Fresh off the heels from securing SB 697, the most significant PA legislation since the profession's inception in California, to advocating a precedent-shattering pandemic waiver for PAs in California, to providing ongoing input on regulations to the Physician Assistant Board, CAPA scored yet another success yesterday when Governor Newsom fixed an error in the California Health Corps website that blocked PAs from volunteering during the current crisis.
On Wednesday, December 16th, a member informed CAPA that one of California's two State volunteer agencies, the California Health Corps, was not soliciting PAs in COVID response efforts. Here is what the California Health Corps website looked like on Wednesday:
CAPA's volunteer Board and its Government Affairs Team immediately sprang into action, urgently contacting and engaging with every California stakeholder – from the California Hospital Association, the California Medical Association, to the most senior members of the Newsom Administration.
It was critical for CAPA to first try to obtain information about why one of the volunteer agencies would turn aside PAs when the other agency, CAL-MAT, was still soliciting our help. Making this all the more baffling is that the California Health Corps both solicited and accepted applications from PAs when first launched. I would know because I, myself, signed up.
Governor Newsom Hears Us
By Tuesday morning, December 22nd, less than a week after the issue was brought to CAPA's attention, CAPA is pleased to report the error has been fixed. Here is what the Health Corps website looks like now.
Administration officials explained to CAPA that the State's contractor took down PAs from the California Health Corps' website because, after the launch of the initiative, the facilities contacting the California Health Corps were mostly skilled nursing facilities that were not asking for PAs. Of course, with the pandemic now having entered its most lethal phase, the Newsom Administration is rightly seeking the urgent help of all healthcare professionals, including PAs, quickly modifying its PA recruitment policy and website at CAPA's request.
CAPA thanks Governor Newsom, Deputy Cabinet Secretary Richard Figueroa, Deputy Director of Emergency Medical Services Authority Louis Bruhnke, the California Medical Association, and the California Hospital Association, all of whom worked with CAPA for this welcome change. I personally would also like to thank CAPA's hard-working volunteer Board and our equally hard-working Executive Director, Teresa Chien.
Calling On All California PAs!
As COVID-19 rages on, California needs our profession more than ever. I implore PAs throughout the State to step up where they can and give your services to the California Health Corps and CAL-MAT.
And for those PAs still deciding whether an investment in CAPA is truly an investment in their profession and their future, we hope CAPA's recent winning streak shows how important it is that PAs have a strong and effective voice. That doesn't happen for free. An organization that is 14,000 PAs strong is impossible to ignore. CAPA asks you to help us, yourselves, and other PAs change the tide of the profession by making PAs a united voice. We can't continue to let PAs be an “oversight.”
Please, please, join today or donate to the CAPA SPEAKS initiative so that CAPA can continue being your champion and lead the PA profession into the future.
To every PA that is out there right now on the front lines, I stand very proudly beside you. CAPA will not let you or our profession down. We are on it!
Wishing you all safe and Happy Holidays,
Brett Bergman, MPA, PA-C
President, California Academy of PAs