Letter from GAPA’s President – Dan Vacala – April 2015

Dear Georgia PAs,

In spite of recent “failures” in legislative issues, I am greatly encouraged by the input and strength of PAs across the state of Georgia.

I’m sure most of you know that bills put forth during this last legislative session did not make it to law in regards to schedule II prescription privileges for PAs. There were 2 bills (House Bill 348 and Senate Bill 115) that were introduced but ultimately were blocked. After much effort to side step the opposing efforts, we were not successful but we are hopeful. I personally have grown leaps and bounds in regards to politics and understand the state legislative system better but still realize that I have no ambition to join this group of “citizens”. I also realize that I need to be careful with my choice of words as I speak and write.

On the positive side, we now know where our efforts need to be placed in the future as we strive to improve the scope of practice for PAs in Georgia. These efforts will begin this summer and carry through the next session in 2016. We plan to work closely with Rural Health groups and the Governor appointed Rural Hospital Stabilization Committee in addition to MAG and the State Medical Board.

GAPA also looks to improve on our conferences offered for CME. We look to expand our CME with poster presentations to allow our educators and those in research to showcase their studies as they have the opportunity to strengthen their portfolios. We need to change our presentations to meet the expectations of those attendees and to meet the necessary requirements of NCCPA.

I encourage all of you to participate in the nominations for awards and the upcoming board elections. This is your association and we need your input. The Albany area has had an increase of PA presence and it’s time to expand that presence into the leadership within GAPA. I hope that some of you consider serving and giving back to your profession by joining the leadership. Also, please consider your colleagues who are deserving of one of the many awards presented at our summer conference. They don’t have to be present to be honored.

The AAPA House of Delegates will be meeting next month and the declarations should be available soon. This will be shared with the membership and I would encourage you to review these and let your representatives know your opinion and how you would want them to vote. Much like our state legislators, the HOD representatives from GAPA represent you!

The social media improvements on the website and Facebook pages are changing regularly. Take the time to visit these sites and share comments, stories, etc. Our region has its own Facebook page that is private and I would encourage Albany to do the same. This has been a great way for information to be shared in regards to local, state, and national issues concerning our profession. It also helps to keep folks abreast of current activities in the lives of our co-workers and colleagues.

Finally, I would encourage all of you to join GAPA. This is YOUR association. Everything we do is to improve our profession in the state of Georgia (and sometimes nationally). If you attend a gathering or meeting with other PAs, I would ask that you look around the room. You will realize there are different genders, backgrounds, levels of training, ages, specialties of practice, and even those that are oblivious to the legislative issues previously discussed. GAPA serves each and every one of you by protecting your right to practice, keeping your voice heard in legislative issues, providing a network, and ultimately giving you the opportunity to succeed as a PA in Georgia. We need to come together now more than ever as we prepare to make some of the biggest strides in regards to the scope of practice for PAs in Georgia.

I hope to see y’all at the summer conference in Hilton Head.

Dan Vacala
GAPA President

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