Advancing Rural Primary Care: National Conference

Advancing Rural Primary Care: A National Conference on the Effective Utilization of Physician Assistants

A collaborative mission to improve rural health care across America

Conference Dates: September 10-12, 2014
Conference Location: Omaha, NE

The University of Nebraska Medical Center is producing this conference to bring together academicians, researchers, clinicians, students, and policy makers to
promote sustainable and optimal primary care in rural and underserved communities by the effective utilization of team-based care including physician

Co-Sponsors include six Physician Assistant Education Programs from four states:

  • Des Moines University (contact Jolene Kelly, MPAS, PA-C)
  • Union College (Lincoln, NE, contact Michelle Buller, MMS, PA-C)
  • University of Iowa (contact David Asprey, MA, PhD)
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center (contact Michael Huckabee, PhD, PA-C)
  • University of South Dakota (contact Wade Nilson, MPAS, PA-C)
  • Wichita State University (contact Gina Brown, MPAS, PA-C)

Conference Objectives include:

  1. Explore current models of health care delivery that build and sustain a rural primary care PA workforce.
  2. Integrate the utilization of PAs in team-based rural primary care.
  3. Describe the health care outcomes (including cost implications) related to primary care practices that effectively utilize PAs.
  4. Develop strategies to resolve barriers to the full utilization of PAs in addressing rural primary health care shortages.
  5. Create opportunities to collaborate with other health care stakeholders to maximize effective PA utilization.

Conference Structure:

Wednesday, September 10: possible evening pre-conference with PA educators.
Thursday, September 11: full day of conference meetings and evening event.
Friday, September 12: full morning of conference meetings and adjournment in early afternoon.

Conference Topics:

  • Unique challenges of rural primary care
  • Quality improvement strategies in rural health care delivery
  • The maximal utilization of PAs in team-based care
  • Building and sustaining rural primary care using PAs
  • A federal perspective on key issues facing rural PAs


  • Andrew Morris-Singer, MD, President, Primary Care Progress
  • Alan Morgan, CEO, National Rural Health Association
  • Tom Tape, MD, Regent, American College of Physicians, Chair, ACP Health & Public Policy Committee
  • Thomas Morris, Associate Administrator for Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Mike Sitorius MD, Chair, UNMC Department of Family Medicine; Director, Primary Care Center for Education, Research and Healthcare Design
  • Ben Taylor, President, American Association of Family Practice PAs
  • Amy Drassen Ham, PhD, MPH, MA, Professor of Medical Anthropology, Wichita State University
  • Other national speakers still being confirmed

Follow this page for future announcements.

For questions or suggestions, please email Ms. Geri Finn

The conference is supported by a Physician Assistant Training in Primary Care Grant from the Bureau of Health Professions, HRSA,
Title VII, Section 747 (a), Public Health Service Act as amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).