Michael Powe: Honoring 32 Years of Service

A scholarship for future PA leaders

May 18, 2024

Michael Powe, Vice President of Reimbursement & Professional Advocacy

In 1991, Michael Powe, an insurance broker and former legislative researcher with the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee, saw a “very odd [job] listing” in the newspaper for someone with an insurance and legislative background. Seeing this as an opportunity to use his unique skillset, Powe applied and eventually accepted the role of government affairs administrator at what was then the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) (now the American Academy of Physician Associates). Over three decades later, he has announced his retirement from AAPA as the vice president of reimbursement and professional advocacy.

“Though much of his work has been behind the scenes, I guarantee that each and every PA in this room has benefitted from the lasting impact Michael has made over the last three decades,” said AAPA CEO Lisa M. Gables during tonight’s Main Stage Event at AAPA 2024. “The culmination of a career of this magnitude is nearly impossible to put into words.”

From the beginning, Michael Powe has been an integral member of the AAPA team and a prolific advocate for the advancement of the PA profession. In his role as the vice president of reimbursement and professional advocacy, he has been responsible for addressing issues surrounding healthcare policy, private third-party payment concerns, the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and various state and federal regulatory agencies.

Notably, Powe was involved in the passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which reformed some of the provisions in Medicare and Medicaid and recognizes PAs as covered providers in all settings at a uniform rate of payment. He has presented at hundreds of events, from conferences to specialty organization meetings, and hosted AAPA’s first-ever Payer Summit in the fall of 2023.

Powe taught as an adjunct professor at George Washington University and authored The Essential Guide to PA Reimbursement, as well as a chapter in the seventh edition of Physician Assistant, A Guide to Clinical Practice: Health Care Financing and Reimbursement. A staunch advocate for the PA professions, Powe’s license plate even reads, “PAY A PA!”

From left to right: AAPA president-elect Jason Prevelige, current AAPA president Folusho Ogunfiditimi, Michael Powe, and AAPA Vice President and Speaker of the House of Delegates Todd Pickard.

During the 2024 AAPA House of Delegates (HOD) meeting, the HOD named Powe an honorary PA and presented him with his very own white coat. “As I leave after 32 years, I have seen an amazing transformation of this profession,” Powe said. “Your future is as bright as your past. And, although I won’t be there with you, I can promise you, I will be on the sidelines cheerleading your performance and your exploits along the way. Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of that journey.”

To ensure his service and commitment to the organization and the PA profession are remembered, AAPA has created the Michael Powe Leadership and Advocacy Scholarship for future PA leaders.

Each year, this scholarship will be awarded to five PA students who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to advocacy work on behalf of the PA profession. Candidates will have a proven track record of maintaining academic excellence while actively engaging in initiatives that drive positive change for the profession as a whole, and must demonstrate leadership, collaboration skills, and a clear vision for their future advocacy efforts.

Michael Powe will be sorely missed, but the impact he has made on PAs will not be forgotten.

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