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WAPA Congratulates MEP for National Award

Thursday, June 6, 2019   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Melissa Graham
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Madison Emergency Physicians (MEP) was selected as one of the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management’s (CHLM) winners of the 2019-2020 Employer of Excellence Awards at the AAPA national conference in Denver, CO, this May.


 The award program is designed to showcase organizations that have implemented practices that create positive work environments for PAs and encourage collaborative provider teams. The program is the first and only PA-specific award program available to organizations.


Quinn Holzheimer, MD, MEP’s Chief Talent Officer, accepted the Employer of Excellence Award on behalf of MEP.


“Our advanced practitioners are the cream of the crop, and we do everything we can to foster an ideal environment to work together to care for our patients. We’re honored to be one of only three private physician practices nationwide to earn this award and to be in the exclusive company of larger healthcare organizations like Mayo Clinic, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Stanford Healthcare.”


This prestigious award is given annually at a national level to recognize companies who are committed to empowering PAs, promoting mutual respect, effective communication and collaboration among providers while facilitating professional development. Prior winners include Cleveland Clinic, Seattle Cancer Alliance and NYU Lagone Health.


 Photo, from left to right:

Rosie Whinnery, PA, Quinn Holzheimer, DO, Shannon Coakley PA-C, Emily Smith PA-C.
 There was a cohort of physician assistants (Sandy Miller, Krista Quick, Todd Woodhouse and Kevin Wyne) who nominated their employer for the award because they felt that MEP continues to empower PAs and APPs.


“The culture that MEP has created is one of mutual respect and transparent communication, one where APPs are challenged to grow, supported in their development and recognized as essential members of a highly skilled medical team,” Miller said.


 MEP has also developed a robust system for cooperative communication that enables and encourages PAs to step into leadership roles alongside physician colleagues, both on shift and behind the scenes.


 Holzheimer sums it up, saying, “It has become apparent that a PA is priceless on many levels… my goal is to make sure our PAs feel valued as colleagues, and are recognized for their time and dedication to the practice of medicine in our Emergency Departments.”


 There are three official leadership positions for Advanced Practitioners (AP) within MEP. The Lead AP is the main liaison between the APs and physicians and is held by Joshua Sheridan, PA-C. The AP Administrator, held by Kate McComb, PA-C, is responsible for the successful onboarding process of each new AP to MEP. The AP Operations Officer communicates with Physician Leadership and AP Leadership regarding AP staffing needs and maintains up to date AP supply/demand information as well as publishing monthly AP schedules.  Shannon Coakley, PA-C holds this position and was at the awards ceremony.


“I greatly appreciate the opportunity to represent MEP at the 2019 APAA Conference for the Employer of Excellence Award from the Centers for Healthcare Leadership and Management. It is an honor to be employed by a group that is supportive of PAs and provides both clinical and administrative opportunities for PAs.” Coakley said.


 In addition to more traditional leadership roles, MEP has shown a willingness to embrace new ideas in order to enhance the organization. A strong example is the creation of the Emergency Medicine Advance Provider (EMAP) Fellowship that was envisioned and created by the EMAP Program Director Kevin Wyne, PA-C and EMAP Clinical Director Sandy Miller, PA-C, both employed with MEP.  “MEP’s willingness to invest in this program is a testament to the value it places on highly-trained APs as well as the trust it places in its APs to further the organization,” says Wyne. For more information on the fellowship, click here:


MEP has grown over the years. The first PA was hired by MEP in 2007 and since then has grown to 45 PAs on staff. Their respect and utilization of PAs and NPs in emergency medicine sets an example on collaboration for other teams and employers.


 “MEP has made a habit of recognizing and supporting their AP's through respecting the collective AP voice and providing opportunities for AP's in leadership. But equally as impressive to me has been the focus on work/life balance and career satisfaction for employees. The emergency department is an inherently unpredictable and stressful environment but MEP has been able to mitigate many of those stressors by prioritizing the wellness of employees outside the walls of the ER. I feel fortunate to be part of such a great team and was honored to be at the ceremony recognizing them for their dedication to their AP members,” explained Emily Smith, PA-C, one of the first PAs on the MEP team.


WAPA is proud to see its own PAs offering such a strong model of optimal team practice for a national audience – a model that is redefining the conversation between teams of physicians and advanced practice providers. Given this, WAPA would like to congratulate MEP for receiving the Employer of Excellence Award.


About the Award
CHLM partnered with HealthStream to better understand what PAs value in their place of employment and identified 5 Key Drivers of PA Retention and Engagement as the criteria for the awards:

  1. A positive and supportive PA work environment

  2. Effective conflict management

  3. PA opportunities to provide meaningful input that leads to positive organizational change

  4. Communication that keeps PAs informed of organizational activity and decisions

  5. Leadership efforts to involve PAs in improving the quality of patient care

Learn more about Eligibility and Award Criteria in the Application Guidelines (PDF).



About Madison Emergency Physicians (MEP)

Founded in 1983, MEP is Southern Wisconsin’s premier board-certified independent emergency medicine group. MEP’s greatest asset is its people, and we have grown to 62 emergency physicians, 41 advanced practitioners, 35 scribes, and 3 administrators serving >160,000 patients annually at 8 emergency departments and 1 urgent care.

About AAPA’s Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management (CHLM)

CHLM works directly with institutions to maximize team-based utilization and optimize PA practice settings. CHLM provides expertise, analytics, and industry best practices to help their clients evaluate organizational alternatives designed to improve the effectiveness of their provider workforce. For more information, visit  


About the American Academy of PAs (AAPA)

AAPA is the national membership organization for all PAs. PAs are medical professionals who diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient’s principal healthcare provider. Learn more about the profession at



Tara Streit (Lavin) says...
Posted Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Way to go!! Leading the way for Wisconsin!!