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Op-Ed: OAPA President Matthew Freado, MPAP, PA-C, on Why YOUR MEMBERSHIP MATTERS: A Vote for Professional Advancement in Ohio


In the dynamic landscape of healthcare, where the role of Physician Assistants continues to evolve, the importance of unity and collective action cannot be overstated. I want to explore why joining the Ohio Association of Physician Assistants is more than a commitment. YOUR MEMBERSHIP MATTERS, and here's why.

Let's address the elephant in the room: yes, being a member involves a financial commitment. However, consider it an investment in yourself and the entire Ohio PA community. This investment is your vote for advancing our profession in Ohio. As we all know, the path to progress often requires financial backing, and your membership directly contributes to the ongoing process towards Optimal Team Practice

OAPA's vision encapsulates this spirit. We aspire to make Ohio the premier state for PA practice. Your membership is the foundation upon which this vision can be realized. It's not merely a transaction; it's a contribution to a cause that goes beyond personal interests—a cause that benefits every PA in the state, regardless of experience or specialization. 

Being a member of a practice specialty organization that fosters a sense of professional identity is undoubtedly a matter of pride. However, it is crucial to understand that such affiliations rarely directly contribute to enhancing our ability to practice at the highest level of our professional abilities. For instance, when Ohio PAs were granted prescriptive authority, it was a significant milestone achieved with the help of OAPA’s tireless advocacy. This achievement led to many PAs experiencing a notable expansion in their scope of practice, resulting in increased responsibilities and a welcome uptick in PA earning potential. OAPA not only champions noble causes but also actively advocates for advancements that have a direct impact on its members' daily practice and economic well-being.

To all the recent or new graduate physician assistants, you are our profession's future. Your membership demonstrates your belief in PA excellence and your dedication and advocacy to the profession. Understanding the importance of joining a professional organization from the beginning is crucial. Think of it as supporting your local community or "buying local." Investing in your state organization contributes to the growth of the Physician Assistant profession in Ohio and your health system. 

Being a member of OAPA is more than just paying dues. It's a commitment to upholding the values that have shaped our career and a promise to guide the next generation of PAs toward similar success. As a PA, our knowledge and experience are invaluable resources, and your continued membership ensures that these resources are channeled toward the benefit of our entire professional community and our patients.

Being a part of OAPA from the beginning provides a support system beyond your workplace. It opens doors to mentorship opportunities, networking events, and a wealth of resources that can accelerate your career growth. In a profession where learning is a lifelong endeavor, having a community to lean on can make a substantial difference.

Moreover, your membership is your vote for advancing the PA profession in Ohio. It signals to policymakers, healthcare institutions, and the public that PAs are not just healthcare providers but advocates for optimal patient care. Being a member of OAPA provides a defense for the PA profession in Ohio, especially with the recent legislative developments in neighboring Pennsylvania. The introduction of SB 25 in that state proposes to grant nurse practitioners full practice authority, which could shift the healthcare dynamic. By being a member of OAPA, you can fortify the standing of PAs in Ohio and offer a unified response against external challenges that may restrict our employability. By joining OAPA, you actively contribute to the ongoing dialogue about the role of PAs in shaping the future of healthcare in our state.

YOUR MEMBERSHIP MATTERS because it's not just a line on your CV. It is an investment, a vote for, and a symbol of your dedication to elevating the standards of PA practice in Ohio. This year, this month, make your commitment to OAPA known with a new or renewed membership.


Freado 2023

Matthew P. Freado, MPAP, PA-C
OAPA President

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