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Message from the Past President

Posted 5 months ago

Dear colleagues,

2020 has been a heck of a year, and we’re only halfway through!

I hope this message finds you safe and healthy. Uncertainty is the rule right now, not the exception, and I think we’re all getting a lot clearer about the things that really matter in life. I suppose if there’s a silver lining to all that we’re experiencing right now, that’s it. 

For the past two years, I’ve had the honor of serving as the President of the PAAV. And what a run it’s been! I’ve been privileged to work with a deeply committed and passionate Board of Directors. Together we accomplished much! 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”  Margaret Mead, cultural anthropologist


On July 1st, Governor Scott signed S.128, which overhauls PA practice legislation in Vermont. PAs are now recognized as the competent professionals we are, without the burdensome supervisory requirements and paperwork previously required. The changes won’t immediately impact most of us, and we will be updating the PAAV website with a section on how the new law impacts you soon. Stay tuned!

Read the AAPA news brief about this win for Vermont PAs.


First and foremost, the PAAV is here to serve YOU! We’re more than just an awesome ski conference:

We are your voice at the local, state, and national level.

  • We are your resource for PA practice information in Vermont.
  • We are advocates for the PA profession, ensuring that the PA perspective is included when decisions are made in Vermont and at the national level.
  • Moving forward, we are looking at new ways of offering value to our membership. What do you need? What would be helpful to you in your practice and professional development?


(L to R) Christine, a Sanders staffer, Dan Cole (past PAAV President), and Kristen Daniels (PAAV Member-at-Large) representing Vermont PAs in Washington, DC during a visit to The Hill in February 2019. We were lobbying the Vermont congressional delegation to support bills allowing PAs to order home health services and diabetic shoes.


The PAAV Board of Directors made the difficult decision to cancel our in person event at the Equinox in January 2021. Many of our confirmed faculty members withdrew due to pandemic travel uncertainty. Plus, it didn’t feel responsible to hold what’s typically an intimate gathering in such close quarters.

We are exploring opportunities for virtual events, and plan to return to an in person conference in 2022, conditions allowing.


I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Sarah at PAAV and at the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC). I’m not exaggerating when I say I don’t know a PA more passionate about--and dedicated to--the PA profession. 

Sarah has served as Vermont’s Chief Delegate to the AAPA House of Delegates for many years and is the current Chair of the Legislative Committee. Sarah was instrumental in the passage of S.128. She brings two decades of clinical and leadership experience to this role. Sarah practices clinically in Adult Primary Care in Essex, Vermont and is the Lead Primary Care APP at UVMMC. We are in very capable hands with Sarah at the helm! Her term began July 1st and will last for two years.

Vermont HOD Chief Delegate and current PAAV President Sarah Bushweller (L) and Christine O’Neill, Immediate Past President (R) representing Vermont PAs at the 2019 AAPA House of Delegates in 2016 in San Antonio, TX.

I’m not going far. As Immediate Past President I will continue to actively support the PAAV. That includes helping PAs understand: how the new PA practice law impacts them (website resources coming soon), that Administrative Rules still to be drafted for S.128 by the Board of Medical Practice are simple for PAs to comply with, and contributing content to our website and social media channels.

Speaking of which, please follow the PAAV on FaceBook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

Interested in getting involved? Send us a message here! 

Thank you for your support of the PAAV. We are your organization and your voice!




Christine O’Neill, MMSc, PA-C

Immediate Past President, PAAV