AAPA Constituent Organizations Leadership Forum.
As a President of APSPA I attended Constituent Organizations Forum that was held at AAPA Conference in New Orleans, May 20th. It is always great to see leaders of various constituent organizations getting together. This year three awards were give in recognition of outstanding work and valuable achievements.
First award was presented to SDPA- society of Dermatology PA’s. What they did is truly outstanding- they created a Diplomate Fellowship Program for PA’s practicing in dermatology. The course consists of 70+ Hours of dermatology CME training, divided into 22 modules. Considering busy schedule of practicing PA’s, Fellows can take up to two years to complete this course. Currently SDPA is working closely with AAPA to get CME category one approval. At this time they already have over 1,100 PA’s signed up for this course. It took a vision, few years and a lot of collaboration with participating dermatologists and practicing PA’s to put this course together. Not to mention the financial part that needed to hire professional organization to create an online course. This is well deserved recognition, because it shows real leadership at work and brings PA’s education to a higher level.
Second award was presented for building legislative partnership between PA Programs and State Legislators to raise awareness about PA Profession. It was presented to the body of NCAPA. The leaders of this constituent Organization did an amazing job! They brought State and Local legislators together with PA Programs to show what it takes to become a PA. Lawmakers and legislators visited North Carolina PA Programs and observed the education process PA students have to go through. Leaders of NCAPA shared their experience and said that it took a lot of hours and meetings to orchestrate and schedule these important events. It was a truly an eye opener for many legislators. Their knowledge about our profession became valuable and now they understand the importance of moving PA profession forward.
Third award was presented to Illinois Society of PA’s for doing a great job in raising awareness about PA profession. Their state laws and regulations were about to expire, the wording was old, and a lot of constrains and limitations were placed on practicing PA’s. So the leadership of ISPA decided not to sit and wait, but move quickly before any Bill hits the Legislative Floor. As presenter said-“we literally hit the pavement” and got behind the wheel. Throughout the state of Illinois they organized meetings, whether it is a small library or a PA program. They did everything that would help to teach PA’s about New Bill and what OTP stands for. To their surprise many PA’s did not know or did not understand what OTP was. The enthusiasm and movement was big. The membership soared as PA’s realized that ISPA was representing and fighting for them. At that point PA’s would go to Local and State meetings with Lawmakers to advocate for Illinois practicing PA’s. As a result, the new Bill changed wording from Assistant to Collaboration. The number of PA’s working under single Physician became solid 7, without counting NP’s in as it stated in an old bill. The Society is working on raising that number, especially in rural areas, where need in providing health care is urgent. These achievements would not happen without a great leadership of ISPA.
All three Constituent Organization Leaders shared their experience with audience and received well deserved congratulations for their great work. Ultimately, we all benefit from it, our patients benefit from it and the experience they shared is an example of great vision being put to work.