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KAPA's Legislative Day 2020

PA HB 135 PASSED in the Kentucky House 2/6/20

Charlene M. Morris, DFAAPA, MPAS, PA-C

Rep Lisa WillnerLegislative Day for Kentucky PAs on 2/6/20 was an outstanding success. Over 150 PAs, educators, and students convened at the Rotunda in Frankfort on the cold dreary February morning, to gather materials and last-minute instructions before heading to meet our legislators. Most of those with whom I spoke were students, yet I saw several old friends and colleagues.

Every conversation with the students was positive! Optimistic and aspiring to their future careers, they were prepared for the day with Kentucky lawmakers.

My appointment with Senator Denise Harper Angel was cancelled, yet I had learned from other DC and state visits that the Legislative Assistants (LA) are often as invested and helpful with our concerns. I briefly spoke with my senator's LA and moved on to my Representative's office.

While waiting, 3 students were also patiently listening for their announcement. Rep. Jeffrey Donohue's LA came out and told them PAs and already visited. Asking for a quick meet and greet, she agreed and led us all back to his office. We reiterated the need for HB 135's expanded prescriptive authority for PAs, both to remain in Kentucky and improve needed access to care. Rep. Donohue discussed his own concerns with HB 381 which addressed requiring armed School Resource Officers (SROs) in his rural community. He cited weapons and mental health, at which point Abigail interjected "PAs can treat mental illness!".

A GOOD conversation followed. Rep Jeffrey Donohue, District 37, was obviously impressed by Abigail, Phat and Andrew from Sullivan University.

Our visit extended to a positive discourse of commonalities.  Photos were taken. Business cards and handshakes were exchanged. Follow-up will be accomplished!

More fortunate than most, I had already personally communicated with my representative by email and texts. Rep Lisa Willner made the time to meet with me and reconfirm her commitment to PA practice and prescribing enhancement.

HB 135 was introduced that afternoon with several PAs in attendance. Our bill was approved and now moves to the Kentucky Senate for affirmation and then to Governor Beshear for signing into law.

WHAT a fine conclusion to a day that required every call, email and visit made by PAs in the Commonwealth of Kentucky!

Good job KAPA, Adam and all the PAs who attended! Keep up the vigilance and let us, as a strong, unified voice, change history for Kentucky PAs in 2020!

Kentucky Academy of Physician Assistants
446 East High Street, Suite 10, Lexington, KY 40507
Phone: 859-977-7452

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