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Recognizing physician assistants

During National PA Week from Oct. 6-12, TeamHealth is especially thankful for the more than 2,300 TeamHealth physician assistants (PAs) who dedicate themselves to improving patient care every day. We recognize PAs like Nicole Maciejewski, PA-C, who are a vital part of our team.

As a student, Nicole did not expect to fall in love with emergency medicine. Today, it is her passion.

“The greatest reward of working in emergency medicine is helping individuals in need,” Nicole said. “I am grateful for the opportunities to give back to my community.”

She grew up in the Buffalo, New York area in Cheektowaga, where her parents still live, and she received her undergraduate degree and graduate degree from the nearby Daemen College in Amherst, New York. After she graduated with her master’s in physician assistant studies, she began working with TeamHealth in Buffalo.

Professional development

She now has eight years of clinical experience and was quickly recognized by her colleagues for her leadership skills.

Last year, Nicole became the Lead Advanced Practice Clinician (APC) for Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, a 175-bed facility in Lewiston, New York, that sees an average of 60 emergency department patients a day. She leads a team of 14 full-time APCs. She is also the Assistant Lead APC for Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, a 470-bed facility in Buffalo, New York.

In her new role as Lead APC, Nicole has championed patient throughput initiatives at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo utilizing principles from X32, which is a lean-based emergency department operations management solution. Through her leadership, the team has achieved marked improvement in metrics for low-acuity throughput including length of stay and decreased the number of patients who leave without treatment.

Most recently, Nicole was recognized as the TeamHealth 2020 APC of the Year.

“My goal has always been to lead with integrity to inspire and encourage those around me,” she said. “Leadership means being authentic and present while holding others accountable – guiding the team with empathy and compassion toward a path of greater success.”

As Lead APC, she continues to develop herself as a leader. “I have worked hard to prove I am a competent, young, female leader,” Nicole explained. “I study, listen to podcasts and take leadership courses. I’ve discovered that great leaders continue to refine, develop and build from their foundation.”

Nicole has found that TeamHealth shares her values for continued education. The company invests in learning and development to promote growth. Continuous improvement is a shared priority, and the development of APC training programs is collaborative.

She worked with the TeamHealth Patient Safety Organization to pilot Emergency Medicine Core Training. She reviewed 156 hours of material and provided feedback from an APC perspective.

Nicole also worked with the Northeast Group Orientation Program Development Team as a project lead for education and evaluation modules. She developed an educational platform and rubrics for newly hired APCs. The team evaluates their progress, rounds with them regularly and discusses areas of improvement and where they are excelling.

Collaborative environment

In addition to the orientation program, Nicole helped develop a mentoring program and clinical skills labs for new hires and students within the Catholic Health Emergency Departments.

“I enjoy assisting my team by building up colleagues and helping students meet their full potential,” Nicole said.

This year, as part of her role as APC of the Year, she is a member of the APC Council. The council advises leadership on best practices and engagement strategies for APCs. The TeamHealth National APC Council also sponsors advocacy initiatives to promote the advancement of APCs within the company and the healthcare industry.

“I appreciate having the opportunity to collaborate with other APC leaders to strengthen our profession,” she said.

Recognizing physician assistants during the pandemic

Teamwork is essential, especially during this past year. The COVID-19 health crisis has challenged our teams tremendously, but has also highlighted the versatility of our physician assistants.

“We’ve all faced countless new obstacles that we’ve worked tirelessly to overcome,” Nicole said. “We increased collaboration between each of the six Catholic Health sites where I work. We integrate improvement plans and promote professional growth within our sites and for individual clinicians. Our physician assistants are dependable, strong and truly dedicated to their careers. I’m honored to be a PA working alongside an amazingly talented group of people.”

Thank you, PAs

We recognize PAs for your valuable work and selfless dedication during this challenging time.