St. Catherine University announced today that Heather Bidinger, MMS, PA-C, has been elected president of the Minnesota Academy of Physician Assistants (MAPA). Bidinger is the founding director of the St. Kate’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies program and currently practices at Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Minneapolis.
With more than 700 members, MAPA promotes quality, cost effective, accessible healthcare, and supports the professional and personal development of physician assistants (PAs) in Minnesota.
Bidinger will be MAPA president-elect beginning July 1, 2018 and serve in a one-year term as president from 2019-2020. With 18 years of experience in academia and almost 20 years in clinical practice, Bidinger has spent much of her career advocating for the PA profession. She has worked on legislative efforts and testimony that propel clinical education and healthcare workforce needs. Her research on adult learning theory and clinical reasoning skills, as well as the evolving PA profession, motivated her to help develop an innovative Physician Assistant program at St. Kate’s in 2013 that addresses modern demands and expectations of PA graduates.
“I sought and accepted the MAPA president-elect position because of my desire to give back to an organization which has had robust influence on my work,” said Bidinger. “We don’t currently have a critical mass of MAPA members who can help identify and prioritize the key challenges and opportunities that impact PAs in education and training, clinical practice and throughout their careers. My mission as president will be to build a strong network of colleagues across the state who can collaborate on these important issues and help advance the profession.”
Bidinger was awarded Minnesota Physician Assistant of the Year by MAPA in 2013 for her exemplary service. She is also the recipient of a grant from the Physician Assistants Education Association that supported research in the areas of program innovation and integration, and strategies for preparing workforce-ready graduates. Her clinical practice areas have included rural and urban primary care, urgent care, emergency medicine and inpatient post-operative pediatric care.
St. Kate’s will host the 2018 conference of PAs for Global Health on June 1-2, 2018, a non-profit, grassroots organization working to meet the needs of PAs interested in working in medically under-served areas around the world. The lectures will focus on refugee health, ethics and logistics of global health, global oral health, female circumcision, mental health and trauma, research and sustainability, ultrasound, emergency care, and medical Spanish.