Emphasis on the Benefits of Being Bold
In addressing the membership at our Education Forum last week, both PAEA CEO Timi Agar Barwick, MPM, and PAEA President Stephane VanderMeulen, MPAS, PA-C, spoke about how our willingness to disrupt the status quo over the past year has led to major gains.
The most obvious disruption in 2015 was PAEA’s move to our bright new office space in downtown Washington, D.C. — located in the AAMC headquarters building and a stone’s throw away from Capitol Hill. In her State of the Association Address, Barwick explained how this move was a chance to make profound improvements, both in our location as well as in our strategic relationships, citing our partnership with the AAMC as a perfect example.
She noted that if we hadn’t “disrupted” ourselves, it would have been imposed upon us from the outside — and not necessarily on our terms.
“The changing dynamics of health care are forcing organizations like AAMC to look for strategic partners to shape the future of medical education,” she said. “By partnering with AAMC early on, we are able to influence how medical education develops, rather than reacting to changes developed by a partnership that we were not involved in.”
During her address to the membership, VanderMeulen noted that PAEA is now frequently offered a seat at the table, and our new challenge is to select the right opportunities. PAs were designed to prosper in a team-based medical practice even before those practices were common, and now others are seeing the value in that model.
“It’s taken 50 years to bring the PA profession to a point where other health care professions are now starting to seek our advice and assistance to work better as teams,” said VanderMeulen.
She emphasized that “we’re not looking for anyone to tell us who we should become; we’ve turned the corner on that, we now define our own profession.”
Barwick ended her address by encouraging members to continue the disruption theme, emphasizing that we are not an association of passive people — but of problem solvers and innovators.
During the Forum, the first town hall meeting sponsored by both PAEA and ARC-PA was held to discuss the role of accreditation in fostering excellence in PA education. ARC-PA Executive Director John McCarty, MPAS, PA, and Chair of the Commission Grace Landel, MEd, PA-C, joined PAEA CEO Timi Agar Barwick; President Elect Jennifer Snyder, PhD, PA-C; and President Stephane VanderMeulen, MPAS, PA-C, for a lively discussion facilitated by Mary Jo Bondy, DHEd, PA-C.
During Saturday’s business meeting, members also heard good news about the financial health of PAEA. Treasurer Bill Kohlhepp reported that Association revenue in 2015 totaled more than $7,300,000, with CASPA royalties representing 50% of revenue; End of RotationTM exams and PACKRATTM sales accounting for 17%; and the Education Forum/PandoTM workshops and member dues representing 11% each.
Updates from the ARC-PA, NCCPA, the nccPA Health Foundation, AAPA, and the PA Foundation were also presented.
Twenty-seven motions were passed as part of the Consent Agenda. Motions related to program diversity and a membership dues authorization policy were approved.