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PAEA Applauds White House Initiative to Help Veterans Become Physician Assistants

Alexandria, VA/October 25, 2011 ó PAEA President Kevin Lohenry, PhD, PA-C, issued the following statement in response to the Obama Administrationís announcement of its new initiative to support Physician Assistant (PA) education programs in attracting veterans to this burgeoning health care profession:

"The Obama Administration is right to support the professional development of our returning veterans and help them enter the Physician Assistant field. The PA profession started in 1965 with four U.S. Navy Corpsmen, and this type of program offers veterans a unique way to continue their tradition of service by helping to fill a dire need for primary health care providers. The Obama Administration has capitalized on a rare win-win-win policy that gives back to veterans, creates job opportunities and helps address one of the most critical health care challenges we face."

Physician assistants (PAs) are licensed health care professionals who practice medicine as members of a team with their supervising physicians. PAs are medical professionals trained at the graduate level who can enter the workforce quickly and have the advanced training to autonomously diagnose, treat, and prescribe medicine for patients in a cost-effective manner. The PA practice model is, by design, a team-based approach to patient care and fits well into the patient-centered, medical home and accountable care organization models expected to dominate our reformed health care system. Established in 1972, PAEA is the only national organization in the United States representing PA educational programs.

For additional information, contact Jeanette Smith at jsmith@PAEAonline.org; or (703) 548-5538.

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