Presidents Message - June 2020
Monday, June 22, 2020
In this final President’s Message, I would like to recap the accomplishments of WAPA and thank the Board and Committee members for their hard work and many accomplishments. This fiscal year has been filled with many achievements, a few setbacks, and a roller coaster of emotion.
Legislative and Government Affairs:
Legislatively, WAPA has made significant progress toward modernizing PA practice law in Wisconsin. Despite initial staunch opposition from formal physician groups, WAPA was able to reach a compromise with the Wisconsin Medical Society. This was due largely to support from our physician coworkers, our allies at the Wisconsin Hospital Association, and the leadership of many health care systems. This compromise passed on voice vote in the Assembly in February. Unfortunately, Covid brought things to a grinding halt and the Senate has deferred a meeting to vote possibly as late as next fall.
Despite the CARES Act being temporarily stalled, it is important to note the other important accomplishments which advance PA Practice in Wisconsin. Earlier this year, WAPA testified in support of Act 90 which allows for a PA to certify that a patient has a terminal condition, to sign a Do Not Resuscitate order, and to activate a Power of Attorney. WAPA also testified in support of Act 97 which makes it a felony to commit battery against a health care worker, including PAs. Both Acts passed and are now signed into law. Early on in the Covid crisis, WAPA worked with the PA Council on Emergency Order 16 which temporarily loosened the antiquated restrictions of Med 8 in order to allow PAs to pivot and respond when and where needed. Thankfully, Wisconsin did not have a Covid surge, but the Order helped PAs remain at the ready.
The CME committee held a very successful spring conference despite Covid. Within the span of one week, the committee was able to move from potentially cancelling the conference to providing a combined virtual and on-demand CME conference which offered even more credits than the in-person event would have allowed. The efforts of the CME committee cannot be underscored enough. Not only did the group ensure the availability of quality CME for our members; they prevented a significant financial loss to the organization. We look forward to a duplication of these efforts next fall during the Great Midwestern Medical Conference. Planning is underway with details coming soon!
Membership within WAPA has been increasing. This success can be attributed to the membership committee working with our management company to streamline the process as they work toward bringing more benefits to our members. All members can rest assured that WAPA will continue to represent your interests in Madison, to provide quality CME, to provide professional practice resources, to offer networking opportunities, and much more.
The communications committee has recently expanded. The group is working to increase social media presence. If you don’t already, follow WAPA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also be sure to watch for the monthly newsletter for important updates, events, and the monthly member spotlight.
This year, the WAPA Foundation was dissolved as a separate entity and was absorbed into WAPA as a Legacy Committee. The work of the Foundation will continue, including awarding scholarships and honoring the PA Clinician and Leader of the year. The change was primarily administrative and will not be noticed by general membership.
This committee is your primary resource for professional practice information. You may submit your questions through the website at www.wapa.org. Watch for updates to the website in the coming months.
The PAC funds help ensure that WAPA has a voice in Madison. Thank you to all who have donated during the Caduceus campaign. The PAC gained approximately $2500 thanks to your generosity. This fund is even more important during the upcoming election year.
As I reflect back over this year, I consider that I ran for this position to give back to the profession. But I now realize that I have been the one to gain so much. I have learned from each and every one of the Board and Committee members. I have met people that I otherwise never would have spent time with. I learned and honed new skills surrounding organization, motivation, negotiation, and more. It has definitely been a year of growth and I am truly grateful to have had this opportunity. Thank you.