President Reports on PAEA’s New Neighbors and Our Commitment to Primary Care

Spring is considered to be a time of renewal, and when it comes to PAEA activities in March, this axiom could not apply more than it does this year. As if the relocation of PAEA’s office to downtown Washington, D.C., weren’t enough of a new beginning, the Association’s website has a totally new and much sleeker look, and six new PA programs have joined the ranks of PAEA members. March was definitely one of the busiest months I can recall in a long time. 

A Strategic Move

After months of planning, PAEA’s staff moved into its new headquarters in Washington, D.C. I had the chance to visit during last week’s “4 Orgs” meeting, and I have to say, it’s gorgeous! If you haven’t already, check out the construction slideshow, which includes the final result. The new location at 655 K Street, N.W., offers numerous benefits. For one, it is more convenient to Capitol Hill, which will help boost our lobbying efforts. But the best part about this move is our proximity to the Association of American Medical Colleges — in fact, we are right inside their building. Last week, PAEA’s CEO Timi Agar Barwick explained why partnering with the AAMC makes good strategic sense for the Association, and how our new locale will assist in those efforts.

Photo credit: Darrell Kirch, MD

Rooftop view from PAEA’s new office building (Photo credit: Darrell Kirch, MD)

Preparing PA Graduates for Primary Care

The board recently approved the creation of a primary care competencies task force designed to help programs identify the essential knowledge and skills that graduates need to be ready to work in primary care — a vitally important area of health care as well as a strategic priority for PAEA. Lead by board members Karen Hills and Mary Jo Bondy, the task force will be responsible for developing a framework for primary care competencies specifically for PA graduates. The next step is to assemble a diverse group of thought leaders who are passionate about interprofessional education to become members of this dynamic task force.

Six New Programs to Open Their Doors

At the end of March, the ARC-PA announced that six new PA programs had received provisional accreditation. We would like to say “Welcome” to:

  • Adventist University of Health Sciences in Orlando, Florida
  • Florida International University-Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine in Miami
  • Lynchburg College in central Virginia
  • Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania
  • Ohio University in southern Ohio
  • Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo, Utah

This brings the total number of accredited entry-level programs to 196, with at least 50 more in the pipeline.

Interesting Take on PA History

With our sights clearly set on the future, there is also a certain satisfaction in looking back. The March-April issue of the Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge does just that, featuring a condensed timeline of the PA profession provided by the PA History Society. With highlights and images, the history of the profession and its precursors are presented in colorful snippets running throughout the journal covering more than 200 years of significant events. It’s definitely worth checking out.


 The board will be meeting in April for its spring quarterly meeting, so I’m sure I will have a lot to report on next month. Until then, enjoy the overdue warmth and hints of color that come with spring.