Seattle-Area Physician Assistant Honored for Efforts to Improve Medical Education in Rural Laos

Jun 01, 2010, 05:00 ET from American Academy of Physician Assistants

American Academy of Physician Assistants Names Phoumy Bobby Bounkeau, PhD, PA-C, Humanitarian PA of the Year

ATLANTA, June 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Phoumy Bobby Bounkeau, PhD, PA-C, of Seattle, Wash., received the American Academy of Physician Assistants' 2010 Humanitarian PA of the Year Award at the organization's 38th Annual Physician Assistant Conference in Atlanta yesterday. Bounkeau, of Lao and Thai descent, co-founded the CME training project, a program that provides funding for rural Lao health workers to travel from their villages to the large city of Luang Prabang, Laos, to participate in much-needed continuing medical education.


"My roots are in Laos and Thailand, and I know all too well that, especially in rural areas, this part of the world is often underserved by modern health care," said Bounkeau. "By extending a hand to those who have the desire to learn and serve, we broaden the reach of the best health care practices across the globe. I am honored that AAPA has chosen to recognize this important and necessary work."

Bounkeau's CME training project provides curriculum on patient history, physician assessment, emergency medicine, ultrasound technology, reproductive health and pediatrics, as well as medical leadership for hospital administrators and medical English for hospital workers. The program, which is funded in part by the PA Foundation, provides Lao health workers an opportunity to strengthen and update their clinical skills.

Bounkeau is a Distinguished AAPA Fellow, former president of the Washington State Academy of Physician Assistants and co-founder of AAPA's Asian and Pacific Islander PA Caucus. He is currently employed by the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System. On weekends and evenings, Bounkeau volunteers at Seattle International Community Health Services providing culturally competent health care services to patients speaking Southeast Asian languages.

In recognition for his accomplishments, Bounkeau received the Humanitarian PA of the Year Award, which honors a PA who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to human rights and exemplifies the PA profession's philosophy of providing accessible and quality health care in geographic locations inside and outside of the United States. The award is one of five PAragon Awards, made possible with support from Pfizer Inc., that are presented annually by AAPA to recognize members who have demonstrated distinguished service to patients, the community and the profession. Other awards include: Federal Service PA of the Year, Outstanding PA of the Year, PA Service to the Underserved Award and the Physician-PA Partnership Award.

AAPA is the only national professional association that represents PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of U.S. territories, the armed forces and federal services. Founded in 1963, AAPA works to increase the professional and personal growth of the entire PA workforce by providing comprehensive support and advocacy for physician assistants so that they may, in turn, provide patients with increased access to quality, cost-effective health care. Learn more at

SOURCE American Academy of Physician Assistants