Complete Story


Newsletter - December 2009

In This Issue

Year End Legislative Update
OAPA Will Look Different in 2010!
OAPA Reaching Out to PA Students
Update on John Trimbath
From the Board of Directors

Year End Legislative Update

OAPA has been quite active in the legislative arena this year, particularly this fall. A new lobbyist, Greg Lestini, has been assigned to our group to assist our lobbyist, Terrence O'Donnell. Josanne Pagel is currently the chair of the Government Affairs and Reimbursement Committee and she, along with Executive Director Beth Adamson, has been working closely with Greg and Terrence on various pieces of legislation.

The bill that received most of our attention was SB89. This bill was introduced by Senator Morano on behalf of the nurses to address the creation of the Nurse Education Assistance Fund but the bill also included language that would eliminate the provisional period required for their certificate to prescribe for out-of-state advance practice nurses only.

OAPA first met with the APN association, after the bill had passed the Senate, to ask for the inclusion of PAs in their bill but they were not receptive. OAPA next met with Senator Morano and Representative Boyd (Chair of the House Health Committee) and asked for inclusion. Our lobbyists had multiple meetings with House and Senate staff to discuss amendments to the bill and Josanne Pagel testified at a House hearing urging the committee to include an amendment for the PAs. Ultimately, the sponsor refused to allow a PA amendment and the bill was voted out. It was passed by the House with a last minute amendment from the bill's sponsor that addressed a drug repository in her District. The Senate concurred and the bill now goes to the Governor for his signature.

Representatives Boyd and Oelslager introduced HB206 also on behalf of the nurses. This bill will allow APNs to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances. Once again OAPA approached the APN association and asked for the inclusion of PAs and once again the APNs were not receptive. OAPA then met with Representative Boyd and Senator Morano requesting inclusion. The bill was reported out of the House Health Committee in late September but has not yet been offered on the House floor. OAPA continues to work with legislators and other interested parties (like the Ohio State Medical Association and the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians) to try to get PAs included when (and if) the bill goes to Senate hearings.

In January, the OAPA Board of Directors will be considering approval to use our financial resources to introduce our own bill that will address both the Schedule II and provisional period issues.

Other bills that we have been following are:

HB122 (Boyd) Establishes standards for physician designations by health care insurers. OAPA sent a letter of support to Representative Boyd. This bill was reported out of the House Health Committee in mid-October and has not yet been offered on the House floor.

HB205 (Letson) Requires hospitals and ambulatory surgical facilities to assign a circulating nurse to each procedure performed in an operating room or invasive procedure room and to require surgical technologists to work under the direct supervision of circulating nurses. OAPA attended a meeting of interested parties on this bill and the general consensus from those present (except the group promoting the bill) was that this legislation was not needed. At the request of those at the meeting, a substitute bill clarifying the supervisory authority of circulating nurses has been pending in the House Health Committee since mid-October and has not yet been accepted by the Committee.

HB267 (Luckie) Creates the Ohio Official Prescription Program. This bill had its third hearing in the House Health Committee in November. OAPA is drafting a letter of opposition to the sponsor to support the physician groups that are opposed to the bill.

HB314 (Ujvagi) Authorizes RNs to determine and pronounce death. This bill was amended to limit the locations an RN can pronounce death and to require notification of a physician within a reasonable period of time. The bill was reported out of the House Health Committee in December and has not yet been offered on the House floor. OAPA is having discussions with various groups and reviewing the legislation for possible action in the Senate.

SB86 (Buehrer) To grant qualified civil immunity to a physician who provides emergency medical services, first-aid treatment or other emergency professional care in compliance with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act or as a result of a disaster. This bill received its fourth hearing in the Senate Civil Justice Committee in mid-September. OAPA has requested a meeting with the Sponsor to discuss inclusion of PAs in the bill.

SB158 (R. Miller) Requires certain health care professionals to complete instruction in cultural competency. The list of health care professionals outlined in this bill does not include PAs. This bill has not received any hearings yet in the Senate Health Committee. OAPA is monitoring the bill but does not expect to take any action.

The Ohio General Assembly meets in two year sessions. December 31, 2009 marks the end of the first year of the current session. This means that all legislation pending on January 1, 2010 will have one year to reach a conclusion then it will die and will need to be reintroduced in January 2011.

OAPA Will Look Different in 2010!

Your association will take on a new look in 2010 with the launch of a new website with a new association logo.

A website committee was formed that put together a set of objectives for redesigning the current website to be more user friendly and provide more information for our members, physicians and the public. After a first draft was reviewed, it became apparent that a new logo was needed.

A logo design committee was formed that went through a process with a consultant to develop a creative brief and a procedure for identifying graphic design firms. The firms are now working on new designs and the board will make their decision in January.

Once the new logo is in place, the website can be finished and we hope to launch it in March. Stay tuned!

OAPA Reaching Out to PA Students

The Association will award multiple student scholarships in 2010. The board approved a $1000 scholarship to a student from each of the six PA programs in Ohio and the applications have gone out to those students that are members of OAPA.

The Past Presidents Council will award a Leadership Scholarship to one student in an Ohio program and they have raised the scholarship funds themselves. The Council states that the "candidate for this award will possess the characteristics of what the Council envisions in a future leader within the profession. The recipient of this scholarship must have vision and a high degree of faith and confidence to attain these visions. He/she will become a spokesperson of the profession. The successful candidate must be self-motivated and be able to communicate future ideas and expectations to peers. Ideally, accomplishment of these goals would occur in a way that stimulates participation by peers in the successful completion or adaptation of future visions. Participation in student government is taken into consideration, but not necessarily a requirement for this award."

All of the scholarships will be awarded at the first-ever Student Professional Development Conference that is scheduled in Columbus on February 26-27, 2010. The conference will be free to all Ohio PA program students and will include sessions on cultural competency, etiquette in the interview process, introduction to specialties, technology in clinical practice, PA preceptor expectations, student society roundtables, contracts and negotiations, licensure and certificate to prescribe timelines and discussion on malpractice insurance. A Challenge Bowl has also been tentatively scheduled.

If any of you are interested in participating on the panels on introduction to specialties or preceptor expectations, please contact the OAPA office (800/292-4997 or Likewise, if you have expertise in any of the other sessions, please let us know.

Update on John Trimbath

OAPA is very pleased that John is once again participating in legislative activities electronically. His expertise was sorely missed during most of this year.

In a recent newsletter John and Diane Trimbath wrote:

"Since the August Fundraiser, John was temporarily put back on bed rest for roughly 6 weeks for "unexpected" wounds to heal. This slowed down his physical progress and put a bit of a damper on the end of the summer months for him. With the new van purchase (a mini-van with an automated ramp) he couldn't wait to get back outside! Once back in the routine of physical and occupational therapy, he began to rebuild his strength AGAIN. We are also supporting his rehabilitation program with weekly massotherapy appointments, monthly acupuncture appointments and prayer. The combination of all modalities has been very successful to date. John is now able to move both arms freely and can raise his arms up to 90. He can feed himself, manipulate the computer, phone, television controls and get around independently in his power wheelchair. He can sit up outside of his chair, unassisted for 35 minutes, can dorsi-flex both feet, and through the use of his lateral hip abductors he is now able to move both legs!"

John has been featured recently in two magazines, PAProfessional (October '09) and SpinalColumn (Fall '09). John and his family are currently being featured on http:/ under "Stories of Hope."

From the Board of Directors

The next board meeting will be held in Columbus on January 23, 2010. Members are welcome to attend and/or submit agenda items. Please contact the OAPA office if you plan to attend.

All our best wishes to you, our members and your families, during this holiday season!

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