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PA Week 2020 - Letter from the President

Posted 12 months ago by Bethann Mercanti

October 6, 2020


Dear Fellow PAs of NJ,

As we enter into PA week in what has been one of the most challenging years of many of our lives, I would like to take a moment to say Thank You. While my gratitude for each of you has never faltered, the tribulations of this year have borne an appreciation that extends beyond a simple Thank You. Traditionally, PA week allows us the opportunity to celebrate each other, the care we provide for our patients, and the progress we have seen as a profession. We take this week to share our stories and photographs with other PAs, medical colleagues, and the general public, highlighting not only what it truly means to be a PA, but as a way of bringing us together. 

This year, each of us has been met with unprecedented challenges in our personal and professional lives. Each month differed greatly from the previous and was likewise no indicator of what was to come in the following. Many were forced to take on different roles beyond those we were familiar with clinically. We became teachers for our children; caregivers for our elders; primary income for our households; and innovators of clinical practice, among many other things. 

We also saw PAs across the country rising to the opportunity when our healthcare system was overwhelmed by critically ill patients from a disease we had not yet encountered. We saw PAs entering new specialties to lend their skills and fill in gaps of care. These skills and our capacity to function in clinical roles outside of our usual specialties is due to the dynamic medical training which makes PAs so unique and essential to healthcare today. The actions of each and every one of you has been nothing short of admirable, incredible, and truly commendable. 

We at NJSSPA have been here by your side throughout the pandemic. We have worked closely with the state of NJ to ensure that your licenses were processed timely when resources and staffing were furloughed. We also worked for temporary licenses to be issued to ensure PAs were able to practice and serve on the frontlines where needed. We supported national initiatives for Medicare waivers, allowing PAs to practice across state lines and without supervisory agreements. NJSSPA has been here and will continue to be here to serve the PAs and patients of NJ. 

And so, this year for PA Week 2020, I offer my sincerest gratitude to each of you. Thank you for your compassion when your patients and colleagues needed you. Thank you for your perseverance when times were difficult, and it seemed the challenges would not end. Thank you for your bravery when facing COVID head on, both at the frontlines and behind the scenes. And thank you for your resilience in the face of the untold emotional, physical, and mental strain brought on by the ever-changing healthcare landscape that has been 2020.

Let us spend this week offering up our continued support for each other by sharing our stories and pictures to uplift spirits and share our strength. Let us take the time to show that there was beauty and happiness this year, even when it may have been difficult to see. While we will never forget the challenges we faced and the strength we found in coming through this, we can still choose to celebrate all that was good in 2020.

With deepest gratitude and appreciation,

Bethann Mercanti, MMSc, PA-C

NJSSPA President 


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