North Carolina PAs leading the way.
Marc Katz, PA-C, has been involved with NCAPA leadership for over 40 years. He grew up on Long Island, New York and attended the City University of New York, Queens Campus, graduating with a degree in Biology in 1976 (the same year NCAPA was incorporated).
With an interest in medicine, Marc began working as an EMT at a local hospital, running ambulances and working as an ER tech. During this time, he transitioned to becoming a paramedic, a role which was still in the early stages of development at that time. He shares that he “probably did as much in those days as (he) did when working as a PA in the ED.” From these experiences, Marc developed an interest in becoming a PA and attended a small federally funded program created to place PAs in North Carolina emergency departments. The program was headquartered at Catawba Valley Community College and affiliated with the Bowman Gray School of Medicine (currently Wake Forest University) and consisted of 10 students in each graduating class. Students used Self Instructional Tutorial (SIT) textbooks that were piloted at Bowman Gray. Marc attended the program with his identical twin brother, Jeff, and he also met and studied with his future wife, resulting in the Katz family making up 1/3 of the graduating class in 1979.
Marc knew nothing of NCAPA while in PA school. NCAPA had been established and incorporated in 1976, so it was still a young organization. A few months after graduation, Marc saw a notice of a meeting being held in Winston Salem. He wanted to learn more about his new profession, so he decided to attend, along with a handful of other PAs. During the meeting, a request was made for a new Secretary for the Academy, since the previous person in the role had left the state. Seeing as how everyone else at the meeting was already involved with NCAPA in one way or another, Marc joined and volunteered for the role of Secretary and has been actively involved with NCAPA leadership since that time. He has maintained his membership since 1980.
When Marc joined NCAPA, there were not many PAs active in the organization and even fewer from the Western part of North Carolina. The majority of PAs who were involved were in Academics. Marc “really enjoyed the legislative and regulatory aspects of PA practice and the move to change and update them,” resulting in a passion for Government Affairs from the start. After becoming Secretary in 1981, Marc also held the roles of Vice President in 1982 and President – three times! His first time as President of the Academy was in 1984, then again in 1993, with his final Presidency in 2015. But even when not filling roles on the NCAPA Board of Directors Executive Committee, Marc has been committed and engaged to leading the way for PA practice in North Carolina. He has been the Chair of numerous Board committees over the last 40 years, including:
- Peer Review Committee
- Bylaws Committee
- Reimbursement Committee
- Elections and Nominating Committee
- Legal Affairs Committee
- External Affairs Committee
- Professional Practice Committee
- Health Committee
- Government Affairs Committee.
Marc is currently the Chair of the Government Affairs committee and an active member of the Conference Management Panel, the Professional Development and Review Panel, and the Finance Committee. He was awarded the NCAPA PA of the Year Award in 2016.
Marc loves “taking care of patients, teaching PA students, and lecturing about the current state of PAs in North Carolina.” He also loves “being an advocate for the profession and the professionals (he) gets to engage with by being a PA leader.” Marc currently lives in Vale, North Carolina and has been employed by Carolina Ear, Nose, & Throat in Hickory for the past 21 years. He currently practices in otolaryngology, but spent his first six years as a PA working in OB/GYN, making him the only male PA in OB/GYN at that time. He has also practiced in the ED, State Psychiatric Hospital, and Family Practice.
For as long as Marc has been a PA and involved in advocating for PAs and PA practice in North Carolina, he is acutely aware of the “current apathy amongst the majority of PAs towards professional changes.” He feels that “PAs as a rule are complacent until things directly impact them. We are all busy with our careers, our families and our other passions. (But) if PAs don’t step up and become a bigger voice for their profession, it might be taken away from them.” He goes on to share that
“I have been very fortunate to have been involved with some monumental positive changes to PA practice in this state. I have worked with some phenomenal leaders (too many to list and I’m afraid I’d miss someone if I were to try and name each one). I also look back at the people I have helped mentor that have become great leaders and advocates for the profession. I look back at my professional life and smile because I know I’ve accomplished something and moved health care forward in this state that adopted me over 44 years ago. My hope is that each of you reading this can do the same.”