Military PAs Find Mentors and Network in the Mile High City

AAPA 2019 Meet in the Middle

June 10, 2019

By Capt Melanie Hosker, Capt Sloan Kelly and LtCol Amelia Duran-Stanton

PAs eagerly gathered May 18-22, 2019, in Denver, Colorado, for AAPA 2019. The conference afforded not only an opportunity for continuing medical education (CME) with subject matter experts with up-to-date knowledge, but also proved to be a remarkable opportunity to network and connect. The military PAs and students participated in several events such as the collaborative meeting with the AAPA federal advocacy team, the recruiting booth at the exhibit hall, the House of Delegates, the Uniformed Services Symposium, general session, award ceremonies, the Distinguished Fellow reception, and the research luncheon.

Military PAs represent their services in the Exhibit Hall at AAPA 2019
Military PAs represent their services in the Exhibit Hall to share information with interested PAs.

Recruiting Efforts
Military PAs spoke to conference attendees interested in joining the military and gathered information on those who requested follow up with a recruiter. The team shared their experiences and satisfaction with their careers to help frame the responsibilities and duties of a military PA, highlighting the increased autonomy, broad scope of practice, and expansive resources with which to practice in varying clinical and austere settings across the world. They also discussed the numerous clinical and trauma training opportunities offered to military PAs to improve patient care and outcomes at home or on the battlefield, and provided information on available programs such as loan repayment offered by each respective service.

2019 AAPA Military Service PA of the Year Award

Colonel David L. Hamilton standing near a plane
Colonel David L. Hamilton, MPH, PA-C

COL David Hamilton, MPH, PA-C, received this year’s Military Service Award for his more than 30 years of experience in the medical community and his military career. He currently serves as Deputy Commanding Officer of Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and is the PA Consultant to the Army Surgeon General.

Memorial Ceremony
This year’s Veterans Caucus Memorial Ceremony, themed “Wings of Courage,” highlighted the historic and continued role of the military PA – both on the large scale of shaping our profession, and on the individual level of saving lives. Jeremiah Pauley, from Warriors Speak, shared his story of physical visible injuries sustained on the battlefield and subsequent “invisible” battle with PTSD. Military PAs represented their services in the color guard for the ceremony and throughout the conference.

David Mittman AAPA President-elect with military Distinguished Fellows and their mentees at the AAPA 2019 Distinguished Fellow reception
David Mittman, current AAPA President-elect and an Air Force Veteran, with military Distinguished Fellows and their mentees during the Distinguished Fellow reception at AAPA 2019.

House of Delegates, Distinguished Fellow Reception and Research Luncheon
Several military and civilian PAs who were elected to represent their services and specialty groups attended the House of Delegates meetings. Military PAs also attended the Distinguished Fellow reception and brought junior PA mentees as their honored guests. A few military PAs also attended the research luncheon with fellow researchers to discuss current research and potential future collaborations.

Presentations at General Sessions and the Uniformed Services Symposium
Of the military PAs in attendance, several presented at least 10 lectures and Capt Shameice Fischer presented her team’s research during an ePoster session. On behalf of the presenting authors, they acknowledged all contributing authors’ collaboration and support.

  • An Innovative Virtual Mentorship Program: A Delphi Study in Bridging the Gap between Senior and Junior Physician Assistants, presented by Capt Shameice K. Fischer (co-authors/contributors: Col Robert S. Heath, Col Amy L. Jackson, LtCol Amelia M. Duran-Stanton, Maj Garrett W. Larson, and Capt Brandon M. Carius).
  • Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst: Mass Casualty Response, Triage, and Novel Threats (Capt Charity Coe).
  • To CT or not to CT? When Acute Abdominal Pain is a Surgical Emergency (Capt Charity Coe).
  • Is There a Fracture? Orthopaedic Evaluation and Treatment of Polytrauma Patients (presented by LtCol Amelia Duran-Stanton; co-authors/contributors LtCol Ben Kocher and Maj Christopher Cordova).
  • S. Military PA Panel: Where Do We See Ourselves In the Next 50 Years And Beyond? LtCol Amelia Duran-Stanton (USA) and multiple contributors: Col David Hamilton (USA), Col Terry Mathews (USAF)  LtCol Terry “Lee” Clark (USA) , LtCol James Jones (USA),  LtCol Robyn Mason (USA), LtCdr Michelle Miller(USN),  and Lt Jeremy Fisher (USCG).
  • Building the Bench: Junior PA Mentorship Program and the Council of Junior PAs, presented by Capt Shameice K. Fischer (co-authors/contributors: Col Robert S. Heath, Col Amy L. Jackson, LtCol Amelia M. Duran-Stanton, Maj Garrett W. Larson, and Capt Brandon M. Carius).
  • Expanding Opportunities for PAs in the Military Health System and Beyond (Col David Hamilton, LtCol Avery Carney, Maj(R) Jimmie Keller, Capt Timothy Pekari).
  • Transforming Government Healthcare Organizations with Lean Daily Management (Col David Hamilton, Col Amy Jackson, LtCol George Barbee and LtCol Amelia Duran-Stanton).
  • The Future of the Military Health System and the National Defense Authorization Act (Col David Hamilton).
  • Emergency and Disaster Management: Needs Assessment Implementation (Ms. Mary Showstark and LtCol Amelia Duran-Stanton).
  • Travel Medicine: A Dose of Prevention (LtCol Mary Janet Coy)
Military PAs join 2019 AAPA Military Service Award recipient Col David Hamilton on stage
Military PAs join 2019 AAPA Military Service Award recipient Col David Hamilton on stage.

AAPA 2019 was a fantastic platform to engage, connect with, and learn from key leaders and subject matter experts. There were endless opportunities to practice hands-on skills in break-out sessions, ask key leaders about the future of military PA profession, sit down with established and upcoming researchers over lunch, and build lasting professional relationships. AAPA 2020 will be held May 16-20 in Nashville, Tennessee. We look forward to the continued collaboration!

About the authors:
Capt Melanie Hosker is a PA serving in the 352nd Combat Support Hospital (USAR) and Yale New Haven Health System Emergency Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. Capt Sloan Kelly is a Battalion PA in the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina. LtCol Amelia Duran-Stanton is an orthopaedic PA who serves as the Installation Management Command (IMCOM) Chief of Ready and Resilient Integration Brancy/Deputy Surgeon and as the Army Deputy PA Consultant for Current Operations, stationed at JBSA Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

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