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Winter has been long, but the Sunlight is returning

Alaskan PAs understand how long, dark winters can challenge clinician morale and decrease wellness.  To boost the well-being of clinicians in Alaska and beyond, the Alaska Academy of PAs is hosting "Here Comes the Sun" Virtual Clinician Wellness Conference.  The event, taking place April 10-11, 2021, will highlight national wellness experts and researchers.  Attendees may try virtual yoga or meditation during a wellness break or attend optional workshops. 

This activity is designated for 9 AAPA Category 1 CME credits. PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation. 


Here Comes the Sun

Virtual Clinician Wellness Conference


Meet The Presenters

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Bettie Coplan, PhD, PA-C

Drawing on her previous well-being research and experiences as an AAPA Research Fellow and Burnout Task Force member, Dr. Coplan will share data on how burnout is manifesting among members of the greater healthcare workforce.

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Kari Bernard, PhD, PA-C

From the perspective of both an industrial psychologist and a PA, Dr. Bernard will explore burnout triggers unique to Advanced Practice Providers and outcomes of healthcare burnout, including clinician substance abuse, impairment, and suicide.


Eve Hoover, DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA

An expert in mindfulness and decentering, Dr. Hoover will explain the negativity bias common among healthcare workers, and how to overcome it with mindfulness, gratitude and self-compassion.

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Daytheon Sturges, MPAS, PA-C, CAHIMS, CHES

As an advocate for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in medicine and academia, Mr. Sturges will present on perceived burnout among underrepresented minorities in medicine and the role of Impostor Syndrome in clinician well-being.

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Tiffany W. Huitt, PhD

Expanding on her background in neurobiology and developmental science, Dr. Huitt wiill explain the science of stress and how this plays out in clinical settings.

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Harrison Reed, MMSc, PA-C

Award-winning writer and former acting Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Academy of PAs, Mr. Reed will draw out healthcare's interpersonal culture and the environmental factors affecting the healthcare workplace.

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Howard Straker, PA-C, EdD, MPH

As a leader in PA education, and an advocate for health equity and mindfulness, Dr. Straker and his co-presenter Dr. LeLacheur, will illustrate how systemic racism influences clinician well-being and guide clinicians in how to conduct effective conversations around this critical topic. - Susan LeLacheu

Susan LeLacheur, DrPH, PA-C

As a leader in PA education, clinical medicine, and bias research, Dr. LeLacheur and her co-presenter Dr. Straker, will illustrate how systemic racism influences clinician well-being and guide clinicians in how to conduct effective conversations around this critical topic.

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Tracey Wiese, APRN

Speaking as a Family Practice and Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Nurse Practitioner who has spent her career advocating for at risk youth and families, Dr. Wiese will frame adverse clinical experiences in theories of moral distress and secondary trauma.

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Lilly Zenor, MPAS, PA-C

As a trauma surgery and critical care PA, Ms. Zenor will share how the experience of burnout shaped her professional values and allowed her to reenter healthcare from a place of balance.

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Stephanie Neary, MPA,


An expert in balancing personal wellness with clinical acumen, Ms. Neary will outline the importance of vulnerability and clinician self-disclosure in the context of well-being and impairment.

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Heidi Brown, PA-C

As a psychiatric PA, entrepreneur, and well-being expert, Ms. Brown will outline her process for guiding burned out clinicians towards better alignment between personal values and professional commitments.

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Michelle McMoon, PA-C, PhD

Advanced practice leader and workforce policy expert Dr. McMoon will outline her work at Duke Regional Medical Center in areas of clinician wellness, both as an administrative leader and a member of the hospital wellness committee.

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Teri Pipe, PhD, RN

Dr. Pipe leads Arizona State University as its Chief Well-Being Officer.  Together with Dr. Gueci, she will guide clinicians through the process of readying a clinical setting for incorporation of a wellness program.

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Nika Gueci, EdD, MA

Dr. Gueci will draw on her experience as Executive Director of the Arizona State University's Center for Wellness in her discussion with co-presenter Dr. Pipe on the process of readying a clinical setting for incorporation of a wellness program.

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Becky Michalski, RN, BSN, C-IAYT

Ms. Michalski has integrated yoga therapy and a 15-year critical care nursing career to create a system of wellness that supports physical wellness and emphasizes balance.  She will lead mindful movement practices during breaks.

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Bhupin Butaney, PhD

Psychologist Dr. Butaney has treated clinicians struggling with mental health for many years, and will share how to recognize impairment among healthcare team members.

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Indigo Weller

Mr. Weller approaches wellness from the unique perspective of narrative writing.  Using practices in written self reflection, he teaches healthcare providers to process challenging experiences by being vulnerable on paper.


Conference Program

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April 10 (Alaska time zone)

8:00-9:35 am

Clinician Wellness Landscape


9:35-9:50 am

Wellness Break: Upper Extremity Health


9:50-11:20 am

Outcomes of Healthcare Burnout


11:20-11:35 am

Wellness Break: Spine Health


11:35 am -1:05 pm

System and Organization-level Contributors to Burnout


1:05-1:20 pm

Wellness Transition Routine

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April 11

(Alaska time zone)

8:00-10:05 am 

Back to the Basics – Individual Wellness Strategies

10:05-10:20 am

Wellness Break: Mindfulness


10:20-11:50 am

Key Considerations for Workplace Wellness


11:50 am -12:05 pm

Wellness Break: Self-Compassion


12:05-1:05 pm

Innovations Instituted at the Organizational Level


1:05-1:20 pm

Wellness Transition Routine

Optional Workshops
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Mindful Back Care for Healthcare Providers 

April 10, 2021

2-4 pm AKST 
(3-5 pm PST/6-8 pm EST) 

Discuss common postural misalignments related to the healthcare workplace and explore how mindful movement, breathing, and relaxation practices can realign posture and ease chronic tension. 



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Become a Well-being Advocate: Leverage Teamwork to Enhance Job Satisfaction

April 10 or 11, 2021

2-3:30 pm AKST 
(3-4:30 pm PST/6-7:30 pm EST) 

Do you or your healthcare team members need better job satisfaction or work-life balance?  Become a clinician wellness champion at your clinic or in your team.  Learn how to engage your clinical team in simple practices that can dramatically improve wellness.  



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Burnout Detour: Develop a Personal Roadmap Back to Career Satisfaction

April 10 or 11, 2021

2-4 pm AKST 
(3-5 pm PST/6-8 pm EST) 

Develop a self-care plan and roadmap to getting what you want out of your career and out of life. This will be guided by burnout coach and expert with active group participation.