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President’s Message

Esteemed colleagues:

NAPA is a collaboration of actions from past and current Presidents, Board of Directors, Representatives, and the general membership. The PA profession is teamwork, as is NAPA. I am honored to assume the role of President and be a part of this great organization and its many current and past leaders.

As we continue to rise to the challenge of COVID-19, I want to take the opportunity to thank all Navy Medicine Shipmates for your hard work and commitment to our nation as we continue to confront the obstacles we face during this global pandemic. Now more than ever, during the COVID-19 pandemic, PAs should be advocating for the profession, sharing their stories about the critical role PAs play in healthcare delivery.

I want to provide you with my way forward throughout this fight against COVID-19. We are all leaders no matter where we sit in the organization, and I expect each of you to reach out and give your input. Below are a few examples I would like to share with you:

During the AAPA Conference 2019, I had the opportunity to speak amongst a national PA forum with all 50 state delegates to include uniformed services, Veterans Affairs on transgender policy within the military and educate our colleagues on our practices. My goal is to provide AAPA members with shared understanding of joint military PA perspectives and experiences, as well as identifying potential solutions. Discussion forums to educate our peers during the conference will impact AAPA’s collaborative work to enhance diversity within the PA profession, promote equity and justice in healthcare while developing joint military relationships.

Awareness of the PA profession is pertinent during this period of crisis. This was evident when we were called to be on the frontlines to support the Navy and Marine Corps Teams as well as our nation. We are essential for the delivery of health care in the Navy and without PAs, the future of health care would be very bleak. As President, my platform is to further promote NAPA’s vision to integrate PAs and to develop a military culture where we are recognized for having the ability to adapt to an austere environment, perform in high tempo operational billets that mandate a base knowledge in Global Health Engagement (GHE), Plans Operations Medical Intelligence (POMI), and Medical Regulation; work alongside joint and allied partnerships; deploy with United States Marine Corps (USMC), Naval ships, overseas tours, and work in Military Treatment Facilities and Branch Clinics. We are a jack of all trades.

Not only would I like to see more PAs in Global Health Engagement, Plans Operations Medical Intelligence, specialty clinics, I would like to see more PAs in areas of leadership. It’s through opportunities like our fellowships, NAPA BOD, AAPA roles we can pave the way for our profession and begin to open doors for the future leaders of our community. Bravo Zulu to the leadership who worked countless hours to afford us the opportunity of Doctorate of Science Emergency Medicine and DSC General Surgery with our first graduate in 2019 from Baylor University, Doctorate of Science in Physician Assistant Studies in Surgery.

The Navy has recognized the value of higher education, continuous learning, and how it directly impacts leaders to deliver decisive naval power when called upon. NAPA will continue to provide high quality CME and educate PAs in the Navy. I was not given the opportunity to have a mentor overseas which was crucial for me to grow as a Naval Officer. I was clueless until my Battalion Commanders afforded me the opportunity to attend the POMI course which opened the door to be hand selected as MARFORPAC Medical Planner for Khaan Quest 2019 and attend AAPA 2019 where I spoke on a platform to support the Department of Defense stance on transgender policy. It took one USMC leaders to recognize the value of education which forever changed me as a leader. It was at AAPA, I networked and developed a vision with my fellow Navy Shipmates to make a difference in future PAs careers. NAPA will continue to be an interactive one team, one fight, in order to change relationships and Navy Medicine culture.

It is a privilege to be part of the NAPA leadership team, but it is the partnerships coupled with this institution that propel the PA profession forward. Thank you for your confidence in me and I look forward to working with all of you.

 

Very Respectfully,
Veronica A. Gomez, PA-C, MSC, USN
2020-2021 NAPA President

 

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