As part of the recent 38th Annual Nebraska Academy of Physician Assistants Spring CME Conference held in Kearney, PA Program faculty were instructors in the Rural Emergency Skills Workshops along with other UNMC faculty. Tami Ritsema, PA-C, Dr. Mike Wadman, Dr. Wes Zeger, Carol Lomneth, PhD., Sarah Keim, PhD., Stephane VanderMeulen, PA-C, and Darwin Brown, PA-C were the instructors and coordinators for the workshops. Skills covered included placement of chest tubes, difficult airways, and lumbar punctures. The workshop utilized lightly embalmed cadavers to provide participants with hands-on experience in performing these skill sets.
Jill Ferry, PA-C, a graduate from UNMC, serves as a physician assistant at the Harlan Doctor’s Clinic, providing services as a patient-centered medical home in Harlan, Iowa. She will be addressing the “Effective Utilization of Physician Assistants in Primary Care,” on Friday, April 5, 2013 from 12:00-12:50 PM in the Wittson Hall Amphitheater (3034).
The Myrtue Medical Center Clinics, with five locations in rural Iowa, are one of 36 practices from around the country selected to participate in the TranforMED National Demonstration Project, transforming their medical practice into a patient-centered medical home. Jill has special interests in diabetes and women’s health care. She provides community lectures at monthly Diabetic Core classes on diabetic complications and management of the disease.
Their medical clinics have undergone significant change in recent years, including the construction of a state-of-the-art wellness center, the conversion to electronic health records, and establishing a network of health coaches, all with an ever-increasing focus on wellness. In the past four years their efforts, have been described in articles in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, the AARP Bulletin, and many other national publications.
Patty Scholting, MPAS, PA-C, Instructor in the PA Program, was in Washington, DC, last week for meetings with the Government Relations Committee of the Physician Assistant Education Association. Among the agenda topics was exploring barriers for PAs seeking to work in primary care. The committee is working with government officials to create more opportunities for PAs in primary care, such as supporting federal grants to PA programs that educate PAs for primary care needs, continued funding for the National Health Service Corps scholarships to help offset the expense of PA education, and promoting models of physician-PA teams that provide efficient, high quality care in primary care. A highlight of the meetings was the opportunity to meet with legislative aides in Senator Deb Fischer’s office (Senator Fischer was involved in the confirmation hearings for Chuck Hagel at the time). Patty sought Senator Fischer’s support to move forward on increasing the utilization of PAs in primary care for the state and received a positive response.
The UNMC College of Medicine Commencement Ceremonies last Friday included a first for the Division of Physician Assistant Education. Four graduates earning their Master of PA Studies degrees through the SAHP Degree Advancement Option made their first visit to Omaha to receive their degree.
The MPAS degree curriculum was developed to allow clinically practicing PAs who possess an undergraduate degree to achieve a master’s degree through online graduate courses and supervising clinical practice at their place of employment.
The PA graduates were Melvin Oxendine II from Florida, Lushunda Hurst from California, James Adams from Texas and Gayle Sakaguchi from Georgia. Mr. Oxendine II wrote back to say, “The ceremony was beautiful and I’m very glad to have been a part of it. The people of Omaha are fantastic and everyone is very friendly, I was very pleased. We truly had a great time!”
At the recent Physician Assistant Education Association Education Forum in Seattle, UNMC PA Program faculty wielded their expertise and experience in helping to lead the organization. Stephane VanderMeulen continues to serve in her elected position as a member of the Board of Directors, and Patty Scholting serves on the Governance Committee, both actively involved in meetings throughout the forum. Darwin Brown returned as a speaker for the certificate program for Clinical Coordinators and was newly appointed to the Conference Curriculum Committee.