2019 PAEA Education Forum

Board Candidate: Director at Large

Candidate Statement

Nina Multak,
PhD, MPAS, PA-C

I respectfully declare my candidacy for the position of PAEA Director at Large. It’s an exciting time to be a PA educator! We are experiencing an exponential growth of PA programs and paradigm shifts in higher education. We have developed the infrastructure for training and supporting PA faculty and the time is now for us to extend that scaffold to develop and provide products and services that respond to the needs of PA faculty, programs, and the profession. As an organization, PAEA should enhance the skills of PAEA members and support educating PA students to become excellent clinicians, conducting research about the PA workforce, and in leading PA programs, institutions of higher education and health care institutions.

As a prospective PAEA Director-At-Large member, I would work collaboratively with constituent members, staff and other board members and act as a resource and dedicated representative of our organization. My vision for PAEA includes an ongoing collaboration of PAEA members to expand our teaching toolbox and strengthen our team of 21st century PA educators and researchers. As new tools and new technology keep emerging, learning and adapting is essential. The 21st century educator, like each of us as clinicians, is also a lifelong learner! It is important to continually strengthen and innovate PA education and I support enhanced collaboration to guide students to function effectively.

I fully support the mission of PAEA leadership regarding innovation, and excellence in PA education and its vision of health for all. I believe that my educational and professional background makes me an excellent candidate for this position. My recent PAEA experience includes Faculty Development MAC member and JPAEA Technology and Education section editor. My doctoral work in Computing and Informatics will support new ideas for PAEA. I am a program director with 25 years of experience as a PA educator and previous experience as an At Large Member for the Board of Directors for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. This experience will enable me to serve PAEA members adeptly in this role.

As an ambassador of PAEA, I would participate in the development of additional educational materials to support new programs and new faculty. I am eager to participate in the continued development of the PAEA network to sustain and support our growth.

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Q&A

1. What attributes characterize a high-performing Board member and which of them do you possess?

A high performing PAEA Board member is a supporter, a contributor and an ambassador of our organization. Effective board members create and communicate vision, build trust, cultivate talent and use sound judgement in decision making which impacts PAEA. Board members work effectively with other leaders to create a vision for our organization and work together to implement feedback from the membership to develop strategies to achieve our organizational goals. I enjoy working with other ambassadors of PA education with similar values- transparency, adaptability, collaboration, inclusivity and a sense of community.

Essential characteristics of a high performing board member include integrity, initiative, experience, collaboration and dedication to PAEA. Integrity is my core value and all of my personal and professional interactions are held to the highest standard. My initiative has propelled diverse professional experiences and reflects my commitment to patients, faculty, staff, students and colleagues. Continued development of the PAEA network is important to sustain and support our growth. I am team oriented and contributions to PA education are most valued when working collaboratively with colleagues.

Board members have the opportunity to share their strengths and knowledge to help shape PAEA and the future of PA education. I would support the strategic priorities of PAEA and will assist in developing and implementing these priorities with other PAEA leaders. As a Board member, I would be a resource and dedicated representative of PAEA.

 
2. What do you believe will be PAEA’s biggest opportunity in the coming years given the ongoing changes in health care and higher education?

A significant opportunity for PAEA is the opportunity to leverage technology to train PA students to provide healthcare using virtual platforms. Fueled by advances in digital, mobile, and connected technologies, telemedicine enables health professionals, including PA’s to offer care in underserved areas, meet the demands of increased needs of the aging population and stay in close contact with patients. As telemedicine becomes more common in our health care delivery system, it is imperative that PA’s are trained to use this technology effectively. The implementation of telemedicine training can include didactic learning, real patient and standardized patient encounters that develop telemedicine competencies, and scholarly projects that allow deeper insights into telemedicine benefits and technology.

Professional development is a critical factor in the ability of telehealth to achieve its massive potential. PAEA can provide faculty with the skills needed to teach this method of providing patient care. A telemedicine facilitator program can be developed which could include online learning modules that promote the skills needed to support clinical telehealth encounters, including, but not limited to, using telehealth in inpatient and outpatient settings, and providing technical assistance when needed. During PA training, telemedicine provides an excellent opportunity to participate in inter-professional patient care, and offers a suitable opportunity for assessment as well.

 
3. In recent years, PAEA has advocated for a more outcomes-based approach to PA education and accreditation, including developing competencies for new graduates and working with the ARC-PA on outcomes-based accreditation. What do you see as the next steps in advancing this work?

An outcomes based approach is important for PAEA to consider in order to assure the public that our PA graduates are safe and competent. PAEA leaders should initially develop a task force consisting of PAEA, ARC-PA, and AAPA leaders, members of the PAEA Faculty Development MAC (who have recently reviewed relevant literature on this topic), hospital administrators and physicians. This group should convene and decide if an outcomes based approach should consider competencies or Entrustable Professional Activities (EPA) focused on PA clinical practice. Competencies are observable and they can be measured and assessed to ensure their acquisition. EPA’s for PA’s would represent the daily work responsibilities of PAs and would cluster relevant activities or competencies together.

The next step would be for this group to contact the PA programs who are utilizing EPA’s for PA’s to explore their experience and outcomes. Task force members should then analyze the knowledge, skills and attitudes which should be assessed.

Task force members can then provide input on assessment tools which are currently in use to evaluate students and graduates knowledge skills and attitudes. Validated assessment tools should be developed by PAEA membership as the next step with the guidance of the task force members and assessment experts.

PAEA leaders and volunteers should work together to develop a tool-kit of best practices and recurrent workshops to support faculty. Ongoing support to PA programs could be developed and scaffolded to the needs of new and established programs.