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Fall 2008


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Fall 2008

  1. 1. President’s Message Fall 2008 By Jeanne Bird, PA-C GREETINGS! Welcome Back! Following the completion of the election in July, CAPA like most President’s Message Coloradans goes into a slower mode to accommodate the seasonal heat and transition from one Board year to another. 2007-2008 CAPA Board I would like to congratulate the new Board members that you elected to represent you in 2008-2009. Of Directors & Leadership Your new President-Elect is Kyle Kirkpatrick, Secretary, Virginia Hinds, Steve Kudebeh will return as House of Delegate Chief. House of Delegate at Large members include Beth Walker, Michelle Summer CME A Success! Barnett, and Debbie Koschak. Merilee Refvem will continue to monitor our financial status as our treasurer. Elected to represent you as Board Members at Large for the next year are Sandy Hoops, Kevin Riddleberger, Candace Lacy, and Arlene Guy. Congratulations to everyone. CAPA has a lot CAPA Website of work to do this year and I am confident this Board can get the work done for you. Every time we see new board members join us and existing and former board members continue or It’s back to school time! return to serve the general membership, I am thankful that we have so many active CAPA members. I have been involved with our Academy since 2005 and am continually appreciative of everyone who gives of their time to CAPA. Inform Yourself When I graduated from my PA program, I was only really interested in learning how to be a good, effective practitioner for my patients. I didn’t understand or really care about billing, politics, job CAPA CME Events security, PA rights or professional involvement. It did not take me long to realize that there were people behind the scenes, making decisions and pursuing issues that ultimately would affect my career. Who puts together the CME? Who puts together the PA week dinner for all to attend? Who Call for Newsletter coordinates the website? Who is the dedicated, persistant person that puts together the newsletter Articles each quarter? Then the light bulb turned on….. It isn’t just about the PA Week dinner, newsletter and CME. Who protects my license? Who pur- University of Colorado sues maintaining some semblance of a job market? Who chased after the dream of having Schedule CHA/PA Program Update II medication privilege and chart review improvements a reality? I took these things for granted. My involvement with the Board has graced me with the company of some incredible Colorado PA colleagues. Red Rocks Physician Summer has to be one of the roughest times of the year to consider adding other activities to our Assistant Program Update already overflowing plates. Have you considered giving CAPA a moment of your fall time? Being an active member doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task. It has become increasingly easy to be Colorado PA professionally involved in our Academy without interfering with your work and family obligations. Foundation Fund Even just perusing the web site and notifying us of changes that need to be made, or something that would be helpful to you and your practice is a contribution that is valuable. The more people who become involved in Academy work means the less each participant has to do. PA’s in the News I challenge each of you to consider becoming involved with your Academy in some fashion. We have jobs that can take a few minutes or a few hours each month depending on how much time you PA's Celebrate PA Day can commit. The Board will come together in November for a retreat. During this time, we will be reviewing the strategic plan from 2007 and deciding the direction we want to go in 2009-2010. Sincerely, Jeanne Bird, PA-C Colorado Academy of Physician Assistants n n 303-770-6048 1
  2. 2. CAPA Summer CME A Success! CAPA Board of Directors & Leadership, 2007-2008 President: AAPA House of Delegates: Jeanne Bird, PA-C Beth Walker, PA-C Past President: CME Chair: Ed Vopat, PA-C Randall Jones, PA-C President Elect: School Liaison (UCHSC): Kyle Kirkpatrick, PA-C Sandy Hoops, PA-C Treasurer: Student Rep (UCHSC): CAPA hosted an interesting and informative Merilee Refvem, PA-C Travis Neill, PA-S3 CME meeting on August 29th, at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver. The meeting was well attended, with 65 registrants participating. Secretary: Student Rep (UCHSC): CAPA wishes to thank Judy Mochizuki, PA-C Virginia Hinds, PA-C Katharine Wilson, PA-S and Randy Jones, PA-C for their outstanding work on the Program Committee. Member at Large: Student Rep (UCHSC): Patti Galleher, PA-C Ashley Steinle, PA-S2 Member at Large: Student Rep (UCHSC): Sandy Hoops, PA-C Zachary Kahn, PA-S CAPA Website Member at Large: Student Rep (UCHSC): Check out the new info on the CAPA website Kevin Riddleberger, MS, PA-C Nicole Kern, PA-S at! Looking for a job in Colorado? We have a Member at Large: new job search engine on our website. Candace Lacey, PA-C Executive Director: Reimbursement issues or question? look for Carol Goddard help with these on the new reimbursement Member at Large: link. Arlene Guy, PA-C CAPA Office Staff: Mary Beth Brown AAPA HOD, Chief Delegate: Steve Kudebeh, PA-C CAPA Office: P.O. Box 4834 AAPA House of Delegates: Englewood, CO 80155 Michelle Barnett, PA-C 303-770-6048 303-771-2550 (fax) AAPA House of Delegates: Debbie Koschak, PA-C 2
  3. 3. It’s back to school time! University of Colorado CHA/PA Program Update If immunization requirements are By Jennifer Naulty PA-S, 2nd year confusing you, visit The program’s new 1st year PA class has 41 students, 4 men and 37 women. They just finished their first semester, with anatomy being the center of their attention. They seem to be a great, outgoing, proactive group of people. This year, our student government is working to foster our professional development. We want to have PA’s in the community Inform Yourself come in and discuss what a normal day looks like for them. We also plan to have resume and interview workshops, along with other Inform yourself about important issues and information sessions about choosing rotations, etc. Finally, we hope to let your professional voice be heard! The improve networking, between our students and other PAs/Physicians in November elections are fast approaching! the community, through CAPA and AAPA. To find out where the local and national candidates stand on issues that matter to Our diversity reps are really reaching out to the community, through high you and your patients go to: schools and other organizations, to promote the PA profession. Our goal is to make our profession known to a more diverse population of people, by reaching out to children that may have never heard of a PA. We also intend to vote in September, on a particular charity/organization that we can focus our community service and fundraising efforts on. The Children’s Hospital and The Denver Rescue Mission are a couple names that are on the list. We want to have a project in the community that we are passionate about, that we can contribute to in several ways CAPA CME Events: throughout the year that will really make a difference. Finally, we intend to broaden our knowledge of global/public heath as Mark you calendars! well as current legislative issues in healthcare, by working with the student Copper Mountain Winter CME 2009 senate and other student organizations. January 17-19 Copper Mountain Winter CME 2010 Red Rocks Physician Assistant January 28 - February 1 Program Update New format: Friday - Saturday - Sunday by Ruth Fry, Program Assistant The RRCC PA Program has a new director Debra Nickell, MBA, PA-C. The program is excited to have her as the director of the program. Debra Nickell comes to Red Rocks Community College from the University of Kentucky. In Kentucky, Debra was the clinical coordinator of the PA Program. Ms. Nickell’s experience has already influenced the culture of the RRCC Program. She brings new ideas and an effervescent atmosphere Call for Newsletter to the entire staff and faculty. Debra is looking forward to all the outdoor Articles recreation that the Colorado mountains have to offer. Debra has sampled a little bit of hiking, and she really enjoys it. Next year, she is looking Do you have a good story to tell, an forward to hiking some 14ers. interesting PEARL you have discovered or news that you think your colleagues The class of 2009 received their white coats in August, and they have should know about?? We encourage you to begun their first clinical rotations. When the students come back to class contribute to this newsletter! This newsletter at the end of the month for EOR, everyone is anxious to hear their first is meant to be for you and by you! Please rotation stories. submit any articles, or ideas for articles that Additionally, the class of 2008 graduated in August. Many of our students you would like to see to Amy Hansen PA-C have accepted positions in the Denver metro area, and we also have at students who have taken positions from Oregon to Maine. 3
  4. 4. Colorado PA Foundation Fund You know that extra five dollars that you found doing laundry and were not sure where to spend your new found riches… maybe Starbucks, maybe an extra payment on those student loans? Well now you can make a tax deduc- table donation to “The Colorado PA Foundation Fund.” The Colorado PA Foundation Fund is a fund that is managed by the AAPA PA Foundation and is restricted monies set aside for the express purpose of student scholarships here in Colorado, as well as community based grants to promote access to and the provision of health care within Colorado. This entity will allow PAs and other interested parties to donate to projects that help the profession locally. Currently the fund has monies for student scholarships, and community based grants waiting for distribution. Any CAPA member who is licensed in, and practices in Colorado is eligible for a grant. Grants will be awarded on the merits of the application and the sustainability of the project that they are intended to help fund. Donations can be made directly to the AAPA PA Foundation “CAPA Fund” to make sure it reaches the Colorado fund. CAPA awards scholarships yearly - typically at the annual winter CME and we will be refining the process for grant application in the near future, so keep an eye on the newsletter and the webpage for more information. Make sure that you keep the fund in mind when thinking about donating to a local charity, 100% of the donation go to these programs, and again donated funds are tax deductible. If you have a need in your community, want to start a literacy program, or health awareness effort in your practice area, submit a grant application. Please visit to donate!! PA’s in the News Thanks to Melanie Diprofio PA-C for writing this comprehensive and informative article about the PA profession. This article was printed in the Metro State College of Denver student paper on PA Day 10/6/08. It’s PA Day 2008! And the Physician Assistant (PA) profession is booming! Although the profession is only 40 years old - relatively young in comparison to some other health professions – PA’s have become a major component of the U.S. health delivery system. The PA profession evolved in the 1960’s when the U.S. was facing a serious shortage of physicians to address the nation’s need for primary care services. PA’s are formally trained in accrediated educational programs to provide quality diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive health care services, under supervision of physicians. PA’s routinely perform physical exams and take patient histories, order and interpret laboratory tests, diagnose and treat illness, suture lacerations and assist in surgery, write prescriptions in nearly every state, and provide health education and patient counseling. PA’s work in complementary and synergistic ways with physicians. Currently the profession is more female-dominant. Many studies have shown PAs add value to a practice, including quicker appointments, better attention to patients, and follow-up care. PA’s should not be confused with Medical assistants, who perform routine clinical and clerical tasks. A PA is also referred to as a ‘midlevel provider’. One other example of a midlevel provider is a Nurse Practitioner. The uniqueness of the PA profession is that careers in this field occur in all specialties ranging from outpatient clinics such as Primary care/Family Medicine and Pediatrics to surgical specialties such as Orthopedics, Cardiovascular Surgery, Obstetrics/Gynecology, to inpatient specialties such as Internal Medicine, Hematology, Oncology, and Endocrinology. Also, a PA can work in the Emergency Department or in the Military. You can practice in all states once you pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). The flexibility of this career is extremely appealing. PA’s earn this privilege and respectfully maintain it by taking the PANCE recertification exam every six years. In contrast, Nurse Practitioners and Physicians must choose a specialty and take a focused board exam when they graduate limiting their ability to work across specialties. I am a PA who has worked for five years in Primary Care with Urgent Care at The Health Center at Auraria on Auraria campus in downtown Denver, CO. My health center services students of Metro State College of Denver (MSCD), University of Colorado Denver (UCD) and Community College of Denver (CCD). I love being a PA on this vast college campus because students here come from such diverse backgrounds. They are not the typical eighteen to twenty- two year olds with little responsibilities other than earning their degrees. Instead they often have jobs and families to support and their success is truly a challenge. Working on Auraria Campus gives me the opportunity to work in a challenging yet stable environment where often times I can focus on health maintenance and disease prevention and education as part of my typical day. I’ve also found that the students are enthusiastic, energetic and witty and take a sincere interest in their health care. My schedule here is a very predictable 8am- 5pm, Monday through Continued on page 5 4
  5. 5. PA’s in the News continued... PA's Celebrate PA Day Friday. This gives me my weekends to spend with my husband and 11 month old son! Schedules can vary dramatically though depending on where a PA practices. For example many Emergency Department PA’s work three twelves and many Surgical PA’s work four tens and are on-call. Essentially PA’s can find the schedule that suits them. While most PA’s complete their bachelor’s degrees as a foundation before entering PA school some schools will accept a minimum two years of prerequisites. Physician assistant programs usually last at least two years full-time combining course work with clinical rotations. Ninety percent of the programs now offer a Master’s degree. Admission requirements vary by program, but many require courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, psychology, and the social sciences. There has never been a better time to become a PA! Employment of physician assistants is expected to grow 27 percent from now until to 2016, much faster CAPA Members celebrate PA Day October 2, 2008 than average for all occupations. Projected rapid job growth reflects the expansion of health care industries and an emphasis on cost containment, which results in increasing use of PAs by health care establishments. Job opportunities should be good, particularly in rural and inner-city clinics. April 2008’s Money Magazine Ranks Physician Assistant ‘one of best careers to have in a recession.’ ‘Physician Assistant is among the top 10 white-collar jobs to have during a downturn.’ Physician assistant was ranked No. 5 on the list with a median salary of $84,000. While this is the median the salary can range from the lowest 10% at $43,100 to a high of more than $102,000. Of course income varies by specialty, practice setting, geographical location, and years of experience. If you’re interested in a challenging career in the health care industry that puts you in the thick of the action then a job as a PA may be for you. The growing interest in the field stems from a variety of factors. The average age of a PA student is 30 years. Those who want to provide medical care to patients, but do not want to attend medical school for the seven or more years required, may be attracted to the David Feifel, MD, PhD Jeanne Bird, PA-C PA profession. In addition, the cost of PA education is considerably less than what it costs to become a physician. Finally, PAs work on average fewer hours than physicians and have more control over their schedules and lifestyles. For information on a career as a physician assistant, including a list of accredited programs, contact: American Academy of Physician Assistants Information Center, 950 North Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Internet: http:// www.aapa.orgFor eligibility requirements and a description of the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination, contact: National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, Inc. ,12000 Findley Rd., Suite 200, Duluth, GA 30097. Internet: http:// References: 1) Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition, Physician PA Day held at Bubba Gump Shrimp, Denver, CO. Assistants, on the Internet at (visited September 02, 2008). 2) AAPA Website 5