2012 AASPA BOD ElectionTweet
AASPA 2012 BALLOT—Platform Statements
PRESIDENT ELECT - Catherine Gaines, MMS,PA-C
I would like to express my intention to run for election to the position of President Elect on the AASPA Board of Directors. We are once again experiencing a time of great upheaval in our country. It seems so much easier to focus on our differences and complain about everyone else’s performance. We are slowly surfacing from a major recession, a war on at least 2 fronts, issues with education and the growing gap between the haves and have nots.
As Physician Assistants we sit on the front line of the repercussion of all this change. We attempt to put the finger in the dyke of a struggling healthcare system, massive changes in pay for performance, and often an “attitude of do more with less” from our superiors. As a profession we have not statistically been a massive hotbed of dissension. Many of us prefer to focus on our work, our patients, and our families, believing that the “other stuff” should work itself out.
Not wishing to be an alarmist, I fear that the time of letting healthcare policy sit and percolate like a large compost pile, may not be to our advantage. I, myself, have not been a firebrand of change over the first 10 years of my career. I had a good job, I was travelling overseas, and didn’t really get involved in any serious deployments until later in my career. But in the last 5 years I have seen a change in our country, the way we speak to one another, the vitriole and plain craziness being touted as common sense on supposed “news” shows. The time to sit back and let others direct the course of our profession is over. The compost pile needs a shot of oxygen every now and again, or unwanted organisms can take over. We need to take charge of the compost, in preparation for a bountiful garden.
How do we do this? We engage each other, with new ideas for CME, professional growth, and centralization of data to give ourselves more time with our families, and less time filling out the same credentialing forms year after year.
We engage with our associate, but slightly smaller, surgical subspecialty organizations. We help them find their voice and improve their advocacy through strength in numbers.
We engage other professional organizations, (ACS, AORN, and Surgical First Assistants) with similar goals and promote a new level of teamwork with the ultimate goal of improving patient care and safety in the OR.
Recent employment changes have brought me in direct contact with persons that are intimately involved with the NCAPA and NC Medical Society. I propose to serve the Surgical PA profession by exploring opportunities with these societies, and then taking that nationally to assist other regions by engaging these and other state societies promoting mutual growth and advocacy.
Other goals include:
Continuing to strive for the highest standards in patient safety, specifically during the peri-operative period. This plan includes the inclusion of patient safety papers, presentations at the community level, and continued updates on SCIP data and the core measures for surgical safety. We continue to support the ACS Council on Peri-operative safety and assist our representatives by any means possible.
Plans to improve membership include advertising the vault to other PAs as a time saving service to our members. We can seek joint membership with ACS or other sub-specialty groups as the NCAPA and NC Medical society have done. I will continue to send out emails/eblasts to members and potential members to focus on what membership can mean to the enhancement of their professional and personal lives.
As CME Co-Chair this year I have a much clearer understanding of the trials and tribulations of putting on an annual conference. I will continue to be involved in the process, hopefully with improvements of 2-3 year conference planning, speaker/exhibitor and grant templates, constant review of previous year’s comments and suggestions, and addition this year of quantifiable data for upcoming year grant applications. We will also engage industry contacts on a corporate level, freeing us from any perception of bias, and working with industry on our mutual goals…improved patient care.
I suspect that through advocacy and engagement with other societies we will grow in numbers, relevance, and importance in the lives of those PAs we serve.
Thank you for your time and attention in this matter. Yours sincerely, Cat
SOUTHEASTERN DIRECTOR AT LARGE - Thomas O’Brien
It gives me great satisfaction and honor to be nominated for the position of Southeastern Director at Large of the American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants. This position is held in such high regard and it is truly an honor to be considered amongst those that have been elected before me.
I have held the position of Student Director at Large of AASPA for almost a year now, and the experience has taught me a great deal about myself and those I have served. It has been a position I have enjoyed, worked hard at, and learned from. I have headed AASPA’s mentoring program, which facilitates shadowing opportunities for pre PA student members of AASPA as well as mentors students about applying to PA schools and all the intricacies that come with it. I am proud to say the mentoring program has been overwhelmingly successful with most students receiving some form of shadowing opportunity. I have also promoted AASPA’s student membership through diligent contact with over 170 PA schools in the country as well from a grassroots level. All the while I have contributed bimonthly articles to Sutureline and will continue to do so given the opportunity. As a new graduating physician assistant profoundly interested in the surgical field, I feel that I can bring a renowned energy to AASPA. My goals are to build on the principles and values of those elected before me.
As the Southeastern Director at Large I envision a sect of AASPA that is proactive, supportive, and with a vision. We need the full support of the surgical physician assistant community in order to remain strong so our agenda must not be overlooked. As your Southeastern Director I strive to align my values with those I represent and will lead the constituency professionally and humbly. My vision would be continued growth through membership and develop professional relationships with leading surgical organizations. I would like to see other surgical subspecialty organizations align with AASPA to bolster support and assure continued growth. It is imperative to stand for the surgical physician assistant community; using AASPA as a vehicle to promote our vision we can continue to remain a viable organization on a regional and national level.
I find it apropos to quote the late Steve Jobs in saying, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” The future is indeed bright for physician assistants but we must continue to innovate and create ways to strengthen our membership and grow as an organization to remain relevant. And as your Southeastern Director at Large I hope to continue to innovate for you and make sure your voice is heard.
WESTERN DIRECTOR AT LARGE - Jonathan Van Horn, PA-C
I humbly ask for your support of my candidacy for Western Director-at-Large. I am a practicing Trauma/Critical Care Physician Assistant with over 8 years of clinical experience. I attended Washington State University for my undergraduate and the US Army Interservice Physician Assistant Program. I have served in the U.S. Army for the last 18 years the last 8 as a Physician Assistant including multiple deployments to Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. These experiences have shown me the importance of excellent leadership, and I feel that I can provide this if elected to the AASPA Board. I have been the Trauma Representative to the AASPA for the nearly 2 years and have truly enjoyed the experience. In addition, I have also been the Trauma adjunct professor and Trauma clinical preceptor for Pacific Universtiy's Physician Assistant Program for the last 4 years.
It is imperative that we the AASPA, representing Surgical Physician Assistants, continue to develop and mature relationships with the American College of Surgeons their subspecialty organizations, and as the Western Director-at-Large I will pursue these relationships. I envision the future of the AASPA growing as we embrace all surgical PA's to ensure the development and education of future Physician Assistants. Thank you for your support.