Adventist Health Castle | Windward Health | Fall 2021

many of whom are housebound, do not have a primary care physician to provide routine assessments and preventative services, and make frequent—and costly—visits to the emergency room. Home care providers now have access to this team of advanced practitioners who can provide virtual or in-home assessments when patients aren’t doing well; help manage their patients’ care at home; or help patients find a primary care physician. Meeting patients where they are “Castle’s Advanced Practice Provider Care really opens new avenues for our community to access quality care. It’s an opportunity to meet our What is an advanced practiceprovider? Advanced practice providers make up a growing segment of medical professionals who are expanding access to healthcare and helping address the shortage of primary care physicians in Hawai‘i and across the United States. They include advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), a grouping of registered nurses who continued their education to earn either a Master of Science in Nursing or a Doctor of Nursing Practice and have been specially trained and certified in one of four APRN roles: certified nurse practitioner (NP-C), certified nurse midwife (CNM), certified nurse specialist (CNS) or certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). Physician assistants (PAs) are also advanced practice providers who have completed pre-med courses in college and, after being accepted into a PA program, complete intense training in a medical school setting with rotations in multiple medical specialties. As advanced practice providers, APRNs and PAs alike are qualified to carry out many of the functions of medical doctors, including diagnosing illnesses, developing and managing treatment plans for acute and chronic disorders, writing prescriptions and taking on the role as primary care providers (PCPs) in the absence of a patient’s own PCP. Generally, PAs practice under the supervision of a physician in a clinical setting, while APRNs are licensed to practice with more autonomy in a variety of settings. Regardless of the letters after their names, advanced practice providers are highly trained and licensed to provide safe and effective healthcare services. patients where they are, whether it’s on a computer screen, at home or on their patio,” Saavedra says. “At a time when healthcare providers everywhere are stretched, our growing team of APRNs enables us to respond more quickly to patient needs, with extended hours to better serve those with busy schedules.” As a leader whose 46-year healthcare career includes 17 years as a trauma ER nurse, Saavedra appreciates the enthusiasm the APRNs bring to the program that they helped design. “They are using their skills in new ways, and that’s very empowering for them.” WINDWARD HEALTH | 5