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A Message From Your President

Posted about 1 year ago by Amy Baird

A Message From Your President
Fellow Colleagues,
The past several years have demonstrated that with great challenge comes great opportunity. Amidst increasing political polarization and a pandemic, your Utah Academy of Physician Assistants has continued to make steady progress that significantly enhances our ability to impact the health of all Utahns.
Because of the selfless dedication and persistence of countless UAPA leaders, our profession has experienced numerous advancements including: the ability of Physician Assistants to train PA students and increased DOPL Board PA representation (2010), the enabling of PAs to sign death certificates (2018), and the elimination of physician co-signatures on charting and prescriptions of Schedule II medications (2019). In addition, we have supported the accreditation of Rocky Mountain University (2015) and Utah Valley University (2021) Physician Assistant Programs. 2021 was, truly, a historic legislative session with the passage of SB 27 Physician Assistant Practice Act Amendments and SB 28 Mental Health Practice Act Amendments that not only continues to shape national trends in modernizing PA practice, but will forever redirect the course of healthcare within the state of Utah. Finally, in 2022, we celebrate increased patient access to mental health care with our ability to sign ED "Blue Sheets" that activate a 24-hour psychiatric hold during times of extreme crisis.
We would not be experiencing such success without broad support from our legislative champions, partnering professional organizations, healthcare administrators, community leaders, and, most notably, from our committed Physician Assistant colleagues. It has been a privilege serving as your Legislative Chair and President-Elect, and I am beyond honored to lead an organization that continues to have such a profound impact on the lives of others. Over the course of the coming year, our Academy will remain heavily involved with the Cox-Henderson One Utah Health Collaborative as we explore opportunities to improve outcomes, decrease cost, and mitigate disparities in care. We will strive to further our professional capabilities within our scope of practice in such a way as to optimize team-based care, and we will partner with our academic centers to promote a legacy of engaged caregivers.
No doubt, we are experiencing a season of prolific change not only within our discipline but throughout our global healthcare community. I invite you to seize this opportunity to unite around shared purpose and join us in advocating for our profession and our patients.
With great appreciation for all you do,
Katie Swenson, DMSc, MBA, MSc, MPAS, PA-C
Utah Academy of Physician Assistants