AAPA puts the mental health of patients and providers first


Alexandria, Virginia, March 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA) will kick off its 2022 conference with an intimate conversation between Emmy Award-winning journalist Jane Pauley and world champion gymnast Simone Biles , who will discuss their own experiences with mental health issues. Pauley and Biles will discuss the stigma associated with mental health and find strength in vulnerability, self-reflection, courage and determination during the 2022 AAPA General Session from 4-5:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, 21 may.

“Their decisions to share their mental health issues publicly demonstrate tremendous leadership and set the stage for normalizing conversations about mental health,” said AAPA President and Board Chair Jennifer M. Orozco. , MMS, PA-C, DFAAPA.

“Simone and Jane plan to talk about some of their experiences with their own mental health and how they work to advocate for mental health care for all. The conversation between Pauley and Biles will not only help physician assistants deal with their own intense professional and personal pressures, but shed some additional light on mental health. With Pauley and Biles as examples, physician assistants will be better equipped to serve their patients, with an increased appreciation of mental health as part of the patient’s overall health,” Orozco said.

During the pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults in the United States reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, compared to 1 in 10 adults who reported these symptoms from January to June 2019, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Mental Health America reports that 52% of adults with mental illness receive no treatment.

Recognizing that PAs play a vital role in solutions to the national mental health crisis facing America, the AAPA will launch a new national health priority initiative dedicated to mental health at the AAPA 2022. Additionally, the AAPA conference will feature a wide range of speaking sessions and events focused on patient and provider mental health, including:

  • An event with the Indianapolis Colts to explore lessons learned from the organization’s Kicking the Stigma initiative.
  • A symposium bringing together thought leaders from across healthcare professions to discuss how best to implement change to improve the well-being of clinicians in healthcare teams as well as support clinical students.
  • A CME mental health symposium for physician assistants with sessions covering several common mental health issues, such as trauma-informed care, bipolar disorder, and alcohol use disorder, to provide tools and resources for clinicians.

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

All media are invited to attend; please see the media registration form.


About the American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA)

AAPA is the national membership organization for all PAs (Physician Associates/Physical Assistants). Physician Assistants are licensed clinicians who practice medicine in all specialties and settings. Trusted, rigorously educated and trained healthcare professionals, Physician Assistants are dedicated to expanding access to care and transforming health and well-being through patient-centered, team-based medical practice. Learn more about the profession at aapa.org and engage via Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.


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