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The Urgent Care Association (UCA) is the premier resource for urgent care industry news, information and statistics.

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Celebrating PAs in Urgent Care – a message from Lori Japp, PA-C, UCA Board Member

Author: UCA Admin/Thursday, October 10, 2019/Categories: Industry News

As the first Advanced Practice Clinician on UCA’s board of directors, I am proud to represent the APC community and I join the nation in celebrating Physician Assistants during #PAweek October 6-12. I wanted to share a little of my journey into urgent care, as well as what motivated me to join the UCA board.

After graduating from Wichita State University, I began working full-time as a PA in urgent care and primary care in Colorado Springs. I immediately enjoyed working in urgent care, because there aren’t many other jobs out there where you have the ability to touch so many lives in a single day – not  just the lives of your patients, but the wonderful individuals that I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

In 2008 I decided to open my own urgent care center so I could provide an environment for patients where they knew that they were always treated with kindness, compassion, and respect. As founder and CEO, I managed day-to-day operations and provided clinical care to patients. Through love, sweat, and teamwork, one center became two, and two eventually became three. Then in 2016 we were acquired by UCHealth, a large healthcare system in Colorado, and I was asked to come on as their Vice President of urgent care.

UCHealth now operates 17 urgent care locations, and I spend anywhere from 2 to 3 days each week traveling to as many of our centers as possible to meet with staff and patients. I have the most incredible team surrounding me and am proud of everything we have accomplished. my responsibilities include providing guidance to a multitude of committees across UCHealth in areas such as quality data, safety measures, virtual health and patient experience.

The American Healthcare system is in a state of change, perhaps even tumult. Urgent care is uniquely positioned to become more central and emphasized as we all grapple with the changing landscape. I thought it was important for UCA to have a member of the APC community on its board of directors, as the urgent care staffing model heavily relies on the skills and efforts of PAs and NPs. 

As a representative of the APC community in both business governance and clinical operations, I knew that the UCA board could benefit from someone with my perspective. I offered unique insight into how to fund, grow and operate an urgent care, as well as the challenges that APCs in this industry face from the payer market to state regulations, as well as challenges faced within the clinic.

This week and every week, I am proud to recognize and celebrate the efforts of my fellow PAs. Happy PA week!



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