Spring 2019 Update: A Message From the NYSSPA President
Monday, March 11, 2019
Posted by: Maureen Regan, PA-C, MBA, FACHE
The NYSSPA Board and Committee Chairs have been very busy supporting and advancing PA Scope of Practice in NYS. After completing an RFP process, the NYSSPA Board made a decision to change management companies. This decision took into account the many variables necessary for NYSSPA to not only survive, but to thrive well into the future. The company that was chosen also represents the Minnesota and Wisconsin PA Associations, affording NYSSPA and its members a synergy in knowledge, skills and mission. This goal is already being realized as NYSSPA discusses bringing forth a joint resolution to the AAPA House of Delegates, sponsored by the three state constituent organizations. For more information on AAPA HOD resolutions see the enclosed article from our VP/Chief Delegate. Our new Executive Director, Suzanne Fedie, brings years of management company experience to her role and has been working with the transition team to ensure a seamless process. One of the priority initiatives is the launching of a new NYSSPA website….look forward to its release this month!!!
The NYSSPA Board and the Governance Committee also spent a lot of time reviewing and updating the NYSSPA Bylaws which were approved in January. While Bylaws Review is a necessary and healthy exercise for any organization, there were a few significant opportunities for this to be done now. NYSSPA has had 5 Districts (named A through E), each with a District Director who had a vote on the Board, for many years. Some of the Districts covered a very large geographic expanse, in fact bigger than some states, and as volunteer leaders, this became problematic. With the growth in the number of our stakeholders in NY (practicing PAs, PA Programs, PA Educators, employers) redistricting will allow District Directors to be better able to serve and represent their constituents and hold a vote to represent them. The addition of 3 Districts will also allow PAs, PA students and Programs from each region to have better engagement with their state association. The renamed Districts are:
- Catskills/Lower Hudson
- Central New York
- Finger Lakes
- Long Island
- New York City
- Western New York
The amended Bylaws also took 3 former individual committees (Newsletter, Website and Social Media) and folded them into a single Communications Committee which will allow for seamless, consistent messaging. I encourage all PAs and PA students to follow NYSSPA on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram to follow the latest NYSSPA activities and get the most current information.
Our Government Affairs and Professional Relations Teams have also been very hard at work meeting with legislators and others across the state that influence how PAs practice. As an example, I had a phone call with the Medical Director and Administrator of a NYS health insurance plan who, as part of their Urgent Care credentialing language, stated that a physician or an NP had to be onsite for a PA to see patients. This incorrect statement was quickly recognized by the Medical Director and has since been rectified; thank you to the NYSSPA member who brought this to our attention. NYSSPA is sponsoring 3 Bills before the 2019 NYS Legislature, the result of a lot of teamwork and coordination. Our Flouro Bill, that will allow PAs who complete a specified didactic and clinical course to administer fluoroscopy, has fostered the opportunity to have a dialogue with our physician colleagues who support passage of this Bill. Please read the Government Affairs article for additional information on our legislative efforts.
Of course, we would be nothing without members and our Membership Committee has been doing a great job reaching out to ensure that every PA and PA student in NYS understands what NYSSPA does on their behalf and how important it is to be a member. Without members and membership dues none of the aforementioned efforts could have happened. As NYSSPA continues to support PA practice in NYS and advance OTP it is imperative that every PA is a NYSSPA member; we are THE ONLY organization evolving PA practice in NYS. One of the most frustrating and disappointing parts of being a volunteer NYSSPA Board member is the number of PAs who reach out to NYSSPA when they need help and they aren’t a NYSSPA member… they may be in a leadership position and need advice, there is a law proposed that could adversely affect their practice/employment, they have a question regarding scope of practice, etc. With continual and ongoing membership support from all PAs and PA students, NYSSPA will be in a position to ensure we meet the mission of the organization… advocacy of PA practice.