Letter from the Outgoing SAPA President
Time does fly by fast! My year as SAPA President ends on 30 June. Pat Malone takes over as President. This past year SAPA board members had telephone and in person meetings with Federal Congress members and our AAPA representatives to share our concerns and receive updates from AAPA on issues they are working on for us. The main issue for all of us was pay and GS rating disparity between nurse practitioners and PAs in federal facilities. With the VA implementing changes that will/should put PAs and NPs on an even playing field and DHA taking over military medical treatment facilities the Federal Congress needs to stay involved with AAPA to ensure PAs are treated fairly. SAPA asked AAPA to notify the us when meetings are scheduled with OPM, DHA and OTSG to give us the opportunity to attend the meeting with them.
This year the SAPA conference was held over a weekend. Members had requested The board consider a weekend conference a couple of years ago. We tried it this year, but have decided to go back to a Monday through Friday conference. This format gives attendees a weekend before and a weekend after to travel/spend with families before going back to work.
This year we incorporated a two day military symposium during the refresher course. MG (Ret) Volpe gave two outstanding lectures on day two. Lessons Learned from the “Battle of Mogadishu” and “The Future of PAs in the Military”. BG Reese, MD (PA for Life) spoke on Military Readiness. He later spoke on his experience as a PA in the National Guard and later working with PAs as a MD. We’ve added workshops to the course. This year’s workshops were “Battlefield Acupuncture”, “Stop the Bleed”, and EKGs. This was our 20th annual poster contest. I know the judges had a difficult time choosing the winners. The last two years several posters made it to the AAPA conference.
During our board meeting we discussed membership and conference fees. Both fees have remained stable for several years. With conference, marketing, travel, and other administrative costs rising each year the board voted to raise the membership fee to $50. For several years HRC has not had funding to send the PA representative. We know many of you attend not only for the CMEs but also to meet with your career manager. So this year SAPA provided funding for the HRC Representative to attend.
I hope SAPA members have enjoyed keeping up with our news through our Facebook page, the new and improved website, and newsletters. We welcome posts from our members and ideas and articles for the newsletter and website.
Thanks to the SAPA Board members for their hard work to make SAPA and the Refresher Course better. I wish the best to Pat Malone as he takes over as SAPA President.
Pauline (Polly) Gross