Stephen C. Crane, Ph.D., MPH, served as the fifth Executive Vice President of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (1993-2007). Born in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1946, he graduated from Princeton (B.A., politics, 1969) and the University of Michigan, School of Public Health (M.P.H., 1973 and Ph.D., Public Health Administration [health economics/policy analysis], 1981).
Dr. Crane’s early career centered on health policy research with the National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare; University of Michigan School of Public Health (1973- 1983); Boston University School Public Health (1984-1990); Association for Health Services Research and Foundation for Health Services Research (1990-1993).
During his 14 year tenure at the AAPA, the PA profession grew from 25,000 to 75,000 graduate PAs. Accredited PA educational programs expanded from 57 to 136. AAPA membership increased from 23,000 to 40,000. Working tirelessly with AAPA leaders and national office staff, Dr. Crane oversaw these accomplishments:
PA Legislation, Practice Privileges
– Acknowledging, registering and hiring PAs by US federal government agencies — Drug Enforcement Administration (1993), State Department (1995), Postal Service (1996)
– Recognizing PAs by Medicare as reimbursed providers in all settings, at a uniform rate (1997) – Creating the PA Advisor position in the Veterans Health Administration (2000)
– Attaining PA practice legislation in Mississippi (2000) resulting in PA practice in all 50 U.S. states; and PA prescribing legislation in Ohio (2006) and Indiana (2007) resulting in PA prescribing privileges in all 50 states, DC and Guam; obtaining PA practice legislation in the U.S. Virgin Islands (2005)
– Including PAs in AMA’s CPT code publications to eliminate reimbursement claim denials (2001)
– Including AAPA as a member of the Joint Commission’s(spell out full name of the Commission) Standards Oversight Committee (2001)
– Establishing AAPA policy on guidelines for PAs practicing internationally (2001)
Medical Liaison Relationships
– Forming official liaison relationships with the AMA (1993), American Academy of Family Physicians (1996), American Academy of Pediatrics (1997)
– Establishing AAPA’s website — www.aapa.org (1996) – Conducting national public relations programs and research studies (1998 — 2007)
Education and Core Competencies
– Initiating PA Core Competency Projects (1996-1998) and completing the definition of PA competencies (2004)
– Monitoring the development of PA educational programs in England (2003, 2005), the Netherlands (2004) and Scotland (2006)
PA History Preservation
– Establishing the Archives Project with the National Library of Medicine (1997); the oral history project of PA founders (1998); the PA History Office at Duke University (2001)
– Incorporating The Society for the Preservation of Physician Assistant History
Upon his departure in 2007, the AAPA House of Delegates named Dr. Crane an honorary PA.
In 2007, Dr. Crane was appointed the Executive Director of The American Thoracic Society, a New York based medical and scientific society, which focuses on improving care for pulmonary diseases, critical illnesses and sleep-related breathing disorders.
His honors include an honorary degree from Western University of Health Sciences; Fellow, Association for Health Services Research; the John H. Romani Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Michigan School of Public Health; and Honorary Fellow, Michigan Academy of Physician Assistants.
In his limited free time he participates in the New York Society of Association Executives (Chair, 2013-2014) and enjoys sailing, photography and spending time with his family.
Acknowledgments: This biography was written by Marilyn H. Fitzgerald, Honorary PA, and was submitted to the Society in August, 2015.