Board Candidate

Nina Multak, PhD, MPAS, PA-C

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Director at Large Platform Statement

PAEA is responsible for bringing together PA educators from across the country and globe to effectively educate future PAs and we must leverage our expertise to promote the best approach to the educational process. As the profession continues to grow and evolve we are faced with an environment that requires the board to determine strategic priorities that will best suit the needs of our members now and into the future. I believe that with my personal skill set and dedication to PAEA, I am a candidate with appropriate experience and initiative to serve the organization as a Director at Large board member.

Director at Large board members are ambassadors for both the profession and for PA education. Members at large represent and are accountable to the general membership of PAEA. Because of this, keeping the general membership informed about board activities, working collaboratively, and facilitating effective communication are among the most important duties a member at large assumes. My skills in organization, communication and leadership as well as my ongoing service to PAEA support my candidacy. My past experience in PAEA includes longstanding membership, PAEA conference presentations (2008-17), leadership role in PANDO workshops (2014-2017), Special Interest Group Chair, Assessment Committee member (2016-17), Faculty Development MAC (2017) and JPAE section editor (2016-18).

I am committed to supporting PAEA because my professional and personal goals align with the organizational goals and strategic plan. It is important to continually strengthen and innovate PA education and to help prepare faculty members guide students to function effectively in the rapidly changing health care environment. Enhancing primary care training and employment initiatives is an organizational goal which I have been involved with on a local level and can share insights with the board and membership. Additionally, my faculty experience includes development of clinical training supplemental experiential experiences, including team based training, which can be shared and developed collaboratively with and for PAEA members for our students. As a Director at Large, I can effectively contribute to these efforts and ensure that the PA educational system continues to anticipate and plan for future needs.

I look forward to representing the membership as a PAEA Director at Large and continuing to build relationships and collaborate on innovative initiatives to advance our mission and strategic plan.

Q&A

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

PA programs will need to provide PA students with an enhanced clinical experience critical for success in an Optimal Team Practice (OTP) setting. According to the PAEA OTP taskforce report, PA program training may need to be extended in order to accommodate increased content. Programs will need to identify ways to expand their clinical training opportunities in spite of already existing challenges to clinical training, including sustaining existing rotation sites.

As PA education leaders, we will need to explore new ideas to accommodate training expansion. Additional PA focused doctoral programs may be needed in order to keep new PA graduates prepared for an evolving work environment. Collaboration with existing PA residency training programs may be considered to provide additional training. Like our nursing colleagues, we may consider incorporating simulation training scenarios using a combination of patient actors, virtual, screen based and mannequins to provide supplemental clinical opportunities which count towards clinical training requirements.

In order to prepare PA students adequately for clinical practice, we should also plan to incorporate the use of EHRs into academic curricula. PA programs should explore innovative models to incorporate EHR training so early career PAs become skilled learners and receive training on how to properly use technologies which impact patient care delivery like mobile health applications, EHR systems, medical devices, and monitoring equipment. The PA profession’s commitment to team based care should be reflected in the updates to PA education. All students should receive training in working as part of an expanded inter-professional healthcare team.

 

The AAPA House of Delegates recently passed a resolution titled Optimal Team Practice that calls for the elimination of state laws and regulations that require a PA to have and/or report a supervisory, collaborating, or other specific relationship with a physician in order to practice. What changes, if any, do you think will need to occur in PA education to prepare new graduates to practice in an OTP environment?

PA programs will need to provide PA students with an enhanced clinical experience critical for success in an Optimal Team Practice (OTP) setting. According to the PAEA OTP taskforce report, PA program training may need to be extended in order to accommodate increased content. Programs will need to identify ways to expand their clinical training opportunities in spite of already existing challenges to clinical training, including sustaining existing rotation sites.

As PA education leaders, we will need to explore new ideas to accommodate training expansion. Additional PA focused doctoral programs may be needed in order to keep new PA graduates prepared for an evolving work environment. Collaboration with existing PA residency training programs may be considered to provide additional training. Like our nursing colleagues, we may consider incorporating simulation training scenarios using a combination of patient actors, virtual, screen based and mannequins to provide supplemental clinical opportunities which count towards clinical training requirements.

In order to prepare PA students adequately for clinical practice, we should also plan to incorporate the use of EHRs into academic curricula. PA programs should explore innovative models to incorporate EHR training so early career PAs become skilled learners and receive training on how to properly use technologies which impact patient care delivery like mobile health applications, EHR systems, medical devices, and monitoring equipment. The PA profession’s commitment to team based care should be reflected in the updates to PA education. All students should receive training in working as part of an expanded inter-professional healthcare team.

 

Describe a significant challenge you have faced as a leader and the strategies you used to respond effectively.

Early in my career as a PA educator, my view of effective leadership was narrow. Leaders were people that others would want to follow. I focused on emulating accomplished individuals who seemed at the time like charismatic superheroes, with special sets of skills and talents. I strived to be like them, and some qualities I developed while others were a little more challenging to attain. One thing I noticed was that with the superhero leader, there was little need for others to take much responsibility, and I realized that this model has many flaws.

I began to notice that most outstanding leaders are also extremely accomplished team players. While leadership and teamwork are different concepts, I have learned from challenges in becoming an effective leader, that they are closely interrelated. Great teams have focused leaders.

Leaders establish goals, and teamwork involves adopting those goals and sharing the objectives as a common agenda. I adopted a goal setting strategy using SWOT analysis techniques (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) in collaboration with team members. Teamwork involves all members, working together, toward a common goal. Goals were also set using a S.M.A.R.T. strategy- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and with a Timeline. By building strong teams, moving together towards meeting the mission and vision has been more easily attainable.

 

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