ needs are looked after.

How would you describe your personal style of doing business?

I bring an open-door policy to my work whether it is virtual or face to face. I’m a team player and I believe in building people, building high power teams and empowering the people who work with us, whether it be through education or just supporting them expanding on their existing skills. My belief is that you never stop learning. Working for PRAXES is a learning experience for me so my style as a manager is that I am no more important than anyone else. I want to know from my team on the front lines what’s going on so that I can be involved and provide the appropriate coaching and managing. I am a hands-on manager but I also think it’s important to be relaxed and approachable.


Do you have a favourite story regarding your work at PRAXES so far?

I have quite a few! On the humorous side, I discovered that the Clearwater clam fleet are not digging for clams with shovels rather they are on a big vessel that drags for clams. People in the office had a laugh over this and I was embarrassed but again – it was a learning experience! I was also on-site up in New Brunswick with some of our paramedics to go through a safety orientation and this was a chance for me to see what they do in person. I had to wear a flame retardant suit that was too small for me and steel-toed boots and everyone still laughs about me calling the safety hats “helmets” so this was another comical experience! On a more serious note – another vivid memory I have, is feeling extremely proud to be there at the route Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race skippers meeting. Representing PRAXES and being able to talk to all of the fleets and captains about the service and additional safety we were about to provide was fantastic. I was there as not only a representative of PRAXES but also as a participant and I know that my family felt so much reassurance to know that we were going to have all this additional support while out at sea.

Canadian Eric Holden wins Clipper Race

Canadian Eric Holden skippers winning Clipper Round the World Yacht Race team

Vancouver skipper Eric Holden navigated the Henri Lloyd yacht to victory in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race placing first ahead of second-place yacht, GREAT Britain.  As skipper of the Henri Lloyd, Holden fearlessly led his team through unpredictable, rough seas and long durations away from dry land. Arriving back to London’s Tower Bridge along the River Thames on July 12th 2014 after nearly a year from the start date, the Henri Lloyd crew were overjoyed to be greeted by family, friends and a vast crowd of supporters.

Throughout the race, PRAXES Medical Group (based in Halifax, Nova Scotia) provided 24/7 medical support to all teams for any medical situations and/or emergencies that occurred. The team at PRAXES pride themselves on their involvement with such an esteemed international race. As the only Canadian sponsor of the Clipper Race, PRAXES couldn’t be more thrilled to learn of the triumph of fellow Canadian, Eric Holden.


Eric Holden proudly displays the Clipper Race trophy with PRAXES Vice President of Marketing John Hockin at Tower Bridge in London

“I am really proud to have had a great Canadian company in PRAXES supporting us with medical advice as we circumnavigated the globe,” says Holden. “It was a huge comfort to have a PRAXES doctor on the other end of the line during a medical emergency we had on board. Everyone sailing offshore should arrange for medical support while at sea and I would highly recommend PRAXES.”

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race pairs novice sailors with experienced skippers and covers 16 individual races over 64 300 kilometres around the globe. It is a life-changing experience and true test of strength for those who accept the challenge. Clipper 2013 – 2014 crew members faced a variety of unforeseen medical situations from hard knocks to a man overboard. PRAXES was standing by at all hours, every day of the week for the duration of this dramatic race.


Henri Lloyd yacht goes under Tower Bridge

“We were thrilled to support this year’s Clipper crew,” says PRAXES CEO, Susan Helliwell. “Over the last 11 months, we’ve answered over 100 medical calls from Clipper Race yachts, from every corner of the globe, and provided 16 ‘in-port’ virtual clinics. But it’s not really about technology, the magic ingredient in our service is our incredible doctors – people who assist with almost no information, just a voice at the end of a satellite phone.”

PRAXES Medical Group was established in 1997 and now provides medical support to clients in remote locations such as the offshore oil and gas industry, and mine sites among many others.


The crew of Henri Lloyd celebrate their victory

To learn more about Clipper, check out: http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Assurance from afar


June 9, 2014 – Halifax Magazine feature writer and  lifestyle blogger Nicole Trask recently wrote a piece on PRAXES’ medical coverage provided for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.   The article touches on the humble beginnings of PRAXES and contains a powerful endorsement from Great Britain skipper Simon Talbot:

“Across the fleet, every yacht has called Praxes but we’ve had a lot of incidents and we’ve called more than most,” says Talbot. “They have always got back to us within a couple minutes. Honestly, I think the race would be a bit lost without this service.”

Read the full article over at Halifax Magazine.

Michelle Currie takes on Operations Manager role

PRAXES welcomes Michelle Currie as our new Operations Manager


Michelle Currie is a Registered Nurse and a senior manager in health management, most recently part of the team responsible for the 811 consumer nurse line in NS and PEI. Michelle was instrumental in the growth and development of both provincial operations and provided leadership to other smaller programs throughout Atlantic Canada.

Michelle brings critical management skills to the growth of PRAXES in both industrial and consumer markets. She will work closely with senior management on the expansion of existing services and the creation and implementation of new services.

PRAXES welcomes Michelle to the team!

The Daily Telegraph article

Article featuring PRAXES in The Daily Telegraph

May 21, 2014 – The Daily Telegraph is a major international news organization based out of London, UK.

We are very proud to be featured in an article on their website describing our emergency telemedicine service with specific mention of the Clipper Round the World Race project.  Read the full article here.

Man goes overboard mid-Pacific

In the latest blog entry for CanadExport, John Hockin discusses the latest leg in the race which took the fleet across the Pacific, as well as an update on the Business side of things:

Dear CanadExport,

The yachts have arrived in San Francisco and Canadian Skipper Eric Holden leads the race overall.

Once the crew member was found and brought aboard, they called the PRAXES doctor on the satellite phone and our physician assisted in attending to him for a contusion and hypothermia. Fortunately, he is recovering well.Leg 10 was the longest and wildest so far — over 5,300 nautical miles with no land in sight. Many of you have already seen a clip of the man overboard incident, on CNN or the CBC. It occured (of course) at mid-ocean. Here is a link for those who have not yet seen it.

In fact, this leg saw many medical incidents and even medevacs. Below is a photo of the medic on the yacht OneDLL talking to the PRAXES doctor from the middle of the Pacific Ocean. PRAXES guarantees a five-minute emergency physician response to client calls from any global location.

Business news

When we asked the Clipper marketing team if past sponsors reported good business results from their sponsorship, we got an interesting answer; they said many sponsors claim that often the best results have come from sources they never anticipated. This has been exactly our experience.

Even though the race is still on (we finish July 12 in London) we are well advanced on new pilot projects with strategic partners who we didn’t know before the start of the race. The good news, from a sponsorhip point of view, is that our new partners became aware of us because of media coverage related to the the race. Finding new channel partners was the exact goal we had for our sponsorship efforts. Sponsorship works — even for a small company.

So, to the Canadian companies out there looking to secure new channel partners, here’s what we’ve learned:

  • Make sure the event you are sponsoring reinforces your product positioning and the market sector of interest. In our case, it’s global remote medical support in the marine sector;
  • Leverage the implied third-party endorsement in all your marketing and sales materials and efforts;
  • Budget at least twice the value of your in-kind offer to support your sponsorship, such as sales, travel, on-site activities that leverage the event;
  • Use a good public relations agency to help you leverage the stories and get media attention, particularly in the trade media your target partners read; and
  • Leverage in-country Canadian Trade Commissioner Service staff to identify potential channel partners and make introductions. Trade commissioners know who is in your target market. They are specialists in market intelligence, opening doors and saving you time. I have worked with the TCS system for over 20 years, with great success so take advantage of their enthusiasm and years of experience.

Yours aye,

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Vice-president, Marketing, PRAXES Medical Group

China bound and back to the cold

In the sixth blog entry for CanadExport, we cover the latest leg of the Clipper Race – Singapore to Qingdao – and the development of business opportunities through our association with Clipper:

Dear CanadExport,

In the last month Clipper crews have weathered a number of challenges but still they have adapted and remained focused.

PRAXES continues to take emergency medical calls from the yachts. In February, we took nine medical emergency calls from six yachts, responding within five minutes to satellite calls from crew. We went from becalmed to storms, just like export marketing.


From left: PRAXES Medical Director Dr. John Ross, race founder Sir Robin Knox Johnson, and PRAXES CEO Susan Helliwell on the Henry Lloyd.

A total of 2,500 nautical miles of head winds and colder weather are all part of this leg from Singapore to Qingdao. Lead yachts are now in Qingdao. Follow them real time via yellowbrick.

On the business side, we knew it would take time to find and meet partners, foster inter-company relationships, test business fit and define common goals. The metaphor of a long yacht race is a good one for building international partnerships — it takes time. But our progress has come more quickly than we anticipated. PRAXES is already implementing pilot business programs via partnerships sourced because of its association with the Clipper race.

This is what Susan Helliwell , PRAXES CEO and entrepreneur, said to me about sports partnerships as a vehicle for building international awareness of your business:

“It takes commitment to do international marketing in a small business. We know that partnership development is the most fundamental of methods. No small business has the resources to go direct to customers in most export markets – they need marketing partners who will help. Our association with the Clipper Race has opened more doors than we ever imagined. The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service staff in visiting countries are helping us do additional research and move leads forward – and this is a great combination.”

After Qingdao, the big challenge: 10,000 km of wild waves and rides across the Pacific. Stay tuned.

Yours aye,

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Vice-president, Marketing, PRAXES Medical Group

PRAXES welcomes Dr. John Ross as new Medical Director

PRAXES welcomes Dr. John Ross as new Medical Director

Dr. John Ross, BSC, MD, FRCPC, has been appointed Medical Director for PRAXES Medical Group at an exciting time in its 17 year history.


Dr. Ross is a well-known Canadian emergency physician and a founding partner of PRAXES. Dr. Ross has had a distinguished career in emergency medicine.  He is a professor of Emergency Medicine at Dalhousie University and is currently the Director of the Royal College Emergency Medicine residency program.  John has consulted to several Canadian governments on medical issues and has worked and taught Emergency Medicine in a number of countries.

In his role as Medical Director for PRAXES, Dr. Ross oversees all aspects of PRAXES service delivery including initial planning around client needs, development of medical protocols used in delivery of service, hiring, training and review of medical personnel, and medical case review.  As PRAXES expands its services to support more Canadian and international organizations, Dr. Ross will oversee the team of current Emergency Physicians as well as recruit, select and train new PRAXES physicians.  He is an educator by avocation and has worked with groups as diverse as medical staff in a Tanzanian hospital, medical residents, paramedics, nurses, physicians across Canada, military medics and Clipper Round the World Race skippers!

Out of Oz and Singapore-bound

In our fifth blog entry for CanadExport, PRAXES Vice-president of Marketing John Hockin gives a business update of opportunities through The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, and Canadian skipper Eric Holden describes the conditions at sea:

Dear CanadExport,

We are now on our way to Singapore, having just left Western Australia, Sydney, Hobart and Brisbane behind.

In addition to direct calls from the yachts we have now done 16 in port virtual clinics which assist crew members and reduce costly hospital visits. Our team had an operational review with the Clipper race manager this week and all systems are operating smoothly for both parties. This is very important to our business, as we are testing the potential for a consumer version of our service to be sold into international markets as a Canadian export product. So far our service has supported industrial clients only, but the notoriety of the race has generated demand for a consumer version.


Canadian Skipper Eric Holden on board yacht Henri Lloyd, holding a bottle of Canadian maple syrup off the coast of New Guinea, a gift from the Praxes team. “I rarely talk about food on board,” said Holden, “but today I have to give credit to our victualler Meg for preparing pancakes for breakfast, with real Canadian maple syrup provided by our amazing emergency physicians at Praxes Medical. Thanks!”.

We heard from Eric Holden, our favorite (and only) Canadian skipper of the yacht Henri Lloyd. “What a busy 24 hours it has been. I have never experienced weather quite like this, it seems never ending,” he said.

“Every time I put my head down it’s another call of “squall!”, usually phrased as “sorry to bother you again skip, but…”. Now I’m getting pretty tired and tempted to roll over, but when they say, “and there are a couple of water spouts coming towards us, should we be concerned?”, that gets my attention.

Holden says getting a skipper out of bed when he doesn’t want to can be an arduous process. “I usually expect to be bribed with fresh coffee,” he says. “But a call of waterspout gets me on deck in seconds, still in my underpants. And the amount of water that these clouds can hold is unbelievable, nothing in the Atlantic doldrums can compare to these clouds. You would see a white wall approaching and then the visibility would drop to near zero and the seas would get flattened by the rain.”

Business update

The seas are rocking and so is business! As part of our work with the Trade Commissioner Service, we followed up on a number of leads in the Australian market — supplied by our trade commissioners in Australia.

Three companies there are interested in further business discussions with us, which is great news. We will brief them and explore opportunities for the licensing of the Praxes service model in Australia.

We are looking forward to TCS staff being there for us in Singapore and we will also be meeting with potential partners there. Trade commissioners will, as always, be welcoming us with open business development arms.

Yours aye,

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Vice-president, Marketing, Praxes Medical Group

PRAXES CEO Susan Helliwell speaks at Northern Lights conference in Ottawa

Nothern Lights Conference 2014Northern Lights is a business and cultural trade show and conference that focuses on raising the profile of the separate regions of the Canadian north and exploring business relationships between them as well as with other businesses across the country.

This year PRAXES CEO Susan Helliwell will attend the event in Ottawa and give a presentation as part of the session entitled ‘Arctic Ocean Technology: Opportunities and Challenges for Emergency Preparedness’.  You can download the presentation here, as well as view a paper on the business case for telemedicine here.  For more information on the event in general you can view their website here.

Please check the rest of our website for more information about our services, or contact Susan at email hidden; JavaScript is required or (902) 420-9725 x 201.


PRAXES Emergency Specialists Inc.

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