Mississippi Association of Physician Assistants
This year's Annual Conference will be at Margaritaville Resort in Biloxi, an all new 373-room, smoke-free, family-friendly resort located on the water in Biloxi.
his unique resort features the largest indoor entertainment complex on the Coast, including a 48’ volcano rock climbing wall, ropes course, Cloud Coaster, duel big screen interaction video game, boutique bowling and 100s of popular arcade games. The resort also boasts a waterpark with a 450’ lazy river, a large swimming pool with a convenient swim up bar, two water slides, and a splash pad. Onsite dining options include Landshark Bar & Grill, Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Restaurant, and Doe’s Eat Place, a James Beard awarded steakhouse known for their hand-cut steaks and world famous hot tamales.
Discounted room rates have been negotiated for this event. Please ask for “MAPA Group” when making reservations at 228-271-6377, for reservations before May 23rd.
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Congratulations to the new 2016-2017 MAPA board!
President- Lauren English
President Elect- Leah Calder
Secretary- Vanessa Perniciaro
Treasurer- Laura Saia
Members at Large
North- Matt Garner
Central- Gavin Nowell
Southern- Karmen Clark
Our Controlled Substance Workshop is coming up in fall. Details will be posted on the CME page.
At its July meeting, the AAPA Board of Directors unanimously voted to take the next steps toward establishing a new certifying organization by gathering more information and developing the necessary documents. Learn more at http://news-center.aapa.org/
MAPA Spring CME
MAPA invited Physician Assistants and students from Mississippi and elsewhere to learn about and review the important responsibility of maintaining controlled substance prescribing authority. This training was AAPA and MS Board of Medical Licensure approved.
Our recurrent Controlled Substance Education Program was a one day CME event developed to satisfy the State Board of Medical Licensure’s requirement that all PAs, “applying for controlled substance prescriptive authority must complete a Board approved educational program . . .” which this program qualifies. Also, to maintain this prescriptive authority PA’s in Mississippi must annually insure that, “10 hours of CME must be related to the prescribing of medications with an emphasis on controlled substances.”
Our Annual Conference was the following day and comprised of 10 hours of general CME topics. This program was approved by AAPA for category 1 CMEs and was also approved by the board of nursing for category 1 CME.
Letter From the President
Lauren English, MSM, PA-C
This year has been an adventure for the Mississippi Academy of Physician Assistants!
First, I would like to extend my humble appreciation to you all for electing me as your president. I have greatly enjoyed the duties that have come along with the position over the past year. It brings me great joy to work with fellow PAs to promote our profession through various activities and events!
I am writing this letter to update you on several things that MAPA has been working on to improve the practice of physician assistants in our lovely state. We kicked off our fiscal year in August and December with two CME events hosted at the Mississippi College PA program in Clinton, MS. While in Clinton, the first item we addressed was the MAPA website. If any of you visited the old website, you are aware that it left much to be desired. MAPA hired Story Street Media to revitalize the website (www.mapa.ms), including making the interface a much more enjoyable and informative experience. We are updating the new website daily, including the addition of resources to make it much easier to contact the MAPA board of directors. In addition to the website update, we started a Public Relations and Social Media committee to help connect PAs through social media outlets.
In regards to finances, we have been working hard to raise funds for MAPA. Unfortunately, this year marked the expiration of an AAPA grant that has provided us with additional funding over the past 10 years. You might be wondering why MAPA needs grant money in the first place. In the past, this grant money has been used to support our lobbyists. Since January, we have researched new software we can utilize for membership and CME dues because you may all have asked yourself the same question I have asked myself several times, “When does my membership expire for MAPA?” The software we have chosen for MAPA members will automatically remind you when your dues are due.
While losing the AAPA grant money was a tough pill to swallow, we did make huge strides in regards to state laws and regulations for PAs in Mississippi. We established a PA Advisory Committee with the MSMBL. This advisory committee is made up of 5 PAs, 1 NP, and 1 medical board member. This committee will serve to promote a togetherness amongst mid-level providers in the state, as well as solidifying the PA-physician model which we vehemently support. Having a member of the medical board on the committee will also allow the needs, opinions, and concerns of PAs to be addressed directly at executive meetings of the Mississippi State Medical Board. In short, the PA voice is growing in our state and we expect to have more updates in the near future!
In regards to the future, we are planning more CME opportunities. We are also working on creating several different MAPA committees in the areas of fundraising, membership, CMEs, and PA advocacy. We want to encourage your future participation in MAPA to help continue our momentum of being understood and appreciated in Mississippi.
Some have said that we have made more headway this year than in the last 5 years combined. The board you elected to represent your PA voice has been working very hard and doing an excellent job. As you know, we have been “behind the ball” in several areas with developing our state chapter, however your current MAPA board is committed to change. They are making major headway! Again, I encourage all of you to get involved and remind you to stay up to date with our newsletter as we update you with our latest works. Let me close by inviting you to contact me with any specific questions or concerns that you might have regarding your practice in the state of Mississippi.
From the efforts put forward by our MAPA president, Lauren English, PA-C, to meet with the MSMBL president and work together we have not only established a PA advisory committee, but are also working toward a few changes listed below. Now, it will take time and effort for these to come to fruition, but the groundwork has been laid and we are so very excited for these changes to be on the horizon!
- Extending the amount of PAs a physician can supervise- more than 2 PAs per physican.
- Eliminating the face-to-face interview with Executive Director of medical board for licensure.
- Jurisprudence exam will be changed to an online exam to eliminate applicants taking more time to drive there and grade them etc.
- Changing the 120 days of direct supervision~ days converted to hours and ONLY for new grads not PAs coming from other states.
- Distance from supervising/ back up physician is going to be set at 75 miles from supervising physician.
- Update rules and regulations regarding dispensing medications to mirror that of NPs
- Creating a protocol template to use for all PAs to use that will be accessible through the MSMBL website to make it easier/ faster/ consistent.
- We are also working on having PAs allowed to receive controlled substance samples.
- PAs would be allowed to volunteer at free clinics. Need to list site/ physician on your protocol.
- Meeting with Advisory Committee every 3 months.
PA Day at the Capitol
Every year practicing PAs and PA students take one day to advocate at the capitol. This year was a huge success. We had a great turn out and the support from the MCPA program is always greatly appreciated. Next year we hope to make it even better as every year we are welcoming more and more practicing PAs to the state. We hope that you will join us and help our voice become louder and our presence larger in Mississippi.
Lead by Example:
Be a Preceptor for Mississippi College PA Students
The physician assistant (PA) profession is well placed to help fill the healthcare workforce need for clinicians over the next 20 years, and more than half of PA programs are expanding their enrollments. However, the greatest barrier to expansion identified by PA programs is the shortage of clinical rotation sites. We are blessed in a way, being the only PA program in the state, but we are still constantly looking for high quality sites where our students can learn and gain experience. PAs can do their profession and the state of Mississippi a tremendous service by precepting PA students, just as other PAs and physicians did for them. If you have ever thought about precepting — now is the time to step forward!
Why precept a student?
Mississippi College PA students are energetic, highly motivated learners. The teaching can work both ways: Preceptors often find that students bring informed, up-to-date medical knowledge to their practice. In the age of technology and evidence-based medicine, students can bring to the practice knowledge about how to access the latest electronic sources of information. PA students also help to educate other providers and patients about PAs and the PA profession. One of the greatest benefits of precepting is that it is a wonderful recruiting tool. Taking a student for a 5-week rotation is an excellent way to try out a potential new employee. Approximately one-third of PAs found their first jobs through clinical rotations taken during their education. During the clinical rotation, you can test their ability to learn new skills and see whether the student is a good fit for your practice. Our program also includes a clerkship in the final semester, which can be used as a training period for potential job opportunities.
How much time will it take out of my day?
Good teaching and supervision do take time. However, PA students can often add productive time to the preceptor’s day overall. The student can greet the patient and do the history and physical examination. This allows the preceptor to do something else – administrative tasks, paperwork, make phone calls. PA students do not need to see every patient that the preceptor sees. The PA profession embraces the team approach to the practice of medicine, so PA students can also work with and learn from other clinicians in the practice.
Will it mean more paperwork for me?
Many sites do require documentation related to HIPAA, background checks, and immunizations, all of which the program will complete. The PA program facilitates completion of much of the required institutional paperwork, develops the affiliation agreement, and schedules the students. Students will be scheduled based on your availability. Liability for the student lies with program.
What tangible benefits are there to precepting?
Mississippi College PA program does not pay clinical rotation sites to precept PA students. However, we do try to offer other perks to preceptors, including:
• An honorary clinical faculty appointment (an excellent resume addition)
• Free board review courses
• Faculty development training
How can I learn more?
The Physician Assistant Education Association Web site has a special section dedicated to precepting athttp://www.paeaonline.org/preceptor.html. It includes a state-by-state interactive map that allows you to easily pull up contact information for all programs in your area, as well as a variety of resources on clinical teaching and other aspects of precepting.
For more information about becoming a clinical preceptor for Mississippi College PA Program, please contact the Deirdre Folkes, firstname.lastname@example.org, 601-925-7379, or visit our website athttp://www.mc.edu/academics/departments/pa/.
- Ten Reasons to Be a Preceptor
- Students are a great source of future employees
- Honorary faculty appointments
- Students are savvy about new technology
- Earning Category II CME for recertification
- The joy of teaching
- Students bring energy and enthusiasm to your practice
- Free board review
- PA students can help educate your colleagues and patients about the profession
- Teaching students keeps you current
- It feels good to give back to your profession
MCPA Student Update
It’s hard to believe that a little less then a year ago the class of 2017 was anxiously waiting to begin our journey toward becoming Physician Assistants. A lot has happened this past year and I am sure there were times many of us questioned why we were here, but this year has been one that we will never forget. We have formed great relationships not only with our class but also within the community in which we serve. In the process we have learned more than we ever thought was manageable. The class of 2017 wanted to share with the Mississippi Academy of Physician Assistants what we have been up to this year.
Two of our students, Joey Kotnour and Meagan McKinnon, have been working on a grant proposal to the AAPA for the Jackson Free Clinic. They came up with idea to apply for this grant with the hopes of establishing an early bond with the future doctors of Mississippi, as well as establishing a more permanent role in our involvement with the free clinic. I asked them to give us a brief explanation of what this grant entails:
“As current students of Mississippi College’s Physician Assistant Program, it is our desire to join forces with other medical, dental, and allied health students and healthcare providers affiliated with the Jackson Free Clinic to help combat the very present health disparities that surround us and to make a resounding impact on our community through healthcare.
Through this program funded by the IMPACT grant, physician assistant students from Mississippi College seek to meet this need for improved patient education by addressing current factors that limit education opportunity at JFC with the following objectives:
- Integrate physician assistant students on the medical team at JFC to provide patients access to trained, professional delivery of educational material and improve patient understanding of chronic diseases impacting his/her life
- Use technology to deliver appropriate, easily understood content addressing diabetes, hypertension, and obesity
- Use technology for data collection and implementation of a central database that can track patient outcomes
- Improve clinic work-flow with increased time spent with the patient by a provider
- Create a sustainable, foundational program that, after completion of the grant, can be expanded to provide further patient education and data tracking opportunities
The state of Mississippi is poverty stricken and facing serious consequences of diseases that are largely preventable. As physician assistant students at Mississippi College and aspiring healthcare providers, we believe that knowledge is power. Educating the underserved patients at Jackson Free Clinic about their disease states and giving them information about how modifying their lifestyles can change the course of their disease and improve the quality of their lives could profoundly impact this community. With the implementation of this project funded by the IMPACT grant, we can equip and empower these patients with knowledge and motivation to start making changes to improve their lives. In a state that so desperately needs medical assistance, this IMPACT grant will enable Physician Assistant students at Mississippi College to meet these patients where they are and influence their lives through the power of health education.”
Along with this grant proposal we have had a number of students get involved by doing outreach missions for the community. We have had students feed the homeless on Friday nights, make Valentine’s cards for underprivileged children, make Christmas bags for nursing home residents, volunteer at women’s shelters, Mustard Seed, soup kitchens, and free clinics, all while studying and keeping up grades in PA school. In addition, our fundraising chair, Madison Holcomb, PA-S1, organized a successful draw down to raise funds for our students that represented our school at a national level at the 2016 AAPA Challenge Bowl in San Antonio, TX. These students are Krystal Stewart, PA-S1, John Murphy, PA-S2, and Almira Gandhi, PA-S2. Ryne Graham, PA-S1, represented us with the Assembly of Representatives, and Anthony Montes de Oca, PA-S2, represented us in the House of Delegates.
This is only a short list that scratches the surface of what we have been able to do this past year. We are excited for the future, and we hope to leave Mississippi College better then we found it. We lastly want to thank our faculty and staff, because none of this would be possible without their constant support and guidance.
Nathan Harrell, PA-S1
c/o 2017 MAPA Student Representative