Charter Oak 2018
ConnAPA held its 31st Annual Charter Oak Conference March 25th through the 28th. The COC returned to the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa in Groton for the third consecutive year, where we welcomed over 220 PAs and PA students over the course of the conference. This year’s event featured a variety of speakers covering a wide range of topics, from primary care, surgery, emergency medicine, oncology and more. Each year we structure our presentations on the NCCPA blueprint, so PAs can use this opportunity to review topics for their PANRE.
We were fortunate to bring in many nationally recognized Physician and PA speakers with diverse backgrounds to broaden the discussion — something our membership has asked for. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive from the group of returning attendees and others joining us for the first time. In addition to our attendees from Connecticut we also welcomed professionals from across the Northeast including New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and even as far as North Carolina.
The Charter Oak Conference is also a great opportunity to gain membership. This year we were able to welcome 12 new members. We even had PAs from New York State joining our organization, complimenting ConnAPA on the conference and the legislative work we fight for throughout the year.
On Sunday evening we hosted a welcome reception for all attendees. The Marriott provided an elegant backdrop for a night of networking with colleagues. We also hosted a student poster presentation with several students from Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart and Yale University sharing their experiences from clinical rotations. The students also had the opportunity to network with their PA peers.
An exciting addition to this year’s conference was a full working DaVinci Robot. The robot was transported all the way from California to join us in Groton. Many attendees took advantage of hands-on practice with this device. DaVinci representatives educated attendees and students on the impressive technical advantages of these devices and how they are improving patient care on the front lines of medicine.
ConnAPA also welcomed our keynote speaker Dr. Jansen during our annual business luncheon. Dr. Jansen presented on the underground world of child sex trafficking. He spoke of the many useful tools available for PAs to identity high risk individuals and the proper care and resources available for them.
During the business luncheon ConnAPA President Deanna Zimkus shared a legislative update regarding our efforts at the Capitol over the past year. She also gave an update on what challenges PAs face and the work that will continue over the next several years.
There was also an Exhibit Hall with over 30 sponsors including large healthcare networks, pharmaceutical companies, branches of the military, and many more. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in exhibitor bingo, with over 15 prizes including Amazon Echos, Hotel Getaways, a 1-year ConnAPA membership, medical equipment, and much more.
The conference concluded with a panel discussion presented by the AAPA. The panel was comprised of past AAPA presidents and current board members. They presented on clinical cases focusing on the care of sexual minorities.
We are pleased with the positive feedback received from attendees, and we strive to work diligently on your behalf to provide the best, most relevant educational experiences. Stay tuned for upcoming learning opportunities, including our Fall CME Event on Friday, October 12 at the Wallingford Hilton Garden Inn. We also look forward to seeing you at the 2019 Charter Oak Conference next Spring.
Mark Turczak MHS, PA-C
Charter Oak Conference Co-Chairman