OAPA Working for You: Government Affairs Committee
One of the most important ways that a professional association like OAPA can serve its members and advance practice is through using its convening power to advocate on behalf of the profession. The OAPA Government Affairs Committee (GAC), chaired by long time OAPA (and AAPA) volunteer leader Josanne Pagel, M.Div., MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA, EBS, works tirelessly in pursuit of OAPA’s vision for Ohio to become the premier state for PA practice.
The GAC stays apprised of issues related to PA practice that are caused or impacted by state law and evaluates how OAPA can work with state legislators and agencies to clear those barriers. Great consideration is given to how bills may move through the legislature, who may oppose or support a bill, and what role OAPA could or should play. The GAC volunteers have years of experience learning the intricacies of how legislators work and how fragile a process it can be to pass a bill in Ohio. They partner with OAPA’s paid lobbying firm, Bricker Graydon, to identify the best opportunities for OAPA to influence and connect with legislators to advance PA practice.
A few top issues the committee is tracking include SB 28, the PA compact licensure bill. If this bill were to pass, it would provide much needed support for telehealth to expand medical care to more patients and allow for consistent follow up with patients who may be out of state. GAC is closely watching and in communication with the sponsors of SB 60 and HB102, both of which would create new health care professions that may affect PA practice. Additional legislative priorities include a title change for the PA profession and enhancing PA practice such as through pink slip ability and removing restrictions to allow PAs to perform moderate sedation, among other actions.
The gears of government turn slowly sometimes, but OAPA’s Government Affairs Committee and hired lobbying firm are always working to stay apprised of developments and ensure that PAs are well-represented at every turn in matters before the Ohio General Assembly. Funding government advocacy takes significant financial resources, and OAPA is always appreciative of contributions of any amount to the OAPA Legislative Fund to support these efforts. Also important is having a large membership base to show strength in numbers, so please join OAPA today or renew your membership before it expires to help keep our voice loud and clear!