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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.

Huckabee appointed to Federal Advisory Committee

March 2020 - Dr. Alex M, Azar II, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced that Michael Huckabee, Ph.D., PA-C, Director of the Mayo Clinic PA Program, has been appointed to a three-year term on the Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry (ACTPCMD) of the Health Resources and Services Administration. Dr. Huckabee was nominated for the appointment by the PA Education Association.

Upon being notified of the appointment, Dr. Huckabee said, “It is an honor to serve on this committee to further advance efforts in support of making primary care more accessible for all via dynamic health professional training initiatives.”

ACTPCMD advises and makes recommendations to the Secretary of HHS, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce on policy, program development, and other matters of significance concerning the medicine and dentistry activities under Section 747 of the Public Health Service Act. Dr. Huckabee is one of two PAs sitting on the 17-member advisory committee.

Articles on osteosarcoma and the PA research agenda published by Mayo faculty

March 2020 - Danielle O’Laughlin, Clinical Skills Co-Director for the PA Program, was recently published in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Her article, “An Incidental Finding of Osteosarcoma” was featured in the February edition (Vol 33, No 2, pp 46-48). She reports that it was one of the most memorable cases she’s experienced in her career.

Shekitta Acker, Academic Co-Director for the PA Program, was lead author of an article in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, titled, “An Updated National PA Research Agenda.” Ms. Acker serves as a member of the AAPA Research and Strategic Initiatives Commission, which conducted the review and update of the national PA research agenda. High priorities on the agenda include cost-effectiveness of PAs, patient outcomes, access to care, PA supply and demand, PA readiness to practice, and PA workforce composition. The article was featured in the March edition (Vol 33, No 3, pp 15-16).

3+2 students gather for “Mayo Connections”

Group photo of PA students at Mayo Clinic attending an event

February 2020 - The Mayo Clinic PA Program hosted the 24 students enrolled in their freshman year of Pre-PA studies for a “Mayo Connections” event in February in the Gonda building. These students are enrolled at either Saint Mary’s University in Winona or University of Minnesota Rochester and will complete three years of Pre-PA coursework leading to their admission to the 2-year, masters-level, Mayo PA Program. Mayo Connections events are scheduled by the PA Program for these students twice a semester in the Fall and Spring, with this session focused on Metacognition Skills for Learning and Patient Care.

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

August 2019 - 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, M.D., 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

May 2019 - 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. 

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

New PA faculty receives Karis Award

May 2019 - Danielle O’Laughlin, MS, PA-C, received the Karis 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.