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In the News: PA Program

Physician Assistant performing exam as part of clinical rotations

June 26, 2019

By Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science staff


The PA Program at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science is dedicated to educating the PAs of tomorrow. Keep current on all PA news, updates, and happenings below.

PA faculty member publishes series on point-of-care ultrasound

Mike Breunig, MS, PA-C, Clinical Skills Co-Director for the PA Program, has recently had a series of five articles published in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAAPA), all focused on using point-of-care (POC) ultrasound in patient care.

His most recent article, co-authored with Deanne Kashiwagi, MD, from the Division of Hospital Internal Medicine, is titled, “Using point-of-care ultrasound: Shock” (JAAPA, August 2019, Vol. 32, No 8, pp 43-48). The focus of this article describes how using POC ultrasound in patients with hypotension and shock offers information to determine the underlying cause and direct treatment. Earlier articles in the POC ultrasound series includes examination of lungs, heart, kidneys, and skin and soft tissue infections.

PA Program Director appointed to Legacy Level of Academy of Educational Excellence

Mike Huckabee, Ph.D., PA-C, was recently appointed to Mayo Clinic’s Academy of Educational Excellence (AEE) at the highest, Legacy Level. The mission of AEE is to inspire, develop, recognize, and support Mayo Clinic educators to better prepare learners to advance science, meet patients’ needs, and serve as transformative leaders. There are four categories of membership, with the Legacy Level represented by those with a long standing active participation in the education shield or as national leaders in health professions and science education as demonstrated by leadership roles, education-related innovations, and contributions to education scholarship.

Mayo Clinic recognized for PA Program excellence

Group of PA Program faculty standing on a stage accepting awards American Academy of Physician Assistants has announced that their Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management

The American Academy of Physician Assistants has announced that their Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management selected Mayo Clinic to receive the 2019-2020 Employer of Excellence Award. This award recognizes Mayo in establishing a positive and supportive PA work environment.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management (CHLM) announced Mayo Clinic among the 15 winners of the 2019-2020 Employer of Excellence (EOE) Awards during the AAPA Conference 2019 in Denver, CO in May.

The timing of this award fits well with Mayo launching the new Physician Assistant (PA) program in Rochester, designed to appeal to individuals who seek to be educated as PAs for potential deployment across Mayo Clinic Health System.

This award affirms that working as a PA at Mayo is among the best opportunities available today for PAs. 

To determine the criteria for recognition, CHLM partnered with HealthStream to gain an understanding of what PAs value in their place of employment. Based on the survey findings, criteria for the EOE Awards focuses on the following five key drivers:

  • Establishing a positive and supportive PA work environment
  • Providing opportunities for PAs to provide meaningful input that leads to positive organizational change
  • Keeping PAs informed about organizational activity and decisions
  • Involving PAs in leadership efforts to improve the quality of patient care
  • Creating processes for effective conflict management 

Each awardee will be showcased as a top place to work for PAs, which will enhance recruitment of highly qualified PAs, increase retention rates, and showcase the awardees as pioneers in the health care industry.

Awardees will retain their designation as an Employer of Excellence for two years and then must reapply to maintain the designation. 

New PA faculty receives Karis Award

Danielle O’Laughlin, MS, PA-C, received theKaris Award in May to recognize her exceptional overall performance reflecting Mayo/Franciscan Values over a period of time. O’Laughlin provides patient care for Community Internal Medicine in Rochester and recently accepted the role of Clinical Skills Co-Director for our PA Program.

Mayo Clinic PA Program faculty give national and international presentations

Danielle O’Laughlin: “Pregnancy Reasonably Excluded Guide (PREG) Evaluation of Pregnancy Status Prior to Contraceptive Procedures” at the 18th World Congress of the Academy of Human Reproduction, Dublin, Ireland, April 5, 2019

Michael Breunig: “Advanced Diagnostic Point-of-Care Ultrasound” and “Bedside Diagnostic Ultrasound-Workshop” at the American Academy of PAs National Conference, Denver, CO, May 18, 2019

Michael Huckabee: “Three PA Leadership Strategies that Win” at the American Academy of PAs National Conference, Denver, CO, May 17, 2019

Shekitta Acker: “Changing the Face of Admissions” at The Admissions Summit: Navigating Healthcare Admissions Challenges Together, Toronto, Ontario, June 10, 2019

Sarah Schettle: “Dealing with Devastating Complications on Support” and “Opioid Prescribing Trends in Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Patients” at the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs 65th Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, June 26, 2019

Awards for PA/NP leadership book

The text, Clinical Leadership for Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners, written by Michael Huckabee, Ph.D., PA-C, Mayo Clinic PA Program Director, was awarded the Subject Category Winner for Nursing and Allied Health by the Association of American Publishers honoring scholarly works published in 2018.

These winners were selected from more than 500 entries in this year’s awards competition. According to a panel of 18 judges, the Subject Category Winners demonstrate exceptional scholarship and have made a significant contribution to a field of study. This award follows the earlier third place award the book received in the 2018 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Awards in Nursing Management and Leadership.