AAPA Calls First Physician Assistant Elected to Congress a Milestone for Health Care Policy

Nov 04, 2010, 17:03 ET from American Academy of Physician Assistants

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Academy of Physician Assistants congratulates PA Karen Bass on her historic congressional victory Tuesday, November 2. Bass is the first PA elected to Congress.  AAPA looks forward to the patient-centered health care perspective Bass is likely to bring to both the U.S. House of Representatives and the impending debates about health care reform implementation.

"AAPA is thrilled with the election of Karen Bass to the 112th Congress — not only because she is a physician assistant, but because of the exceptional leadership she has demonstrated in her community and in the California Assembly," said AAPA President Patrick E. Killeen. "We fully anticipate that she will carry forward her tradition of excellence in the U.S. House of Representatives."

Bass was one of four California state legislators to be awarded the 2010 Profiles in Courage Award by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation for her bipartisan work in proposing a solution to the state's budget crises.

As a PA, Bass practiced in an integrated team-based model of health care delivery, which allows physicians, PAs and other non-physician providers more time with patients. A recent opinion poll conducted by AAPA found that patients are concerned with their ability to communicate with providers and a team-based approach can add tremendous value to the patient experience.

Along with legislation to reform schools and expand health insurance for children, Bass authored landmark legislation to improve physician-PA team practice in California.  A lifelong resident of Los Angeles, Bass was elected to the California legislature in 2005 and made history in 2008 when the California Assembly elected her to be its 67th speaker — she was the first African-American woman in the country to serve in this legislative role. Bass was a practicing PA at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center and served as a clinical instructor at the USC Keck School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program.

Founded in 1968, the American Academy of Physician Assistants is AAPA is the national professional society for physician assistants. Representing more than 74,000 PAs clinically practicing across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories, and within the armed forces and federal services, AAPA advocates and educates on behalf of the profession and the patients PAs serve. With more than 43,000 members worldwide, AAPA works to ensure the professional growth, personal excellence and widespread recognition of physician assistants. It also works to enhance their ability to improve the quality, accessibility and cost-effectiveness of patient-centered health care.

SOURCE American Academy of Physician Assistants