WAPA Website Update October 2018

WAPA's Mission
To ensure the professional growth and recognition of PAs in the healthcare team and promote excellence of patient centered care in Washington State

It is October and for WAPA, this marks several key events:

  • Celebration of PA Week, Oct 6-12
  • WSMA Annual conference at the Historic Davenport, Spokane, WA Oct 13-14
  • WAPA Fall Conference at Suncadia Resort, Cle Elum WA Oct 25-27

Happy PA week to all PAs. The PA profession turns 51 years old! Our profession has grown leaps and bounds since its first inception in 1967. Our founders, Drs. Eugene Stead and Richard Smith have since passed, but they witnessed this profession establish itself as a cornerstone of healthcare and the medical team; partnering with physicians in every aspect of patient care. We’ve grown from 2 PA programs to over 120 accredited schools nationwide and over 123,000 practicing PAs in all medical specialties. Thank you PAs!

Watch the video from Dr. Damania (aka Z-Dogg MD) wishing PAs, “Happy PA Week.”

Watch the commercial from AAPA “Your PA Can Do It”

Support B-5: WSMA/WAPA Work Group Recommendations on Physician Assistant Practice!


For the past 2 years, WAPA has been working tirelessly on PA practice reform. In July 2017, WAPA established a work group with WSMA leaders to address growing barriers to PA practice in our state and to discuss possible solutions. Ourpresence at the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) annual conference and House of Delegates meeting is needed once again. PA membership in the WSMA has increased 23% in the past year, no doubt in direct correlation to our WSMA/WAPA Work Group’s collaboration on addressing barriers to PA Practice. PAs are active and essential to the WSMA membership. Let your voice be heard!

2018 PA Practice Reform Fact Sheet

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Send a letter of support from physicians for Resolution B-5: WSMA/WAPA Work Group Recommendations on Physician Assistant Practice. WAPA is collecting letters of support. To help streamline the process. Here is a link for a TEMPLATED LETTER. Feel free to use the template or create a separate letter and EMAIL them to WAPA: [email protected] We will present the collected, sign letters at the HOD meeting in 2 weeks.
  1. Attend the WSMA conference and HOD Meeting. WAPA needs to have a strong presence of support, once again, at thereference committee hearings on Saturday, Oct 13. Registration is free for members of WSMA. The conference is at: 
    The Historic Davenport Hotel
    10 S Post St, Spokane, WA 99201
  1. Write a comment of support of Resolution B-5. If you or your physician colleague are members of WSMA, GO DIRECTLY TO Resolution B-5 to leave a comment. https://wsma.org/Shared_Content/VRC/Communities/CommunityLayouts/CommunityDefault.aspx?iUniformKey=37debd7f-dd85-43b9-879a-58bddb20a7e6&WebsiteKey=c182ff6d-1438-4899-abc5-614681b54927

We need you more than ever to step up and defend PAs’ critical role in healthcare. Please let us know if you are planning to come to the HOD and joining our contingent by emailing [email protected]. We hope to see you there!

Join us for WAPA’s Annual Fall Conference October 25-27at the popular Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum. Mark your calendars now to attend another great network-building, thought-provoking, CME conference in the foothills of the beautiful Cascade Mountains. We will present an update from the WSMA HOD meeting, results of Resolution B5 and the next crucial steps in PA reform.

UPDATE: Your WAPA Board of Directors are hard at work…

WAPA’s Autumn events are a culmination of months of dedicated, unrelenting work of your Board of Directors on behalf of all PAs in Washington state. Here is WAPA’s summer in review that has continued the momentum the past 2 in the PA practice reform movement:

  1. AAPA Resolution B-14-OH/WI/IL Changing the Professional Title of Physician Assistants

This resolution was presented at the AAPA conference this past May. WAPAsent out a survey on this resolution and 68.7% supported the resolution for AAPA to hire an outside firm to analyze if a name change of our profession (Physician Assistant) is needed. A council has been formed, compiled of national PA leaders. They are currently in the process of vetting several marketing analytic firms and are slated to make their choice later this year. WAPA’s very own Lyle Larson, PA-C has been selected to be a member on this council. Congratulations Lyle!

  1. Optimizing utilization of PAs in Opioid Addiction Treatment

The Medical Commission (formerly known as the Medical Quality Assurance Commission) released a statement clarifying the role of PAs in combating the growing opioid epidemic. The Medical Commission states:

An allopathic physician assistant who has received a waiver from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) [can] provide buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid addiction even if the supervising physician has not received a waiver, provided that the physician assistant is supervised by a qualifying physician and the delegation agreement between the physician and the physician assistant complies with Washington law.

This is a good step toward optimizing utilization of PAs in responding to the opioid epidemic. The statement clarifying that for PAs who have a Suboxone (buprenorphine) waiver, their supervising MDs do not also need to have the waiver as long as the supervising MD is either an addiction specialist, or if they are eligible to get the waiver official waiver.

Thank you to Jim Anderson, PA-C for spearheading this. He is 1 of 2 PAs on the Medical Commission for Washington State. Well done Jim!

MQAC Interpretive Statement: https://wmc.wa.gov/sites/default/files/public/documents/PAUseOfDEAWaiverForBuprenorphineINS2018-01.pdf

WAPA has been hard at work, indeed! This represents countless hours of volunteer work by a few, but mighty of your PA colleagues. We all have a role to play, whether it be educating co-workers of advancements of PA practice, being active on the Board of Directors, or ensuring your membership is up to date. A paradigm shift is occurring in healthcare and all hands are needed on deck.

If you are not a member of WAPA, please become one. If your membership has lapsed, or you are not sure if your membership is current please contact us now by either emailing [email protected]or going to the WAPA website https://www.wapa.com

Opportunity favors the prepared. We have an opportunity to change our profession and your membership and support helps us stay prepared.

Many thanks to our Legislative Team:

WAPA Members: Linda Dale, PA-C (chair); Lyn Storm, PA-C; Constance Huynh, PA-C; Eileen Ravella, PA-C; Lyle Larson, PA-C; Monica Morrison, PA-C; Betty Stewart, PA-C; Randall Dickson, PA-C; Chris Whitcomb, PA-C

Lobbyist: Kate White Tudor, JD

Executive Administrator: Linda Krause

In Solidarity,

Constance D. Huynh, PA-C, MPH

WAPA, Immediate Past President