AAPA Puts Mental Health of Patients, Providers at the Forefront of First In-Person Conference Since 2019

Emmy Award-Winning Journalist Jane Pauley to Host Conversation with World Champion Gymnast Simone Biles About the Importance of Mental Health

Alexandria, Va., March 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA) will kick off its 2022 conference with an intimate conversation between Emmy Award-winning journalist Jane Pauley and world champion gymnast Simone Biles, who will discuss their own experiences with mental health challenges. Pauley and Biles will discuss the stigmas associated with mental health and finding strength in vulnerability, self-reflection, courage, and determination during AAPA 2022’s General Session from 4 to 5:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, May 21.

“Their decisions to publicly share their mental health challenges demonstrate tremendous leadership and pave a pathway to normalizing conversations about mental health,” AAPA President and Chair of the Board Jennifer M. Orozco, MMS, PA-C, DFAAPA, said.

“Simone and Jane plan to speak about some of their experiences with their own mental health and how they’re working to advocate for mental health care for everyone. The conversation between Pauley and Biles will not only help PAs navigate their own intense professional and personal pressures but will shed additional light on the of mental health. With Pauley and Biles as examples, PAs will be better equipped to serve their patients, with an increased appreciation for mental health as part of whole patient health,” Orozco said.

During the pandemic, approximately 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, up from 1 in 10 adults who reported these symptoms from January to June 2019, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Mental Health America reports that 52% of adults with a mental illness receive no treatment at all.

Recognizing that PAs play an integral role in solutions to the national mental health crisis facing America, AAPA will launch a new National Health Priority initiative devoted to mental health at AAPA 2022. In addition, AAPA’s conference will include a wide range of sessions and speaking events focused on addressing patient and provider mental health including the following:

  • An event with the Indianapolis Colts to explore lessons learned from the organization’s Kicking the Stigma initiative.
  • A symposium bringing together thought leaders from across health professions to discuss how to best implement change to improve the well-being of clinicians on healthcare teams as well as support clinical students.
  • A mental health CME symposium for PAs with sessions covering several common mental health issues, such as trauma-informed care, bipolar disorder, and alcohol use disorder, to provide tools and resources to clinicians.

AAPA 2022 is the only national PA conference with thousands of PAs from across the country in attendance. The conference will take place May 21-25 in Indianapolis, Indiana. For more information about AAPA 2022, go to aapa.org/conference.

All media is invited to attend; please see the registration form for media.


About the American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA)

AAPA is the national membership organization for all PAs (physician associates/physician assistants). PAs are licensed clinicians who practice medicine in every specialty and setting. Trusted, rigorously educated and trained healthcare professionals, PAs are dedicated to expanding access to care and transforming health and wellness through patient-centered, team-based medical practice. Learn more about the profession at aapa.org and engage through Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.


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