PAHPM had an incredibly productive time at the AAPA IMPACT 2012 CME. Yesterday the busy board members (and lecturers) finally got some time to attend some more of the CME sessions! We are happy to have made some valuable connections and felt we were very successful in getting the word out that the PA Hospice Bill needs as much support as possible. And yes - if you are reading this - this means YOU too! You do not have to be a PA to log on to the Legislative Action Page on the AAPA website so PLEASE ask your friends and family to click the link and contact their legislators!
Thanks, as always, for your support!
The CN Tower in Toronto.
Good morning! Yesterday was yet another whirlwind of productivity for PAHPM.

Donna and Rebekah attended the State Legislative Leaders Meeting in the morning. We had the chance to hear some great stories about successes our PA colleagues have had at the state level. It also afforded the opportunity for Donna to speak with the heads of the CO State Organizations about gaining their support for the PA Hospice Bill. This is an issue that hits PAs in every state, especially in the rural and underserved areas. PAHPM offered to provide an article about this issue to the State Organizations for them to use in their newsletters. The response was tremendous and this will be yet another way we can drum up support for the passage of this bill.

Our very own Rebekah Halpern and Judy Knudson gave two talks today; one on Palliative Sedation vs. Euthanasia and the other on Communication. Their lectures were well-attended and got great feedback from the audience.

We held our PAHPM SO Meeting last night. We are thrilled to report that we had a few new faces at the meeting and that several staff members from AAPA (including the Education Staff) were in attendance. They were very excited about our education modules that we are working on. We are looking forward to working more closely with them in the future on CME topics and modules. While ARC-PA added end-of-life and palliative care topics into the mandatory requirements for PA program curricula very recently, there are many practicing PAs who have not been exposed to the knowledge base of hospice and palliative medicine topics and we are looking toward providing modules of some sort to bring this information to our PA colleagues in practice nationwide, in partnership with AAPA.

Next, it was off to the PA PAC (Political Action Committee) Event. This was held at the top of the CN Tower in Toronto. The views were amazing and the mixer was packed full of PA leaders and colleagues, as well as AAPA staff. 

This morning we met with the PAEA Board of Directors to share the latest on our education modules for students that we have been working on. They were thrilled with what they saw and are looking forward to working with us on getting the series of modules finished. They would like us to help with the roll-out of the series of modules by participating in a webinar when we are closer to the go-live date and we are more than happy to help in any way. 

On tap for the future? Drafting a letter to the White House! (No - really!) 

Thanks to all of you for your

Lots going on here in Toronto - it's hard to keep up!

The AAPA Town Hall meeting was held last night, just prior to the opening of the exhibit hall. Donna Seton stepped up to the microphone to thank AAPA for their advocacy to garner support for the PA Hospice Bill (HR3831: the Medicare Hospice Care Access Act) currently in the House in Washington DC. She reminded the AAPA leadership that PAs are losing positions, or being left out of the hospice job market entirely because of this restriction of our practice and encouraged everyone to contact their representatives to ask them to lend their support to this very important piece of legislation. PAs need to be able to provide high quality care and support to our patients and their families in *every* phase of their lives, from cradle to grave. 

In fact, PLEASE take a moment to click on the following link to the AAPA Legislative Action Center to contact your legislators and urge them to lend their support to this bill!

The exhibit hall opened last night; as always, it proved to be a good time to mix and mingle with our colleagues and to find out about new drugs, devices, and to network with other organizations and institutions.

In other news, we attended the Medical Challenge Bowl last night and enjoyed watching the enthusiasm of the students as they cheered on the competitors. 
More updates and information!
Donna Seton and Judy Knudson attended the VIP Specialty Roundtable Forum Discussion yesterday. The event was very well attended; there were a record number of VIP attendees from physician organizations and other agencies. We were seated with Barbara Resnick, PhD,  Chairman of the Board of the American Geriatrics Society.
It was a great opportunity to engage in some lively and open dialogue about some important topics. Some of the questions asked of the VIP members that were discussed among the groups included:
  1. How is your organization responding to the projected shortages in the physician workforce?
  2. How are PAs currently utilized in your specialty/practice setting? What are the barriers you perceive, if any, in having PAs as a part of the team?
  3. Are there plans in your organization for maximizing the utilization of PAs, educating physicians and administrators on utilization of PAs, and supporting the physician-PA team?
We found we had many things in common and everyone certainly came away from the event with other points of view and new information that will be helpful to all of us looking ahead.  Many of the invitees felt that PAs are more than capable to help fill the growing void of the physician shortage. 
Some barriers to PA utilization were discussed including state laws and regulations (and their non-uniformity), PAs current inability to provide face-to-face certification and recertification hospice visits to Medicare patients, as well as barriers related to education needed as to the roles, training, and scope of PA practice and billing for physicians and others. 
There was also much talk among the participants about what efforts could be made to maximize utilization of PAs, educating physicians and administrators on PA utilization, and how the physician-PA team could be better supported. 
This was a fantastic event and we look forward to participating next year!

HOD Update: This morning's discussion centered on whether we should have a task force (either internal or external) to look at the name change issue and its ramifications. The issue was not dealing with the name change itself; rather, the mechanism to investigate the possible change and the potential expenses involved with the investigation of the name change. It is unclear who will be appointing the task force and whether it will be comprised of outside resources or staff resources within the AAPA. There is a resolution that will be voted on tomorrow. 
HOD Update: Michael Lovedal addressed the HOD and touched on four topics:
1. National reform environment
2. Consumer-centric health markets - evaluating the movement from patient centered medical homes to accountable care organization
3. Value-based healthcare - "retailization"of health and convenience to the consumer
4. New competitive structures - cost and value transparency to consumers (various new publications are available)

Per Mr. Lovedal, PAs can and will fit into this new "national branding". 
Entrepreneurship is wide open and consumer-driven now. We can act as clinician, care coordinator, quarterback, entrepreneur, "cog in the wheel" as we are central to health care reform. The profession is no longer measured by our physicians. Personal performance and rewards will be based on our own performance. 

Outside the policy; policymaking partners at the institutional level as well as the national
More HOD Updates: James Delaney was warmly welcomed as the new President of AAPA by outgoing current president Robert Wooten. He is particularly interested in increasing AAPA's partnership with students, Constituent Organizations (COs), outside organizations (our physician colleagues), and the military and federal government as well as focusing on preventative health and team-based medical models.
It's Day One at AAPA IMPACT 2012 in Toronto. The opening session was great; Robert Wooten (AAPA President) gave an inspirational and positive speech. As always, the vignettes of the PA PAragon Award winners makes me proud to be a PA and drives me to want to do more for our profession and our patients.

Today, we were asked to participate in the Specialty VIP Roundtable Discussion, where our specialty organization leaders will be joined by leaders of our partner medical associations to discuss issues regarding PAs, PA practice, and how we can help fill the need for providers in the years ahead with a physician shortage projected. Stay tuned - the discussion is later on today.

From the House of Delegates: A resolution to honor Marilyn Fitzgerald, PA-C, was overwhelmingly approved. She has been an amazing support to PAs at all levels, in all specialties, and within a diverse and ever-changing Academy.
The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) and the National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC) completed a study, America's Care of Serious Illnesses: A State-by-State Report Card on Access to Palliative Care in Our Nation's Hospitals.  This study examined access to palliative care in hospitals throughout the 50 States.  The goal was to help the public and policymakers increase availablity of these services.  A similar study was done in 2008.  Click link below to read more and see how your state is doing.
The Center to Advance Palliative Care IPAL Project is an initiative started to share expertise, evidence, and tools/resources necessary for palliative care integration in healthcare.    Their first project was the IPAL-ICU Project designed to improve palliative care in the ICU.  With support of the National Institue of Health, this project was originally launched in June 2010 by Dr. Judith Nelson.  It has since been edited and was re-launched on November 10th!  Additionally, they just put out their second initiative, IPAL-EM (Improving Palliative Care in Emergency Medicine), led by Dr. Tammie Quest with support from Olive Branch Foundation.

The CAPC website reports on the process used for both initiatives.
"Convene an oversight board of nationally recognized interdisciplinary leaders. Develop a catalog of most-needed tools and resources to help spur systems-change work that would integrate principles of palliative care into daily practice. Seek out existing tools and resources from established and emerging teams across the country. Develop new peer-reviewed tools representing best practice. Continually update our site as new tools become available."

Go to for more information.