PA faculty climb Capitol Hill

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

School of Medicine & Health Sciences


Washington, D.C.—On Thursday, November 12, three faculty members from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences Department of Physician Assistant Studies visited North Dakota legislators in Washington, D.C., as part of the Physician Assistant Education Association's Hill Day. The event, held in conjunction with the association's national conference, brought more than 250 PA educators to Capitol Hill.

"The PA profession is relatively new compared to other health professions, said PAEA's Head of Research and Policy Tony Miller, MEd, PA-C. “So it's important for us to educate legislators about what we do and why we need their support."

UND SMHS Department Chair Jeanie McHugo, PhD, PA-C; Assistant Professor Jay Metzger, MPAS, PA-C, and Assistant Professor Nicole Amsbaugh, MPAS, PA-C, visited the offices of Rep. Kevin Cramer, Sen. John Hoeven, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

“Physician assistants play a critical role in the healthcare of North Dakotans, especially in rural and underserved primary care practices,” McHugo said. “The PA Program at UND is continually adapting to the meet the growing needs of rural North Dakota, and it was great to be able to visit with legislative staff regarding our program.”

Physician assistants (PAs) are licensed healthcare professionals who practice medicine as members of a team with their supervising physicians. Established in 1972, the PAEA is the only national organization in the United States representing PA educational programs. Its mission is to pursue excellence, foster faculty development, advance the body of knowledge that defines quality education and patient-centered care, and promote diversity in all aspects of PA education.