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Penn State Health honored for positive work environment for physician assistants

Penn State Health has received national recognition for creating a positive work environment for physician assistants (PAs) and encouraging collaborative healthcare provider teams. The health system was selected as a 2020-2021 Employer of Excellence by the American Academy of PAs’ (AAPA) Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management.

“This award reflects how much Penn State Health values its advanced practice providers,” said Katherine M. Curci, director of advanced practice for Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. “We have worked hard to create an environment in which our APPs can thrive. I am honored and proud to work with this incredible group.”

To determine the criteria for recognition, the Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management and HealthStream, a provider of workforce, patient experience and provider solutions for the healthcare industry, surveyed PAs to learn what they value in a place of employment. Based on the findings, the criteria for the Employer of Excellence Awards focus on:

  • Establishing a positive and supportive PA work environment.
  • Providing opportunities for PAs to provide meaningful input that leads to positive organizational change.
  • Keeping PAs informed about organizational activity and decisions.
  • Involving PAs in leadership efforts to improve the quality of patient care.
  • Creating processes for effective conflict management.

“The PA profession is one of the fastest growing in the United States, and the importance of employer efforts to make the most of the PA workforce cannot be overstated,” said Lisa Gables, interim CEO of AAPA. “Especially in times like these, our country needs all healthcare providers working together to meet the demand for high-quality care.”

The AAPA program is the only PA-specific award program available to organizations.

Each awardee will be showcased as a top place to work for PAs. Awardees will retain their designation as an Employer of Excellence for two years, and then must re-apply.

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