NASS On Spine

August 02, 2016

Q&A With Rachel Cengia, PA

1. What is your hometown and where do you currently live?

My hometown is St. Marys, Ohio, a small town in the northwest portion of the state. I have lived in the greater Denver, Colorado area for the last six years.

2. What is your educational background?

I did my undergraduate degree in athletic training at Ohio State University and attended PA school at the University of Toledo. Athletic training provided me with an excellent background to go into ortho spine.

3. Tell us a little bit about your practice/specialty.

I work at a private orthopedic practice in north Denver and work full time for one of the orthopedic spine surgeons. Our practice also has general orthopedics and physiatry and continues to grow.

4. How long have you been a NASS member and why did you join?

I have been a member of NASS for five years. I joined to become more involved in the spine community and better myself as a (at the time) new spine PA.

5. What do you think is the most pressing issue or issues in spine care today?

One of the more pressing issues in health care in general is health care coverage and reimbursement. The ability to provide the best treatment option for a patient is often too limited by issues outside of clinician expertise.

6. What has your experience been like on NASS’ Patient Education Committee? What have you liked most about it?

I have enjoyed being on the patient education committee. As a PA, one of my jobs is to be a patient advocate, as well as to better explain to patients their pathology and/or treatment plan. The committee helps provide understandable, reliable info to the public and I enjoy being able to contribute to this.

7. Do you think it’s important to get involved with health care advocacy/political issues? If yes, what has your experience been with this?

Yes, I do believe it is important to become involved, as sometimes those practicing clinically, day-to-day medicine can provide a perspective and insight that may otherwise be overlooked. As I become more established in my patient care, I look forward to the opportunity to become more involved in this aspect of health care.

8. Why should members attend NASS meetings?

NASS meetings provide the opportunity to stay up to date on current issues in spine, from patient safety to emerging technologies to current political health care trends. These meetings are also a fantastic chance to network with colleagues and find new ways to become involved.

9. What is your opinion of the way the health care industry is currently covered in the media?

I believe health care issues are often reflected on and reported from a single point of view. Sometimes there are multiple angles that are not always portrayed.

10. What do you do for relaxation in your down time (example: hobbies, sports, travel)?

I am an avid hiker and also enjoy skiing, biking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
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