The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) is leading the effort to recognize and maximize a Physician Assistant’s (PAs) role on the health care team by placing a new focus on prevention as a proactive way to provide top-quality, cost-effective health care. FMH currently employs two PAs at Horizon Healthcare, Kayla Bell, PA-C and John Snowden, PA-C, and one PA in Urgent Care, James Hopper, PA-C.
“PAs recognize that a prevention-first approach to care is critical to patients’ overall health and can save the nation millions in health care costs,” says Katherine Bunting-Williams, Ph.D., FMH CEO. “With an education modeled after that of doctors, PAs typically are able to spend more time with patients and their families, helping them to avoid new illnesses and to keep chronic conditions from becoming potentially dangerous and even more costly.”
All PAs are educated and credentialed with a primary care focus, regardless of the specialty in which they choose to work. PAs practice across a range of medical settings and specialties as part of the health care team, and they add a generalist perspective to the care they provide by helping to identify warning signs and symptoms of chronic illness. More specifically, the PAs at Horizon Healthcare see patients of all ages, treat acute problems, manage chronic illness, perform routine physical exams, provide evaluation and therapy referrals, assist with smoking cessation, and perform minor surgical procedures. PAs in the Urgent Care setting often provide treatment for strains, sprains, sore throat, colds, flu, minor lacerations, minor fractures, and minor ailments.
“We always honor and respect the tremendous contributions of PAs like the ones we have at Horizon Healthcare and Urgent Care, but especially so during PA Week,” said Dr. Bunting-Williams. “PAs do an extraordinary job of making a difference in the lives of countless patients every day. This week in particular, we want to spread the word that PAs are integral to transforming patient care in not only our facility, but nationwide.”
National PA Week is observed each year from October 6-12. The week serves to celebrate the significant impact PAs have made and continue to make in health care, to expand awareness of the profession and to salute the outstanding growth of the PA profession. AAPA seeks to promote quality, cost-effective, accessible health care, and to promote the professional and personal development of PAs.