Who is SPAP?
The Society for Physician Assistants in Pediatrics (SPAP) is a non-profit specialty organization of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). The Society consists of PAs, PA residents and students, as well as affiliate and associate individuals who share a common interest in the art of pediatric medicine. SPAP supports members in promoting high standards in the delivery of pediatric health care and provides the opportunity to network with other PAs and individuals interested in the well being of children.
The mission of SPAP is to improve the health care of children by supporting Physician Assistants (PAs) and healthcare teams that provide cost effective, quality care to pediatric patients and by promoting a network for communication, including research and education between providers dedicated to the well-being of children. SPAP will advocate for pediatric patients and their caregivers as well as PAs and other medical providers that care for children.
SPAP's 2020 PA of the Year
Chris Barry, PA-C, MMSc, DFAAPA
Chris graduated from the Emory University Physician Assistant Program in 2000 and has been working in general outpatient pediatrics since graduating. He currently works at Jeffers, Mann, and Artman Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in North Carolina. He has served on numerous boards of professional organizations including SPAP and the North Carolina Academy of PAs. He remains active in vaccine advocacy, PA practice legislation, and ongoing PA education. He is this year’s recipient of the SPAP PA of the Year award.
SPAP'S 2020 STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP WINNER
I graduated from the University of Florida in May of 2019 with a B.S. in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology. In September, I began the Physician Assistant program at St. John’s University’s MSPA Program. One year into my PA program, I have been serving as one of four members of my class executive board. Through this role, I have had a great deal of opportunity to use my creativity to help my peers.
I have worked to help improve the quality of life for my peers and to increase unity among the participants in my program by spearheading initiatives such as starting a mentorship program. This program matches different students in the PA-1 and PA-2 cohorts based on social and academic factors to bring cohorts together and to help everyone feel supported and valued as members of the program. I have created student surveys and organized a committee of peers to assist in matching students. The committee members and I have been working together to ensure that students are fully integrated into the matching process to prevent any sense of isolation among participants in the program.
Another ongoing project of mine has been organizing a comprehensive student guide for current and future students of my program. This guide includes detailed information about navigating through the program as well as providing information on getting involved and giving back to the community. My aspiration in creating this guide is to minimize gaps in knowledge about the program among entering students and to give matriculating students the resources needed to make a smooth transition into PA school. I am hopeful that this information will serve to comfort new students and to motivate them to be productive and to get involved!