There’s nothing like a meeting of the Washington Academy of Physician Assistants (WAPA) annual spring meeting to lift the spirits and make me remember why I love being a PA, and why I chose this profession. Or, maybe why it chose me.

I was honored to be asked to speak about providing PAs with resources and education related to the safe prescribing of opiates. Attendees were open and sharing about their challenges and successes in opioid prescribing, and it was special to the feel the patient-centered motivations that drives all of us.

I was moved by the statements from PAs working so hard to do the right thing — and the safe thing — in managing chronic pain and the use of opiates.

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WAPA Board members discussed legislative issues and hot-topic resolutions coming before the next AAPA House of Delegates meeting. These included gun safety and moving from “supervision” to “collaboration” in describing PA-MD regulatory relationships. The board also discussed growing its partnership with the Washington State Medical Association.

The knowledge of WAPA members, support of the AAPA, and input from colleagues at the Washington State Medical Association demonstrated WAPA’s ongoing commitment to creating a practice environment that allows members to provide the highest level of care for our patients.

Keep up the great work Washington PAs, you’ve got a good thing going!

Jim Anderson, MPAS, PA-C, ATCDFAAPA, is chair of the American Academy of Physician Assistants Health Disparities Work Group, founder of Physician Assistants for Health Equity and faculty of the Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.