The 2015 Charter Oak Conference
The annual Charter Oak Conference was held this past April 12-16 in Newport, Rhode Island. It was the 28th edition of the conference and according to conference goers, more than lived up to the annual expectation of excellence.
This year’s conference was planned in collaboration with the Rhode Island Academy of Physician Assistants. They played an important role in helping to secure speakers, which worked out very well as it offered some new life and variety to the conference. Rhode Island Academy members were welcomed as if they were ConnAPA members. The Newport Hyatt was a beautiful location and they treated our group with the best of service and attention. The week afforded the conference beautiful weather which made for ample opportunity to explore downtown Newport and all of it’s offerings.
The Charter Oak Conference made some changes this year to experiment with offering the attendees the most beneficial experience, and in turn allowed the awarding of 33 hours of CME in only three and a half days. Of those 33 available hours, 3 of which were categorized as Self-Assessment CME to help attendees meet the new NCCPA requirements for recertification. The Self-Assessment offering was a resounding success and very well-received by those participants. The three offered sessions were interactive and interesting, and the only critique was that more of these types of sessions were wanted! Additionally the workshop scheduling was changed this year to allow attendees to attend two workshops if desired. The workshops were interesting and enjoyed by all attended. The topics included Casting and Splinting, Ultrasound, Concussions, and Wound Care. The other change was ending the last day around lunch time so that everyone can get out, enjoy the location a little more before heading home. Traditionally the last sessions of the conference are the least attended, but this year’s end of conference attendance held strong.
Our keynote speaker this year was Michael Powe, AAPA Vice President, Reimbursement and Professional Advocacy. He gave an inspiring talk on PA leadership and how important it is that we continue to advance. He advocates that we take on management positions so that we can take charge of our future as a profession.
Two different social events were offered this year. The first was the annual Welcome Reception which featured a relaxed atmosphere to mingle with one another and catch up with old friends, view and speak with a dozen of Connecticut’s PA students who were presenting scientific posters, and speak with our exhibitors and sponsors who joined us for the reception. There was a delicious assortment of food and it was enjoyed by all. The second social offering was held at Busker’s Irish Pub in Downtown Newport. The Pub was a great host and kept the food coming. Approximately 50 conference attendees joined us and the evening lasted a couple hours longer than expected as a good size gathering of people just did not want the fun to end!
The location for the next Charter Oak Conference is currently in the final stages of negotiation, so look for details of that soon on www.ConnAPA.org. We plan to continue to adapt our conference to meet the changing recertification needs of our members, as well as continue to highlight the expertise and knowledge of our members by continuing to increase our number of PA speakers. Keep an eye out for further details on how you can begin to submit your topics that you would like to present at future conference via our website. We are always looking for ideas and comments, so feel free to contact ConnAPA at anytime with your thoughts!