Washington, D.C. – “For the PA profession, the future is now, and the opportunities are limitless,” American Academy of Physician Assistants CEO Jennifer L. Dorn, told the general session audience today at IMPACT 2013.

Four mega-forces are reshaping the health-care landscape for PAs:

  • A shift from fee-for-service to value-for-service
  • The growing importance of information technology
  • The emergence of consumer-centric health markets
  • Advances in the science of health

Dorn called the past 12 months “a year of unprecedented victory for PAs in almost every state.” In that time, 40 states have made PA-positive changes in their health laws. In addition, 20 states have PA law improvements in progress.

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“Much of the health-care revolution is being driven by the marketplace,” said Ms. Dorn. “With your help, we are making the case for PA-positive change.”

Preceptor of the Year Award

To celebrate the increasingly important role of PAs in teaching and research, the AAPA introduced a new category in the 2013 PAragon Awards – Preceptor of the Year.

The first recipient of the inaugural award is Joseph Cohen, PA-C, a veteran of the U.S. Army. Cohen served for 24 years and has been a PA for almost two decades.

Twelve years ago, Cohen began precepting PA students in orthopedics at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, N.C.  Dorn congratulated him for “using his teaching skills to shape the future of health care for our military.

Each year, Cohen teaches approximately 40 students and devotes hours of his own time to make sure his students make sufficient progress during their rotations.

“I don’t have students that are preceptor-trained,” Cohen said in a videotaped acceptance speech. “I have people that I establish lifelong relationships with. I have young people that are like sons or daughters to me now.”

Clinical and Research Publishing Awards

The recipients of the 2013 Paragon Award for publishing in the clinical area are Denise Rizzolo, PhD, PA-C, and Christopher Castellano, DMD, PA-C. The pair coauthored the work, “Maximizing Oral health in Children: A Review for Physician Assistants,” which was published in the July 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

The 2013 Paragon Award for publishing in the research area is Marcia Bouton, PA-C. Bouton was the lead author of the article, “Implementation of Educational Video Improves Patient Understanding of Basic Breast Cancer Concepts in an Undereducated County Hospital Population.” It was featured in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Surgical Oncology.