AAPA to Celebrate How PAs Go Beyond for Patients with PA, Astronaut, and Cancer Survivor Hayley Arceneaux

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (May 5, 2022) The American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA) will celebrate the value of PAs in healthcare and how they “go beyond” for their patients and communities with history-making PA Hayley Arceneaux – the first PA, youngest American, first pediatric cancer survivor, and first person with a prosthetic body part to go to space.

Arceneaux will join AAPA President and Chair of the Board Jennifer M. Orozco, MMS, PA-C, DFAAPA, for a personal conversation about her life, the challenges she has overcome, her accomplishments, and her desire to inspire other PAs. Orozco will host Arceneaux at a main stage event at AAPA’s 2022 Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, on May 22 from 4:45 to 6 p.m. EDT.

A childhood cancer survivor, Arceneaux knew at a young age that she wanted to be a healthcare professional. Today, she is a PA practicing pediatric oncology at world-renowned St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – the same hospital where she was treated almost two decades ago.

In September of 2021, Arceneaux was one of four crew members and the medical officer for Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian space flight. During the mission where she occupied the “Hope” seat, Arceneaux led medical research projects and connected with her St. Jude patients via a video call. She has since officially joined the SpaceX medical team where she will help medically train and support commercial astronauts.

“Arceneaux’s unique experience, dedication to her patients, and commitment to her community, medical research and the PA profession, demonstrate how PAs go beyond to serve their patients and their communities,” Orozco said. “Arceneaux’s story is an inspiration to all of us and illustrates the PA profession’s value in patient-centered, team-based healthcare.”

During the event, Orozco will also present awards to other PAs who have distinguished themselves in service to their patients, community, profession and AAPA.

“I’m so looking forward to engaging with my fellow PAs at AAPA 2022 and sharing my personal journey with them all,” Arceneaux said. “It was an honor to be the first PA in space and represent the profession in this way. First PA in space … but not the last!”

Media are invited to attend the event on May 22. Risers and a mult box will be available to members of the media on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of the media interested in covering the event should register here.

AAPA 2022 is the only national PA conference with thousands of PAs from across the country in attendance. The conference will take place May 21-25 in Indianapolis, Indiana. For more information about AAPA 2022, go to aapa.org/conference.


Media Contacts:
Jenni Roberson, 703.380.2764
Josh Birch, 443.614.5896

About the American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA)
AAPA is the national membership organization for all PAs (physician associates/physician assistants). PAs are licensed clinicians who practice medicine in every specialty and setting. Trusted, rigorously educated and trained healthcare professionals, PAs are dedicated to expanding access to care and transforming health and wellness through patient-centered, team-based medical practice. PA has been named one of the best jobs overall and one of the best healthcare jobs for the fifth year in a row by U.S. News & World Report. The PA profession ranked number three this year in Best STEM jobs. Learn more about the profession at aapa.org and engage through Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.