Two PAs standing side by side.

Recognizing National #PAweek 2021

This week is National Physician Assistant Week – a week to recognize the PA profession and its contributions to the nation’s health. This #PAweek, we’d like to honor all PAs for what they do for our patients, our communities and all the ways they add value to healthcare. 

PAs are medical professionals who are highly trained and licensed to diagnose illnesses, develop and manage treatment, prescribe medications and even serve as principal healthcare providers. 

“Physician assistants are vitally important to the mission at UK HealthCare,” said Jeffrey Selby, MD, Chair, UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine. “They help with efficiency, help give time to teach residents, and give great care to our patients.”

We reached out to leadership across the UK HealthCare enterprise to share thoughts about the enormous impact our physician assistants make each and every day, and while this is by no means an exhaustive, complete list of every service area or employee, we’re grateful for the essential care they provide throughout our hospitals and clinics:

“We are fortunate to work with so many gifted physician extenders such as advanced nurse and pharmacy practitioners and physician assistants.
I have been asked what the difference between a PA and physician is and I usually tell patients that they are part of a team of medical providers with the same goal of offering outstanding health care that is efficient, accurate and comprehensive. The main difference is that a PA works under the supervision of a doctor, but both are qualified medical professionals who work in collaboration with one another.
PAs have received thousands of hours of medical training, so they can take a robust history and perform a physical examination in order to diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and many times, serve as a patient's primary healthcare provider.
PAs improve patient satisfaction by reducing wait times and communicating with patients and their families, including educating them about their condition and how to maintain and improve health.” – Vince Sorrell, MD, FACC, FACP

"The UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center and the Endocrine division are so appreciative of Chlodys Johnstone, PA, who is our lead APP, an outstanding provider, and an outstanding educator. Chlodys joined us 5 years ago, and has led the inception and now expansion of the inpatient glycemic control program at UK. Numerous patients, endocrine fellows, clinical services, PA students and others have benefitted from her wisdom and care." – Lisa Tannock, MD, Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center

Brooke Wilson, PA, is an integral part of the Plastic Surgery service. Her desire to help and provide the best care for patients has given her the drive to continually expand her knowledge and skill set. With her initiative and positive attitude, PA Wilson epitomizes the full range of capabilities of APPs and their vital composition to the health care team.” – James Liau, MD

Pamela Kouns, PA, is an amazing worker. She is a life-long learner and always wants to learn and do the next new technique. She has a great attitude and strives to make our clinic better each day. She makes us all better by her work ethic. Thank you, PK!” – David B. Drake, MD, Division Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

"We have an excellent team of NPs and PAs providing Infectious Disease care in the ambulatory and inpatient settings. In the clinic, they provide both primary and specialty care, for a variety of complex conditions. On the inpatient side they see patients throughout the UK HealthCare system. Our NPs and PAs are essential for providing high-quality Infectious Disease care. They do consistently great work and are valuable members of our group." – Cynthia Young, MD, Medical Director, Infectious Diseases

“Our Orthopedic Surgery Physician assistants are experienced and especially adept in patient care. We greatly appreciate their work.” – Jeffrey Selby, MD, Chair, UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine

“Physician assistants are valued members of our Neurology Patient Care Team.  Our program continues to grow, and we now have our first Physician Assistant Neurology Resident trainee. We are looking forward to further innovations that this will bring to optimize our care patients we serve who have complex neurologic conditions.” – Larry Goldstein, MD, co-director, UK Kentucky Neuroscience Institute

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This content was produced by UK HealthCare Brand Strategy.