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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 

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PA Day Member Spotlight: Brittin Cavanagh

Posted By Administration, Saturday, April 7, 2018
Updated: Friday, April 6, 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 Brittin Cavanagh, PA(ASCP)CM, a 2016 Rosalind Franklin University graduate and Chair of the AAPA Student Committee.

 

 

Name: Brittin Cavanagh, PA(ASCP)CM

Company: Kaiser Permanente Orange County

Location: Anaheim, CA

Years as a PA: 2

 

"I love being a PA.  Every day is a new adventure, a new specimen, and a new patient.  My favorite part of the day is getting to the laboratory and surveying the specimens I get to work with.  Reviewing a patient’s history gives me a sense of responsibility for that patient and allows me to ascertain what it is that I need to show the pathologists through my description and tissue samples.  I enjoy discovering how each patient is formed and uncovering unexpected findings.  Every specimen is something new to explore and I love how varied my days are because of this.

I really like volunteering for the AAPA.  Being a part of this organization has made me realize how much they do for PAs.  This is the only professional organization in which its sole purpose is to serve the PA community.  They advocate for us, bring about changes that directly affect where we can work, and help maintain and expand our scope of practice.  They provide us with resources that help us study for certification, maintain our licenses, obtain professional and individual recognition, and find jobs.  Without the AAPA our profession would not be where it is."

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: Michelle Proctor Johnson

Posted By Administration, Friday, April 6, 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 Michelle Proctor Johnson, PA(ASCP)CM, a 1999 Duke University graduate and an avid AAPA volunteer.

 

Name: Michelle Proctor Johnson, PA(ASCP)CM

Company: Commonwealth Laboratory Consultants

Location: Richmond, VA

Years as a PA: 19

 

"I was a student graduating with a double major in biology and chemistry, and losing the desire to go to medical school.  I had a teammate who had a father working as a pathologists’ assistant, and I became interested in exploring that field of study.  I went to shadow him, and fell in love with the career path.  After 19 years into my career, I still get excited to come into work.  I can honestly say I love what I do.  I love helping families bring closure to the death of a loved one by working on an autopsy with my pathologist, and helping to put the medical mystery into a story of events.  I love performing frozen sections on a variety of cases, and feeling a part of the case in which the pathologist conveys information to adequately assess the completeness of the tissue being resected.  I am humbled to have been a part of the Duke Pathologists’ Assistant program, and to have spent years in a variety of practice settings, both academic and private practice.  I am proud to walk alongside so many wonderful pathologists’ assistants and be a part of the evolution of medicine.  The certification I hold, PA(ASCP)CM, has allowed me to be a teacher, a supervisor, a mentor.  I have had the privilege to interact with some pretty amazing individuals throughout my career, who have stretched me to be better, who have educated me on looking at things in a different way to get a better result, and to whom I have been able to teach my techniques to help in areas they may have been struggling in.  I have interacted with pathologists who have written the books we learn from, who helped pioneer the techniques we use to adequately assess tissues. 

I could go on and on, there are so many things to be thankful for in my career choice.  The one thing that resonates in my heart is the fact that our career is ever-changing.  We help start the design of a patient’s care by giving the pathologists the proper information to tailor the diagnosis of the tissue.  We help research teams have the proper tissue to test the therapies given to patients to fight for their cure.  We get to share our knowledge through meetings, posters, and volunteering through our organization to continuously strive to share our knowledge and make each other stronger.  The AAPA is more than an organization, it is a body of people with amazing talent and abilities, and I am very thankful to be allowed the opportunity to learn from members, to encourage members, and to just simply be a member."

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: Jerry Phipps

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 5, 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 Gerald "Jerry" Phipps, BS, BHS, PA(ASCP)CM, a 1976 Duke University graduate, who recently retired after 41 years as a PA.

         

 

Name: Gerald "Jerry" Phipps, BS, BHS, PA(ASCP)CM

Location: Gainesville, FL

Organization: Retired from the University of Florida in 2017, where he spent 32 years of his career as a PA.

 

"I was in my 2nd year of the Duke PA program in Fall 1975 when the formative AAPA held its inaugural meeting in Atlanta.  My classmates and I realized the potential benefits of a professional organization and networking with graduates working in the field, so we attended and had our eyes opened to a wide variety of issues and needs.  A year later, we were new graduates sitting for the first de facto certification exam and volunteering in various capacities to make the AAPA the reality we needed and wanted.  We took pride in our accomplishments: services we could provide to our members; defining and advocating for our emerging profession; PA-specific continuing education; networking and employment assistance.  The compounded results are reflected in the superb organization we all have built over 46 years and the respect for the PA profession and practitioners.  In addition to the many benefits afforded by AAPA membership within our association and profession, opportunities exist for external involvement and rewards.  I was privileged to have a 22-year career as a NAACLS volunteer for the AAPA and the profession.  In this capacity, I worked with an amazing cast of educators in lab science professions, helped develop PA education and programs, gained experience as a Board member, and traveled extensively.  Last but hardly least, my AAPA membership made me a better PA, enhancing my ability to earn a good salary.  Now that I have retired after 41 years as a PA (the last 32 at the University of Florida), I’m reaping financial benefits with memories of places I have been and people I have met, all a result of my AAPA membership."

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: Krista Szafranski

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 4, 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 Krista Szafranski, PA(ASCP)CM, a member of the AAPA Administration Committee and 2007 University of Maryland graduate.

         

Name: Krista Szafranski, PA(ASCP)CM

Company: Cellnetix Pathology and Laboratories, a private pathologists owned lab with 200,000+ cases a year

Location: Seattle, WA

Title: Grossing Operations Manager, 4.5 years (with Cellnetix a total of 9 years)

 

"Over the years my role as a PA has changed, however what I love about my job has always remained the same.  My drive everyday is to provide excellent patient care.  Working alongside the pathologists, behind the scenes and having a direct impact on the care of countless patients, makes each day immensely rewarding.  As I have moved away from being on the bench daily, to a managerial role, quality patient care has remained my everyday mission.

The AAPA has been a remarkable resource for me throughout my career, from networking and recruiting to aiding with policy and procedure.  Most importantly, it connects us, and gives us an  opportunity to share and receive information across the country, so that we can continually learn and grow.  I am grateful that I have a career which I enjoy and find fulfilling, and grateful that there is an organization that supports it."

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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Announcing the AAPA Grossing Guidelines Release!

Posted By Amy Thompson, Friday, April 14, 2017
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Today marks a huge milestone for the AAPA. In addition to celebrating you and your contribution to the healthcare team on Pathologists’ Assistant Day, we are so very proud to be announcing on this same day, the launch of a project several years in the making. Today we share with you and the pathology community the release of the AAPA Macroscopic Examination Guidelines: Utilization of the CAP Cancer Protocols at the Surgical Gross Bench (Grossing Guidelines), 1st edition.  

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

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

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ANNOUNCING THE AAPA MACROSCOPIC EXAMINATION GUIDELINES: UTILIZATION OF THE CAP CANCER PROTOCOLS AT THE SURGICAL GROSS BENCH

Posted By Amy Thompson, Friday, April 14, 2017

ANNOUNCING THE AAPA MACROSCOPIC EXAMINATION GUIDELINES: UTILIZATION OF THE CAP CANCER PROTOCOLS AT THE SURGICAL GROSS BENCH

Ready NOW for Download


St. Paul, MN – The American Association of Pathologists’ Assistants (AAPA) is pleased to announce the launch of the AAPA Macroscopic Examination Guidelines: Utilization of the CAP Cancer Protocols at the Surgical Gross Bench (Grossing Guidelines) and online publication of the 1st edition.  

The AAPA Macroscopic Examination Guidelines have been created for use by all those involved in the macroscopic handling of surgical cancer cases including pathologists’ assistants, pathology residents and pathologists.  The Grossing Guidelines are based on specified relevant source documents, drafted by pathologists’ assistant experts and supported by the information provided by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC).  

The Grossing Guidelines are designed, as much as possible, to mirror the applicable CAP Cancer protocol and include applicable molecular and immunohistochemical considerations.  In addition to the 67 protocols, the grossing guidelines include over 80 illustrations beautifully depicting the TNM staging criteria for many of the tumors included in the guidelines.  These guidelines will, ultimately, serve patients by ensuring that the macroscopic examination of cancer resection specimens is compliant with CAP Cancer Protocols, the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, and provide optimization of the pre-analytic steps necessary to promote appropriate molecular studies

The Grossing Guidelines are available for download by visiting the AAPA website www.pathassist.org and clicking on the Grossing Guidelines tab.

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The American Association of Pathologists' Assistants was founded in 1972 as a not-for-profit volunteer organization of allied health practitioners dedicated to the advocacy and advancement of the pathologists' assistant profession.  The AAPA advocates, promotes, and sustains the highest education and professional standards for the profession, for all associated educational training programs, and for individual pathologists' assistants.  It is our mission to provide our members with high quality, targeted continuing education (CE) opportunities, as well as professional development and leadership activities to include networking and support.  Additionally, the AAPA strives to promote and support high quality standards within the scope of practice for pathologists' assistants in anatomic pathology, ensuring the provision of high quality patient care.

Contact:  Michelle L. Sok, CAE, Executive Director, 800.532.AAPA, executivedirector@pathassist.org
 

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Rosalind Franklin University Celebrates PA Day!

Posted By Amy Thompson, Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science Pathologists' Assistant Class of 2018 celebrating PA Day 2017.

 

 

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AAPA Places PA Day Ad in CAP Today!

Posted By Amy Thompson, Friday, April 7, 2017

AAPA has placed an ad in CAP Today in celebration of PA Day. Check out page 65 today!  Help your lab celebrate PA day with more resources on the  PA Day webpage.

 

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PA Day Member Spotlight - Janelle Fabian

Posted By Amy Thompson, Friday, April 7, 2017

Why did you become a PA?
I was studying for my MCAT spring of my junior year in college with the career plan of becoming a Medical Examiner. I had to do some shadow hours to apply for medical school, so I used my college alumni resource and was hooked up with Jim Moore, a PA at Reading Hospital and the Co-Director of the Drexel PA program. After shadowing him and another PA, April Reineke, for two days, I was hooked and immediately cancelled my MCAT. I never looked back since. 

Pictured L-R: Michelle Sok, Janelle Fabian, Cara Anderson



What is your favorite specimen?
My favorite specimen has to be a colon for cancer - and no I don't love cleaning them out!! I guess I enjoy the lymph node search and the satisfaction of the hunt.

What do you love most about being a PA?

I work at a cancer center, and our surgeons frequently come up to the gross room. That is definitely my favorite part of the job. It's the time that I feel most involved in patient care. I chose this career because while I want to be involved in the patient's treatment, I just can't handle the emotions of it. When I'm working with the surgeons either to orient a specimen, or just figure out what the tumor is and if they have clear margins, I can feel like I am making a difference.

 

 

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Sustaining Members

2345 Rice St, Suite 220 | St. Paul, MN 55113 | Phone 800.532.AAPA | Fax 651.317.8048 | Email info@pathassist.org