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Physician Assistants Intrinsic to Quality Health Care for Military

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 General News J E 4
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Coordinated Care Approach Ensures Quality Transitional Care for Wounded Warriors

WASHINGTON, May 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A coordinated medical care approach is critical in all health care delivery settings and is essential to wounded warriors needing transitional care when returning home from the front lines of battle. This Memorial Day, the American Academy of Physician Assistants recognizes the vital role that PAs in the military play as part of a unified health care team when they provide wounded warriors with all aspects of care on and off the field.

"PAs have always followed a coordinated approach to care and are trained in a medical model that places emphasis on a team approach to treatment," said Col. Cheryl Gregorio, PA-C, Commander of the 97th Medical Group, Altus Air Force Base, Okla. "This approach to care increases the efficiency of health care delivery; it ensures that there is always a trained health care provider knowledgeable about every patient's medical history. This approach is essential as we address each soldier's needs on the battlefield and at home."

The first PAs were Navy Corpsmen who had received considerable medical training during their military service and during the Vietnam War. The federal government, through the military, Veterans Administration and other agencies, is the country's largest employer of PAs.

Col. Gregorio has served in the U.S. Air Force for nearly three decades, and plays a key role in meeting the need for continuing care in today's military. She was the first female Air Force PA to achieve the rank of both Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel. She directs and trains active duty personnel, government civilians and contractors to provide health care services to the nation's troops and its beneficiaries. She also trains USAF PAs for deployment and how to provide critical health care for wounded war fighters.

Col. Gregorio is available for interviews about PAs in the military and the medical needs of the nation's troops.

AAPA is the only national professional association that represents PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories, the armed forces and federal services. Founded in 1963, AAPA works to increase the professional and personal growth of the PA workforce by providing comprehensive support and advocacy for physician assistants so that they may, in turn, provide patients with increased access to quality, cost-effective health care. Learn more at www.aapa.org.

SOURCE American Academy of Physician Assistants

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