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Physician Assistants Integral to Care for Military Members and Their Families Coping With the Trauma of War
Date:5/21/2009

Experts Examine Key Role of PAs in Transitional Care of Returning Wounded Warriors

WASHINGTON, May 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The need for medical care in the armed forces has never been greater than it is today; not only are members of the military fighting two wars, but because of medical advances, many warfighters are living with injuries they would not have survived even a few years ago. Military physician assistants (PAs) are on the front lines as key members of the transitional health care team, providing critical assessments and determining treatment plans.

"For many returning veterans, their problems are just beginning. These men and women require continued rehabilitation and medical attention, and so do their families," said American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) president Cynthia B. Lord, MHA, PA-C. "PAs are a vital part of the transition team, providing increased access to quality medical care for the warfighter and their families, and it is highly likely demand for PAs will increase as more veterans return home with physical and mental injuries."

The more than 73,000 PAs in practice across the United States serve not only in primary care but in specialty areas as well.

"Providing healthcare to our warfighters who have served us so well is our greatest privilege; we are fully committed to helping them and their families," said Commander Lawrence M. Miller, Medical Service Corps, U.S. Navy, and a practicing physician assistant.

The PA profession originated during Vietnam when there became a demonstrated need for medical professionals to treat wounded warfighters overseas and at home. The federal government, through the military, Veterans Administration and other agencies, is the country's largest employer of PAs.

AAPA is committed to ensuring there is affordable, quality care for all Americans through the adequate funding of PA education and training programs, and ensuring that health care reform encourages reimbursement mechanisms that allow PAs, working with physicians, to treat as many patients as effectively as possible.

AAPA is the only national organization to represent physician assistants in all medical and surgical specialties. Founded in 1968, the Academy works to promote quality, cost-effective health care, and the professional and personal growth of PAs. For more information on AAPA, visit www.aapa.org.


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SOURCE American Academy of Physician Assistants
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