Honoring Physician Assistants for National PA Week

October 10, 2017

National PA Week takes place each year from Oct. 6–12 to celebrate the profession and its contributions to the nation’s health. A PA is a nationally certified and state-licensed medical professional.  They practice and prescribe medication in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories and the uniformed services.

Haywood Regional Medical Center is proud to honor our Physician Assistants (PA) in honor of PA Week and recognize their positive impact on patient outcomes. PAs are licensed medical providers who conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, write prescriptions, and perform medical procedures in nearly every practice setting and medical specialty.

“Our PAs are valued members of our medical staff and play a vital role in making our community healthier, said Rod Harkleroad, RN, MMHC, CEO. “This is a week when we can raise awareness and celebrate the significant contributions PAs make to high quality patient care at Haywood Regional.”

Haywood Regional Medical Center would like to recognize and thank the following valued providers:

  • Elizabeth Flores, PA-C – Emergency Medicine
  • Audrey Fortezzo, PA-C - Orthopaedics
  • Aaron Giese, PA-C - Spine Surgery
  • Jon B Grady, PA-C - Spine Surgery
  • Jacob Jennings, PA-C - Surgery / ENT
  • John C Kish, PA-C - Emergency Medicine
  • Kelly A Klein, PA-C - Orthopedics
  • Chad Lott, PA-C - Family Medicine
  • Dennis Seely, PA-C - Urgent Care
  • Heather Strauss, PA-C - Emergency Medicine
  • David Wangerin-Lile, PA-C - Family Med / Psychiatry
  • Britt Warren, PA-C - Urgent Care
  • Emily Watson, PA-C -Family Medicine
  • Susan Wilson, PA-C - Urgent Care

PAs are vital to healthcare. The Affordable Care Act, which was enacted in 2010, recognized PAs for the first time as one of three primary care providers (PAs, Nurse Practitioners and Physicians). The law also empowered PAs to lead patient-centered medical teams. Team-based care is at the core of a PAs training. PAs can practice autonomously or in a collaborative relationship with other members of a patient’s healthcare team. This combination is a major source of their strength.

PAs are experts in general medicine. They undergo rigorous medical training. PAs must take a test in general medicine in order to be licensed and certified. They must graduate from an accredited PA program and pass a certification exam. Like physicians and NPs, PAs must complete extensive continuing medical education throughout their careers.

PAs diagnose, treat and prescribe medicine. Thanks to an education modeled on the medical school curriculum, PAs learn to make life saving diagnostic and therapeutic decisions while working autonomously or in collaboration with other members of the healthcare team. PAs are certified as medical generalists with a foundation in primary care. Over the course of their careers, many PAs practice in two or three specialty areas, giving them deep experience and the flexibility to meet the changing needs of their patients, employers and communities.

PAs are trusted healthcare providers. Studies have shown that when PAs practice to the full extent of their abilities and training, hospital readmission rates and lengths of stay decrease and infection rates go down. A Harris Poll found extremely high satisfaction rates among Americans who interact with PAs. The survey found that 93 percent regard PAs as trusted healthcare providers, 92 percent said that having a PA makes it easier to get a medical appointment and 91 percent believe that PAs improve the quality of healthcare.

To find a Haywood PA provider please visit MyHaywoodRegional.com/findadoc