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Raising the Profile of Team-Based Care

Karen Wright, Ph.D., P.A.-C., interim chair and program director of the Department of Physician Assistant (P.A.) Studies at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, was recently selected by the board of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) to serve a two-year term as the medical liaison between the AAPA and the National Association of Medical Minority Educators, Inc. (NAMME).

With a mission of transforming health care through patient-centered, team-based medical practice, according to Senior Director for Professional Advocacy Ellen Rathfon, the AAPA puts a high priority on building relationships with other leading medical organizations. Wright, she added, was chosen to represent AAPA, and the P.A. profession as a whole, raising the profile of collaborative team-based care with physicians and other national medical groups.

“We were thrilled when Karen Wright applied to serve as our liaison to NAMME,” Rathfon said. “She brings a wealth of clinical, educational, administrative, and life experience to the role, and I have no doubt she will be an asset to AAPA and NAMME.”

NAMME seeks to develop and sustain productive relationships as well as action-oriented programs among national, state, and community stakeholders working to ensure racial and ethnic diversity in all of the health professions. Membership includes health profession educators, administrators, practitioners, students across the country, and partners with organizations such as the AAPA, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.

“I am extremely honored and excited about serving as an official representative and ambassador for the Academy. I see this as an opportunity to advance the strategic plans of both the AAPA and NAMME,” said Wright. “I believe it is my personal responsibility as well as the responsibility of the P.A. profession to commit to any efforts aimed at increasing the access of underrepresented minority groups to P.A. education.

“In order to achieve this goal, strategic partnerships between academic institutions, constituent organizations, and community stakeholders are paramount,” she continued. “Serving as medical liaison between the AAPA and NAMME will help advance this goal.”

Wright’s two-year term begins July 1, 2017. She has plans to attend the NAMME conference in Long Beach, California, in September.