Message from the President/CEO
During this last year — my first as president/CEO of our certifying organization — I have invited and welcomed your letters and emails. Many of you reached out with encouragement for me and praise for NCCPA, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciated that. Others have helped to broaden my perspective on the wide ranging challenges facing PAs in practice in the many settings and specialties of health care and those facing PAs in each stage of the career lifecycle. Amidst it all, the most pronounced recurrent theme has been the relevance and difficulty of PANRE.
As a certified PA myself, I am certainly no stranger to the stress of the recertification exam. As one now several years removed from clinical practice, I know well the challenge of preparing for an exam that covers such a wide swath of medical information. As a former dean and certainly in my current position, I am well acquainted with the pressure to pass felt by those whose livelihood and professional reputation depends on keeping the “C.”
My purpose in writing today is simply to say: we hear you.
Later this fall, our Board will undertake an intensive review of the purpose, format and content of PANRE, drawing on all we know about the current state of PA practice (based on the Practice Analysis Survey several thousand of you completed for us earlier this year). We will consider and weigh many factors: the needs and expectations of the patients we serve and the other stakeholders who rely on certification as an indicator of competence; the diverse role of the PA in primary care and the many specialties and subspecialties of medicine and surgery in which they practice; PAs’ desire to be tested on content relevant to our current role as well as the importance of protecting our flexibility to change specialties; the range of potential assessment methods and their relative cost and accessibility; and certification accreditation standards and best practices in assessment.
I have no idea what the outcome of all of that study and discussion will be, but I broadcast it now in the spirit of collegiality and transparency. Thank you again to those who took the time to complete the Practice Analysis Survey; that time and effort will be integral to these deliberations. To all, we will update you on the outcome of these important discussions before the end of the year.
In the meantime, I know many of you will want to weigh in on this topic, and we welcome that feedback. Next month we will invite you to participate in a survey on the subject of PANRE. Watch this space for more on that in the next issue of NCCPA News.
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Is Your Web Browser Safe? New Standards Coming for NCCPA.net Users
With several high profile data security breaches in the news in recent months, we thought you would appreciate knowing that NCCPA is taking new measures to ensure your information with us is more secure than ever.
NCCPA adheres to standards established by the PCI Security Standards Councilto protect the transmission of credit card information. PCI suggests that to ensure the safest encryption possible, only the most current versions of internet browsers should be used when making payments. That new PCI standard goes into effect June 30, 2016.
We will update our website early next year in advance of that deadline. In the meantime, starting later this month, you will see a message when you go to the sign in area of the website that will let you know whether the browser you’re using is compatible with those new standards. If it’s not, you’ll be directed to further
information and instructions on what to do next.
We encourage you to perform this check from all devices you use to access our website before next year so you don’t find yourself unable to sign in at a time when you might have requirements due to maintain your certification.
Other Recent Changes
Earlier this year we instituted new, more secure measures for you to sign in to your record and to retrieve your user ID and/or password, eliminating use of social security numbers as a regular log-in option.
Also, because transmission of credit card data by email is not secure, we no longer accept credit card information by email and encourage all payments be made through your secure online record. (We do still accept checks by mail for those who cannot pay online.)
The security and confidentiality of your personal information is of utmost importance to us. We hope you understand and appreciate the measures we are taking to protect it.
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PAs Do That!
Because NCCPA wants employers, physicians and the public to be aware that certified PAs are highly capable healthcare providers who perform extensive medical services and intricate procedures, we are launching a campaign called “PAs Do That!”. We have a dedicated web page and will be advertising in healthcare media. Read about seven of your colleagues who represent certified PAs well.
This first ad in Modern Healthcare begins Aug. 24 in conjunction with their cover story on the "100 Most Influential People in Healthcare". Our ad will link to the “PAs Do That!” website.
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Back to School!
The Boards of NCCPA and the nccPA Health Foundation took time out during a recent meeting to pack 144 backpacks with school supplies. NCCPA Board member Robin Hunter Buskey, PA-C poses with Joe Lagana, Ed.D., founder of the Homeless Children's Education Fund, the Pittsburgh-area charity that will distribute the backpacks. Dr. Lagana is a former member of the NCCPA Board, chair emeritus of the Foundation, and a real champion for the PA profession.
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PA History Society Seeks to fill Board Positions for 2016
Be a part of your profession’s history by serving on the PA History Society Board of Trustees! The Society is now accepting applications for these voluntary board positions to serve a three year term (January 1, 2016 thru December 31, 2018).
Interested candidates should email a letter of interest and a CV or résumé to: PAHx Nominating Committee, c/o Lori Konopka-Sauer at LoriK@nccpa.net.
Applications will be accepted through September 1, 2015. The PAHx Nominating Committee will review all applications and conduct telephone interviews with the finalists in September.
PAHx Trustees are expected to provide leadership and vision for the organization and have a fiduciary responsibility to the organization. The Trustees should have a genuine interest in the work and mission of the organization. The Society’s Board is considered a ”working board.” As such, Trustees are expected to complete a variety of tasks annually such as: write 3 – 5 biographies (visit http://www.pahx.org/bio.html for samples); write short articles for the quarterly newsletter; participate on 1 – 2 PAHx committees; participate on a New Board Member Conference Call; and actively participate during the Society’s bi-annual Board meetings (April & November), which are generally held in the Atlanta area. The Society covers the hotel and travel expenses for Trustees to attend the two board meetings.
For additional information, please email LoriK@nccpa.net, and your questions and/or applications will be forwarded to the PAHx Nominating Committee Chair, Gloria Stewart, Ed.D., PA.
History is always being made... find out more by visiting the PA History's website for the latest features and new exhibits throughout the site.
If you haven't already done so, be sure to "like" PA History on Facebook to receive updates, and to try your hand with PA history trivia!
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nccPA Health Foundation Launches New Body of Work to Improve Health
In early August, the nccPA Health Foundation announced new strategic initiatives to advance the role of certified PAs to improve health while promoting the profession, benefiting patients, and fostering collaborations with partners.
“We believe passionately that certified PAs are change agents who advance the health of patients, and the Foundation’s new body of work seeks to exert leadership in the thoughtful consideration of emerging health care trends and the development of impactful strategies, with PAs at the center of our work,” said Cynthia B. Lord, MHS, PA-C, chair of the Foundation Board.
In addition to convening PAs and other thought leaders around issues of strategic importance, the Foundation will also continue to promote oral health, raise awareness about opportunities to integrate mental health and wellness more fully in PA practice, and launch a performance improvement initiative.
“As a supporting organization of the NCCPA, the Foundation is launching important new work,” said president & CEO Dawn Morton-Rias, Ed.D., PA-C. “The Foundation is positioned to bring needed attention to a host of important issues, and we look forward to bringing together PAs and others who can contribute in meaningful ways to an ongoing dialogue that equips the more than 100,000 certified PAs to shape a healthier future.”
The Foundation’s new initiatives will be further developed in the coming months; check back in the NCCPA News for more information.
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Join the Foundation's Board of Directors to Shape the Future
Are you passionate about health and the critical role of PAs to shape a healthier future? Then, you’re invited to apply for one of the three seats coming available on the Foundation Board in 2016.
Board members will shape the organization’s newly-identified body of work while providing strategic and fiduciary oversight and working to ensure organizational sustainability.
“The Foundation’s interprofessional board brings together those who believe in our work to advance the role of certified PAs to improve health,” said Cynthia B. Lord, MHS, PA-C, chair of the Foundation Board. “We are looking for three dynamic new members who are mission-focused and ready to contribute their experience and enthusiasm as we launch new initiatives to promote the profession and benefit patients.”
The successful new Board member will offer the Foundation perspectives or expertise stemming from one or more of the following characteristics:
Current clinical practice
Clear understanding of PA profession
In practice 10 years or less
Government/industry relations experience
The Foundation will review all candidates and may conduct telephone interviews with finalists. The new directors will be elected by the NCCPA in February 2016 and begin their service to the Foundation immediately. Prospective candidates are advised that the first term extends through December 31, 2018, with the possibility of reelection for a second three-year term.
Interested candidates are invited to learn more by reviewing our Information for Prospective Candidates and to submit their materials to Tiffany Flick (email@example.com) by Friday, September 18, 2015.
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