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Technology has and will continue to radically transform the way PAs treat patients and how all medical professionals learn, allowing, even demanding, communication at lightning speed and bringing otherwise unavailable resources and expertise to patient care. AAPA is committed to providing the kind of leadership that not only ensures professional growth and personal excellence for PAs but also recognizes that a successful transformation of our nation's health care system will become a reality only with an expanded, robust utilization of PAs.
editorial0509-BL.qxp 4/24/09 12:11 PM Page 10 EDITORIAL EDITORIAL Bill Leinweber is executive vice president/CEO of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Alexandria, Virginia. Welcome to the new AAPA: A time for transformation ur elected leaders are currently discussing tremendous AAPA is committed to providing the kind of leadership O potential change to our health care system, a system that by most any measure is itself very ill. Some changes will be viewed as adjustments in the way we utilize that not only ensures professional growth and personal excel- lence for PAs but also recognizes that a successful transfor- mation of our nation’s health care system will become a reali- emerging technologies, advances in medicine, and other “rou- ty only with an expanded, robust utilization of PAs. tine” enhancements to the practice of medicine. These are the The AAPA aspires to be not only the leader in providing sorts of changes that both patients and health care providers support and advocacy for PAs but also the primary organiza- typically have been able to adopt with relative ease. tion advancing the profession, a premier participant in health Other changes will be more difficult to understand, accept, care transformation, and a passionate champion of patient- and ultimately implement. They will be sweeping in nature, centered care. To do that, we must not only be aware of the requiring vast intersections of knowledge, skills, and compli- rapidly and radically changing health care landscape; we cated systems that health care professionals and those who must also be among the leadership shaping that change, support them are just now beginning to identify. transforming ourselves and the movement we represent. There are also paradigm shifts, such as those associated with Last year, the AAPA board and senior management initiated the move to managed care in the early 1980s when new ways a 3-year strategic planning process to define the priorities and to pay for treatment emerged. They introduced a new par- focus of the Academy’s resources. Among the outcomes of ticipant—the third-party payer—into the traditional provider- that process was a rebranding effort, a program to create a patient relationship. Paradigm shifts take a good deal more symbolic embodiment of AAPA in the minds of members and time to get used to as we adjust to new processes, procedures, the public at large and to increase its worth or equity over and programs and new roles for caregivers. time. The most visible aspects of the brand are a new logo and And there are those shifts that are truly transformative, tagline. The new logo and tagline will be seen across a rebuilt shifts that move entire systems
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