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Thursday, April 26, 2018   (0 Comments)
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We have one week before our bill’s extended deadline of May 4th EXPIRES! We urgently need PAs to contact the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse ASAP; please e-mail or call in and encourage them to report out H.3205/S.1085 favorably!

The legislation MAPA filed this legislative session, H.3205 and S.1085, An Act enabling physician assistants to authorize psychiatric and substance abuse holds, which would allow PAs to sign for Section 12 and Section 35 Holds,must be moved out of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse by its extended deadline – NEXT FRIDAY, May 4th! If action is not taken before this deadline, our bills will not move forward this session.

What to do:
CONTACT the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse via phone or by email. To make this quick and easy, use the template below for your communication.

By PHONE: (617) 722-2060

Chairwoman Denise Garlick

Chairwoman Cindy Friedman

Cc: (Committee staff)

What to Say:
“I am a (practicing PA, etc.) in the Commonwealth and am calling you in support of S.1085/H.3205, which is currently before the Mental Health Committee. This legislation is very important to me because _______ (i.e., I must wait for a physician or someone else to sign paperwork, thus delaying patient access to care, etc.).

I would ask that the Committee report this bill out favorably as soon as possible, ahead of the Deadline of May 4th, 2018”.

We know that many of you have contacted the Committee already, but we ask that you reach out to them again to emphasize why the proposed legislation is important to YOU, PAs practicing in the field.

General Background: 

Mass General Laws, Sections 12 and 35 of Ch. 123, permit the civil commitment of persons posing a risk of serious harm by reason of mental illness or chemical dependency. Under current law, a PA who believes that a patient requires hospitalization by reason of mental illness or chemical dependence must solicit the support of a qualifying medical provider to authorize an emergency hold or petition the courts. Physician Assistants are currently not listed as authorized medical providers to can authorize a civil commitment of a client in an emergency setting. These bills would rectify that oversight.

In addition, feel free to reach out to Sarah Christie, MAPA President, or to Charlotte Boghossian, one of MAPA’s government affairs consultants if you need guidance. You can reach Sarah at  and Charlotte at:

As always, thank you! Your advocacy will help ensure that PAs are able to continue practicing at the top of their license and that patients continue to receive the quality care they deserve.