Join us in celebrating National PA Week! (Oct 6-12)

Oct 1, 2015

Join us in celebrating National PA Week! (Oct 6-12)

by | Oct 1, 2015

During this year’s National PA Week, Oct. 6-12, we recognize the important contributions physician assistants (PA) make as valued members of our patient care team. PAs are a vital part of the high-quality care we provide. Having PAs on patient care teams is a proven way to help maximize positive health outcomes and further our mission to provide the best care to our patients.

“Our healthcare system is focused on increasing access to quality care, and PAs play a big part in that effort. Because PAs practice medicine in every specialty, every setting and every state, they can help bring care to millions of patients who need it,” said Dr. Patrick Brown, Medical Director of North Florida Medical Centers (NFMC).

The PA profession has grown 36 percent between 2009 and 2014. Studies have shown that when PAs are incorporated into healthcare teams the result is lower readmission rates for everything from postoperative care to cancer treatments. During PA Week, NFMC is proud to recognize Jessica Bell (PA-C) and Desteni Barnes (PA-C) as part of our healthcare team and celebrate their contributions to this organization and the health of the patients we serve.

We at NFMC are committed to maximizing the roles PAs play on our healthcare teams because we know we are stronger when we all work together—and the result is world-class care for our patients. We also want to inform our patients, staff and the general public about who PAs are and the roles they play in healthcare delivery. For example, did you know…

  • There are more than 104,000 certified PAs today. PAs practice in every medical and surgical specialty from pediatric neurosurgery to oncology to primary care.
  • PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, write prescriptions, perform medical procedures—like joint injections—first assist in surgery, counsel patients on preventive healthcare, coordinate patient care, make rounds in nursing homes and hospitals and conduct clinical research.
  • PAs are educated through intense graduate-level programs that average 27 months and require the same prerequisite courses as medical schools. As part of their education, PAs complete at least 2,000 hours of clinical rotations in every major specialty, from family medicine to general surgery to emergency medicine.

For more information about PA Week or to learn more about this dynamic profession visit

About North Florida Medical Centers

North Florida Medical Center (NFMC) is a family of eleven health centers. North Florida Medical Centers’ facilities are committed to providing comprehensive family health care to the community, often including dental services and adult behavioral health services.  NFMC centers accept most insurance and offer a sliding scale discount program for eligible patients while providing highly quality and cost-effective health services. High quality care reduces or eliminates the need for costly care in the emergency room or avoidable hospital stays.  To learn more about NFMC visit