Mental Health on the Forefront of Issues for Certified Physician Assistants | Business Wire

LEESBURG, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Six national Physician Assistant (PA) organizations came together this

past week to identify how to impact the mental health crisis in this

country. The PArtners in Mental Health Summit, attended by nearly three

dozen healthcare leaders, resulted in a unified commitment to work

together to address the challenges of identifying and treating this

critical patient care issue. The six organizations included:

  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the PA

  • American Academy of PAs

  • National Commission on Certification of PAs

  • nccPA Health Foundation

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  • PA Education Association

  • PA Foundation

Ted Wendel, Ph.D., chair of the board of the nccPA Health Foundation,

notes that approximately one in five adults in the U.S. experiences

mental illness every year. He noted: “Certified PAs are on the front

lines of healthcare, treating over 8 million patients a week, many with

chronic illnesses and multiple comorbidities. Mental illness is often

associated with these conditions. PAs have a unique opportunity to

evaluate patients and offer a treatment or referral at this point of


Leveraging a collective impact strategy, the six organizations

acknowledged the need to engage and equip all PAs to address mental and

behavioral health needs and developed a framework to create and

implement programs that'll enable them to do that.

The summit was convened and supported by the nccPA Health Foundation.

About the NCCPA and the nccPA Health Foundation

The National

Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is the

only certifying organization for PAs in the United States. The PA-C

credential is awarded by NCCPA to PAs who fulfill certification,

certification maintenance and recertification requirements. There are

more than 115,500 Certified PAs in the U.S. today.

The nccPA

Health Foundation is a supporting organization of NCCPA. The nccPA

Health Foundation is a charitable organization whose mission is to

advance the role of Certified PAs to improve health. The Foundation is

focused on building PA workforce capacity in the areas of mental health

and wellness and oral health as part of overall health. It also funds

grants to equip and encourage Certified PAs and PA students to promote

more equitable care.

Mary Rittle, Director of Communications