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PA Day Member Spotlight: Brooke Gardner

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 16, 2018


We hope you had a great PA Day and were celebrated for all that you do!

This year, as we led up to the 5th Annual PA Day, we highlighted ten AAPA members at various stages in their PA careers.  Head over to our PA Day Blog to catch up on any of the inspirational stories you might have missed. 

Post PA Day, we'd like to continue sharing your stories and highlight the important role that pathologists' assistants play in the laboratory team.  Interested in sharing your story?  Let us know

Today we are featuring Brooke Gardner, PA(ASCP)CM, a 2009 Indiana University graduate, who now serves as the school's AAPA Student Liaison. 


Name: Brooke Gardner, PA(ASCP)CM

Company: AmeriPath

Location: Indianapolis, IN

Years as a PA: 9


"The most enjoyable part about being a PA, for me, is that I am always learning.  For example, each autopsy gives me a broader idea of what 'normal' tissue looks like, giving me a better basis for understanding pathologic processes when they come to my bench.  I also enjoy getting an overall picture of how our tissues and organs exist in situ, helping me to solidify my knowledge of complex anatomy between structures on my bench.  I like to see how health processes (be they cancerous, infectious, acute, or chronic) and aging can change a body, inside and out, over time.  This is a larger picture that is not always apparent on the bench.  Conversations with pathologists and surgeons at autopsy have also helped me to better understand disciplines

outside of pathology, which only helps me grow.  Importantly, all these facets of my job have
helped me grow professionally, but also personally.  Not only am I learning about the human body to do my job the best I can, but I am also learning in order to take care of my own health and the health of my loved ones.  I love being able to take my knowledge with me when I am not wearing scrubs, to help others understand more about their own health and to be a better parent to my two small children.  I firmly believe in thorough health education for everyone, and I like to do what I can to contribute to that idea.  Being employed in a position that allows me so much knowledge of overall health is what I value the most about being a PA.
"  

Show us how you celebrated PA Day this year!  Add a post to our PA Day Blog, share your photos to the Member Community feed directly through our new app, upload photos to the PA
Day Photo Gallery
, tag us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), and use the hashtags #PathassistDay and #TheAAPADifference!

Our Mission Statement
The AAPA is dedicated to providing comprehensive professional support for pathologists’ assistants. 

Our Core Values
Quality Patient Care, Education, Advocacy, Collaboration.

Tags:  #PADay 

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PA Day Member Spotlight: Sarah Garner

Posted By Administration, Saturday, April 14, 2018


Happy PA Day!
Since PA Day falls on a Saturday this year, we started celebrating one day early!
But don't worry - the fun isn't over yet! 

Leading up to the 5th Annual PA Day, we have highlighted AAPA members at various stages in their PA careers.  Catch up on any you might have missed over on our PA Day Blog.

For today's Member Spotlight, we are featuring Sarah Garner, MS, PA(ASCP)CM, a 2016 Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science graduate.

 

Name: Sarah Garner, MS, PA(ASCP)CM

Organization: Tulane University School of Medicine

Location: New Orleans, LA

Years as a PA: 2

 

"As a Pathologists’ Assistant, I often find myself struggling to explain my job.  There are not many PAs in Louisiana, and I am the only PA at my hospital.  Much of the time pathology goes unnoticed and misunderstood, so trying to discuss or explain what we do is often difficult.  Being a member of the AAPA changes that.  It allows mentorship, job opportunities, continuing education, salary survey results, and more.  Having our own journal, The Cutting Edge, is an excellent resource and opportunity to publish.  Most importantly for me, the AAPA offers the opportunity to network with fellow PAs, not only for guidance and mentorship, but even just to appreciate the interesting, rare specimens.  One of the best parts about being a PA is that every specimen is unique which
makes every day different and exciting, and it is important to be able to share that with colleagues.
The gross room isn’t typical 'dinner conversation' and yet as PAs, we love it and want to talk about
it.  It takes a certain type of person to do what we do and love it, and the AAPA brings those rare people together.

Being a Pathologists’ Assistant allows me to engage in interprofessional education.  As healthcare professionals, we participate in education at some point in our career, whether we work in an academic or private setting.  Everyone can be considered a 'student': a patient lost in the hallway or in the waiting room, surgeons asking for frozen sections, technicians, medical students, residents, nurses, PAs, hospital administrators, and even ourselves.  In pathology, it is easy to feel detached from the rest of the clinical world, but we must remember that every action we take indirectly affects other members of the healthcare team, and most importantly, the patient.   

I have the privilege of teaching PA students, undergraduate and graduate students, medical students, and residents, not only in pathology, but in gross anatomy and histology as well.  Being
a PA allows me to bring a different perspective and fresh ideas into the classroom and clinical setting, instead of teaching students the 'way we have always done it.'  As a PA, I can teach students about the laboratory aspect of medicine.  Much of the time students don’t stop to think where diagnoses come from, or what happens to a specimen after surgery.  When explained, most students are fascinated.  Being a PA doesn’t have to be limited to the gross room.  Any interaction with any person can become a teachable moment.  In my opinion, the other best part of being a PA is having the opportunity to influence and educate others.  A PA can be an excellent grosser
and do every specimen exactly right, which affects many other healthcare professionals and patients throughout that career.  But a PA also has the opportunity to educate others about proper patient care, grossing, basic sciences, etc.  That influence can then touch multiple 'students' and
their careers, in turn touching infinite people, which is why I am grateful to be a Pathologists’ Assistant.
"  

It's time to share your story!  Add a post to our PA Day Blog, share photos and updates to the Member Community feed directly through our new app, upload photos to the PA Day Photo
Gallery
, tag us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), and use the hashtags
#PathassistDay and #TheAAPADifference!



He's got a Golden Ticket!

Congratulations to our PA Day Golden Ticket winner, AAPA Fellow member Derek Kingman, PA(ASCP)CM!  Derek has won $500 in AAPA Bucks, to be applied toward a future AAPA Conference or other AAPA goods and services.

If you haven't yet received your special PA Day bag tag, don't worry - it's on its way!

Our Mission Statement
The AAPA is dedicated to providing comprehensive professional support for pathologists’ assistants. 

Our Core Values
Quality Patient Care, Education, Advocacy, Collaboration.

Tags:  #PADay 

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PA Day Member Spotlight: Derek Deutsch

Posted By Administration, Friday, April 13, 2018


Happy PA Day!
Since PA Day falls on a Saturday this year, we are celebrating one day early!

Leading up to the 5th Annual PA Day, we have highlighted AAPA members at various stages in their PA careers.  Catch up on any you might have missed over on our PA Day Blog.

For today's Member Spotlight, we are featuring Derek Deutsch, MPH, MS, PA(ASCP)CM, a 2015 Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science graduate and member of the AAPA Membership Committee.

 

Name: Derek Deutsch, MPH, MS, PA(ASCP)CM

Organization: Banner University Medical Center Tucson

Location: Tucson, AZ

Years as a PA: 4

 

AAPA: How do you feel you make a difference in your position as a PA? 
Derek Deutsch (DD): Every Pathologists’ Assistant is a brand ambassador for the profession.  The broad scope of clinical practices we perform allows us the ability to serve and impact a wide range of services as well as interact with a widespread and diverse audience.  Each of us is able to be an educator, advocate, medical professional, and so much more.

I have been fortunate to be in several positions that allow me to promulgate and enhance the understanding of a Pathologists’ Assistant.  I have worked with hospital administration to create policy, help with CAP inspections, and enhance quality assessment/quality control measures.  Day to day operations include directing workflow and communication between laboratory sections and acting as a liaison between interdepartmental services, especially with intraoperative consultations.  Furthermore, working at an academic institution, I am able to work with residents, participate in research and conference presentations, and educate/instruct rotating medical students, post-sophomore fellows, individuals interested in shadowing/experience opportunities, and even give presentations to advanced science high school summer students. 

With every interaction being an opportunity, it is important to present and promote our best selves – highly trained mid-level providers, and integral parts of an efficient and effective medical laboratory team – to further our value, and increase the understanding of how we enhance the quality and delivery of care so that we not only delineate current expectations and standards, but also push existing boundaries and generate opportunities in the future.

AAPA: What does being a member of the AAPA mean to you at this stage in your career?
DD: I’m proud to be a member of the AAPA.  As a member, I feel connected to my colleagues and involved in my profession.  With ongoing participation, I know that I will stay current with trends, guidelines, and policy through conferences and AAPA publications, as well as take comfort knowing I have the support and resources available of a large and helpful community/organization.

AAPA: How has the AAPA made a difference in your career?
DD: 
The AAPA provided valuable resources to me at the beginning of my career, primarily through the job hotline, the salary survey, and free CE opportunities.  As my career has progressed, the utility and benefits of membership have transitioned to networking and highlighting current topics and events concerning the profession.  Most recently, it has provided me an opportunity to contribute as a member of the Membership Committee and participate in the future direction and aspirations of our association. 

AAPA:  What is your favorite specimen and why?
DD: I love the specimens that no one wants to touch; whether it is an adhesed, complex, stinky mess of a resection or the 20th post-holiday weekend placenta.  If you can keep that kind of attitude, not only will you have a great library of stories, but you’ll always have job security and thankful coworkers.

It's time to share your story!  Add a post to our PA Day Blog, share photos and updates to the Member Community feed directly through our new app, upload photos to the PA Day Photo Gallery, tag us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), and use the hashtags #PathassistDay and #TheAAPADifference!


He's got a Golden Ticket!

Congratulations to our PA Day Golden Ticket winner, AAPA Fellow member Derek Kingman, PA(ASCP)CM!  Derek has won $500 in AAPA Bucks, to be applied toward a future AAPA Conference or other AAPA goods and services.

If you haven't yet received your special PA Day bag tag, don't worry - it's on its way!

Our Mission Statement
The AAPA is dedicated to providing comprehensive professional support for pathologists’ assistants. 

Our Core Values
Quality Patient Care, Education, Advocacy, Collaboration.

Tags:  #PADay 

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Happy PA Day from RFUMS' Class of 2019!

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Rosalind Franklin University class of 2019 is already celebrating the 5th Annual PA Day! Start using the new Member Community app to upload and share photos of your own PA Day celebrations!

Tags:  #PADay 

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PA Day Brain Cake

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 12, 2018

Check out this 2017 PA Day celebratory (cerebral-atory?) brain cake from Incyte Diagnostics in Washington. Who can one up for this year's PA Day? We can't wait to see what you all come up with!

Tags:  #PADay 

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PA Day Member Spotlight: Dominic Alessio

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 12, 2018

The countdown to the 5th Annual PA Day is on!
Remember, we will be observing PA Day on Friday, April 13 this year.

Over the next several days, we will highlight AAPA members at various stages in their PA careers. 

For today's Member Spotlight, we are featuring N. Dominic Alessio, PA(ASCP)CM, a 2016 Wayne State University graduate, Vice Chair of the AAPA Student Committee, and new Vice Chair of the AAPA Membership Committee.

 

Name: Dominic Alessio, PA(ASCP)CM

Company: Detroit Medical Center

Location: Detroit, MI

Years as a PA: 2

 

"As a young member of any profession, trying to make our way into a new field can be an intimidating task.  There is so much to learn about life and work, and sometimes we hesitate to reach out to those above us because we are afraid to approach someone for help or maybe even because we feel that we don't need it.  On the contrary, I can say from personal experience that isolation will only work against you in any profession, but especially one as close-knit as the Pathologists' Assistant field.  In many ways, the AAPA is the 'glue' that holds the PA world together; it keeps us informed and educated on the newest trends in pathology, as well as connected and involved with each other on both a professional and a personal level.  The tightness, camaraderie and care within the PA field can be felt so clearly at events like conferences and even over long-distance communication.

However, as young PAs, we also need to be looking ahead and taking thought for the future.  The whole Pathologists' Assistant field is really only one generation old, which means that you have some of the very earliest PA graduates still working and highly involved in the AAPA!  This also means that we are at a historic junction in our profession's timeline, and the AAPA is working constantly and successfully to improve relationships and respect from physicians, hospital administration and even government legislation.  If young PAs like myself want a secure future within this field, we need to take responsibility for our part and work together with all the other amazing PAs out there in the common goal for advancement of our profession and top notch patient care."

Want to share your story?  Add a post to our PA Day Blog, share photos and updates to the Member Community feed directly through our new app, upload photos to the PA Day Photo Gallery, tag us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), and use the hashtags #PathassistDay and #TheAAPADifference!

He's got a Golden Ticket!

Congratulations to our PA Day Golden Ticket winner, AAPA Fellow member Derek Kingman, PA(ASCP)CM!  Derek has won $500 in AAPA Bucks, to be applied toward a future AAPA Conference or other AAPA goods and services.

If you haven't yet received your special PA Day bag tag, don't worry - it's on its way!

Our Mission Statement
The AAPA is dedicated to providing comprehensive professional support for pathologists’ assistants. 

Our Core Values
Quality Patient Care, Education, Advocacy, Collaboration.

Tags:  #PADay 

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Wayne State University PA Day

Posted By Veralucia F. Mendes-Kramer, Thursday, April 12, 2018
Wayne State University Pathologists' Assistant Classes of 2018 and 2019 celebrating PA Day.

Tags:  #PADay 

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PA Day Member Spotlight: Leslieann Gilbert

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The countdown to the 5th Annual PA Day is on!
Remember, we will be observing PA Day on Friday, April 13 this year.

Over the next several days, we will highlight AAPA members at various stages in their PA careers. 

For today's Member Spotlight, we are featuring Leslieann Gilbert, MS, PA(ASCP)CM, a 2012 Indiana University graduate and member of the AAPA Membership Committee.

Name: Leslieann Gilbert, MS, PA(ASCP)CM

Company: Sierra Pathology Associates

Location: Reno, NV

Years as a PA: 6

 

AAPA: What do you love about being a PA? 
Leslieann Gilbert (LG): I love that there is always something new to learn.  Medicine is constantly changing with new surgical techniques; we have to adapt with those changes.  On the other hand, some things remain the same.  I enjoy the methodical approach to all specimens.  Most of all, I love when I find something surprising within a specimen, and I’m the first to know about it.  I think being a Pathologists’ Assistant is the coolest job.  I enjoy seeing/hearing the reaction from people when they ask what I do.  I am very proud to be a PA.

AAPA:What is your favorite specimen and why?
LG: 
Prostates and kidneys are my favorite specimens.  Kidneys cut so well and there is so much information you can pack in each cassette.  Hunting for the vascular/ureteral margins are always fun too.  I like approaching each specimen the same way, and once I bivalve the specimen, it’s neat seeing the fresh cut surface and how the tumor looks.  Prostates are usually straightforward and I like to challenge myself in seeing how thin I can get the slices. 

AAPA: What does being a member of the AAPA mean to you at this stage in your career?
LG: The AAPA has helped me in numerous ways, from job searches to certification exam study guides; the AAPA has made the process in starting my career so much easier and less stressful.  Now that I’m more established in the profession, the AAPA offers the most convenient way to earn my continuing education credits.  However, beyond professional networking, I’ve met people in the AAPA at conferences that have truly become my friends.  In a job transfer, I literally drove across the country and never had to rent a hotel.  I knew PAs across the whole United States that gladly took me in for the night, helping me on my way.  

Want to share your story?  Add a post to our PA Day Blog, upload photos to the PA Day Photo Gallery, tag us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), and use the hashtags #PathassistDay and #TheAAPADifference!



He's got a Golden Ticket!

Congratulations to our PA Day Golden Ticket winner, AAPA Fellow member Derek Kingman, PA(ASCP)CM!  Derek has won $500 in AAPA Bucks, to be applied toward a future AAPA Conference or other AAPA goods and services.

If you haven't yet received your special PA Day bag tag, don't worry - it's on its way!

Our Mission Statement
The AAPA is dedicated to providing comprehensive professional support for pathologists’ assistants. 

Our Core Values
Quality Patient Care, Education, Advocacy, Collaboration.

Tags:  #PADay 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

PA Day Member Spotlight: Lindsay Sinn

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The countdown to the 5th Annual PA Day is on!
Remember, we will be observing PA Day on Friday, April 13 this year.

Over the next several days, we will highlight AAPA members at various stages in their PA careers. 

For today's Member Spotlight, we are featuring Lindsay E. Sinn, PA(ASCP)CM, an OJT who recently retired after almost 40 years as a Pathologists' Assistant.

Name: Lindsay E. Sinn, PA(ASCP)CM

Company: Pathology Reference Laboratory

Location: San Antonio, TX

Years as a PA: Retired in 2017 after 39.5 years as a PA + 2 years in cancer research

"Newly retired, I am reviewing 39+ years of a fabulous career in healthcare.  Back in the day, 1978, my training began on the job for The Pathology Center associated with Methodist and Children’s Hospitals in Omaha, NE.  At this stage I was most often a diener and, from that beginning, I had the best exposure to human anatomy, disease processes and dissection do’s and don’ts, along with dumping tissue, cleaning buckets for re-use, mixing formalin, and all the other tasks that the MDs did not perform.

Four years later, a simple inquiry to what other Pathologists’ Assistants were doing, led to a job offer with Pathology Medical Services in Lincoln, NE.  This position added both forensic and surgical pathology and I was eager to learn more.  Again, I was fortunate to have willing hands-on teachers who were able to develop my aptitude for this profession.  As a forensic death investigator, in addition to the daily tasks of hospital pathology, I was on-call 24/7 every 3rd week and shared duties with two very capable Pathologists' Assistants.  I was never scared of a dead body as I’d grown up in a funeral home, yet the forensic circumstances often surrounding a death, took me by surprise.  I was struck by the level of man’s inhumanity to man in the violent cases. 
My goal became to help law enforcement apprehend the 'perps' and provide answers for families.
Professionally, forensic pathology afforded me the opportunity to be published and to lecture nationally.  It was during this 18-year tenure that I studied my butt off and passed the AAPA fellowship exam!  It's where I also came into contact with my first program PA(ASCP)CM graduates—Steve Suvalsky and Marge Daly.

As I approached middle age, I decided I’d best leave the hours of forensic pathology behind.  Having the AAPA fellowship enabled me the opportunity to relocate.  In Las Vegas, I was a bench-working manager for Pathologists’ Assistants at three hospitals and a reference laboratory for Laboratory Medicine Consultants.  I had fabulous bosses once again who taught me the management skills this time.  We were able to train some of the finest Pathologists’ Assistants working today while the OJT route was available.  Later we served as a clinical training site for the Rosalind Franklin program.  After 10 years, I became a statistic, losing my job in a corporate buyout and being replaced with the new company’s own PA manager.  Though difficult at the time, I am now grateful as it afforded me the opportunity to find my last position in San Antonio, TX with Pathology Reference Laboratory, who appreciated my skills, knowledge, and ethics.

It IS a small world and this is my favorite PA story.  In Las Vegas, our gross room was in the OR dept and we frequently had folks peering in when they saw a specimen on our cutting board near the doorway.  One day, a young GI tech stopped and inquired as to what we did with specimens.  My PA-in-training explained our profession and we all spoke about how interesting our days were.  Fast forward to San Antonio where I’m needing to hire a PA(ASCP)CM and a resume is handed to me that includes the name of the Las Vegas hospital where I’d worked, so immediately my interest was piqued.  We brought her in for an interview and when she saw me, still wearing the big red glasses for which I was known, she recognized me from that OR in Vegas!  She had recently graduated from the Duke program, having completed her BS and MS after meeting my staff!  Shannon was hired and eventually replaced me as manager!

And I can take credit for another protégé as well.  Elizabeth Claus was interning one summer at the Nebraska Crime Lab when it was suggested that she meet and observe me during a forensic case.  It was this chance encounter that spurred Elizabeth to pursue her Master’s degree in Pathology, becoming a colleague as well as a friend.

I’ve had it all—trainee, surgical, autopsy and forensic pathology, only female in the then all-male field, lecturer, manager, teacher, etc. and through it all, AAPA members have been willing to network, share, advise, teach and support me.  I’ve had the privilege of working alongside and learning from both program graduates and OJTs.  Hopefully I’ve been able to impart some nugget to them from my 39+ years of experience.

I have retained my membership in the AAPA, currently in the retired status, as I hope to continue those contacts and healthcare education updates that have been the raison d’être for the majority of my life...until I was a first-time bride at 52!"

Want to share your story?  Add a post to our PA Day Blog, upload photos to the PA Day Photo Gallery, tag us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), and use the hashtags #PathassistDay and #TheAAPADifference!

Our Mission Statement
The AAPA is dedicated to providing comprehensive professional support for pathologists’ assistants. 

Our Core Values
Quality Patient Care, Education, Advocacy, Collaboration.

Tags:  #PADay 

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PA Day Member Spotlight: Monica Kendall

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 9, 2018

The countdown to the 5th Annual PA Day is on!
Remember, we will be observing PA Day on Friday, April 13 this year.

Over the next several days, we will highlight AAPA members at various stages in their PA careers. 

For today's Member Spotlight, we are featuring Monica Kendall, PA(ASCP)CM, a 2005 Indiana University graduate and member of the AAPA Grossing Guideline content review team.

Name: Monica Kendall, PA(ASCP)CM

Company: Mayo Clinic

Location: Rochester, MN

Years as a PA: 12.5 (supervisor for 4.5)

 

"I graduated from the Indiana University Pathologists’ Assistant program in 2005 and started my career at Mayo Clinic Rochester in Minnesota that same year.  I have been the PA Supervisor for the past 4.5 years and currently oversee a group of 18 PAs (two of which are starting after graduation this summer).

I feel my role as a PA supervisor at a large academic institution is to foster continual improvement of physician education and support innovative use of PAs.  We are creating the next generation of pathologists and teaching them the role of the PA in the practice as well as laying the foundation of future PA-pathologist relationships.  At a time when the face of heath care reimbursement is changing, there is a need for practices to work differently.  This need has allowed the opportunity to push the envelope for what PAs have been traditionally used for, increasing our knowledge and thus our value to pathologists.  Some of the areas of PA expansion at Mayo Clinic have included placenta and consult microscopy, death investigation, research, and increased subspecialty support—with new ideas coming forth continually.  This type of expansion increases not only job security but overall career satisfaction.

More regulation is needed regarding requirements of using certified PAs for grossing not just for professional protection, but because it is ultimately what is best for patient care.  An incorrect assessment of a surgical specimen or a body at the time of autopsy and improper selection of tissue ties the pathologist's hands from making a correct diagnosis.  Helping the medical community see the vital role we play in diagnosis is crucial and would be nearly impossible if tackled by individual pathology practices.  The AAPA provides the collective support needed to advocate to College of American Pathologists (CAP) and impact future Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) helping to regulate grossing oversight by certified pathologists' assistants."

Want to share your story?  Add a post to our PA Day Blog, upload photos to the PA Day Photo Gallery, tag us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), and use the hashtags #PathassistDay and #TheAAPADifference!

Our Mission Statement
The AAPA is dedicated to providing comprehensive professional support for pathologists’ assistants. 

Our Core Values
Quality Patient Care, Education, Advocacy, Collaboration.

Tags:  #PADay 

Share |
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