AAPA Awards

AAPA Convention | Marriott Marquis | Atlanta, GA

When I was a kid, I wore thick glasses and read a lot of books.  Relatives would call me “little doctor.”  I guess it would have been a smarter career move, instead of this whole “artist / photographer / documentarian / lazy thinker” joyride that I’ve been on for awhile, but you know, it’s hard in any field.  Especially when you grew up, like most of us refugees, as sons and daughters of factory workers.  It’s especially tough when the fields we choose in “higher education” don’t necessarily like supplying mentors, people to show you the ropes on how the world really works.  Not too many educators or professionals will give you the keys to the kingdom, they seem lost in just sending people through the turnstiles.  Before I go off too long on my rant, let’s just say I gave up on medical school, in oh, probably the 4th grade. 🙂 Here’s a fellow who stuck it out though, new Lao brother to the “Team,” Phoumy Bounkeau, PA-C, PhD, who was in Atlanta receiving an award from the American Association of Physician Assistants for Humanitarian PA of the Year for his work in Laos.

From the Press Release:

ATLANTA — Phoumy Bobby Bounkeau, PA-C, PhD, of Seattle, Wash., received the American Academy of Physician Assistants 2010 Humanitarian PA of the Year Award at the organization’s 38th Annual Physician Assistant Conference in Atlanta yesterday. Bounkeau, of Lao and Thai descent, co-founded the CME training project, a program that provides funding for rural Lao health workers to travel from their villages to the large city of Luang Prabang to participate in much-needed continuing medical education.

“My roots are in Laos and Thailand, and I know all too well that, especially in rural areas, this part of the world is often underserved by modern health care,” said Bounkeau. “By extending a hand to those who have the desire to learn and serve, we broaden the reach of the best health care practices across the globe. I am honored that AAPA has chosen to recognize this important and necessary work.”

Bounkeau’s CME training project provides curriculum on patient history, physician assessment, emergency medicine, ultrasound technology, reproductive health and pediatrics, as well as medical leadership for hospital administrators and medical English for hospital workers. The program, which is funded in part by the PA Foundation, provides Lao health workers an opportunity to strengthen and update their clinical skills.

Bounkeau is a Distinguished AAPA Fellow, former president of the Washington State Academy of Physician Assistants and co-founder of AAPA’s Asian and Pacific Islander PA Caucus, and is currently employed by the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System. On weekends and evenings, Bounkeau volunteers at Seattle International Community Health Services providing culturally competent health care services to patients speaking Southeast Asian languages.

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