North Carolina PAs leading the way.
Ryan Vann, PA-C, is the Chair of the NCAPA Finance Committee. He was born in Boonville, NC, in Yadkin County. Ryan attended UNC-Chapel Hill, graduating in 1998 with a degree in Biology and then again in 2003, with a degree in Clinical Lab Science. He began working as a clinical laboratory scientist in stem cell transplant and flow cytometry, which he really enjoyed. Yet, Ryan felt something was missing and realized he “wanted to have a more direct role in helping patients achieve the best care possible.” He decided to attend PA school at Duke University, graduating in 2007.
Ryan first became a member of NCAPA in 2005 as a student and was elected to become the NCAPA Student Representative to the Duke PA program. His interactions with several PA leaders during that time influenced his decision to maintain his membership and become more involved later as a Fellow member. Ryan has held a variety of leadership roles, serving as a Director-at-large and the NCAPA President in 2012, and serving as Treasurer from 2018 -2021. He has also Chaired the Nominating Committee and currently Chairs the Finance Committee, a role he has held since 2014. Ryan points to a variety of reasons for taking on these roles, including a desire to represent his fellow PAs, to influence the direction of the Academy, and to develop his own leadership skills. Ryan shares:
“It is the influence of other PA leaders that has most often given me the confidence to take on new challenges within the NCAPA. Many faculty and preceptors at Duke encouraged my involvement and curiosity as a student. The late former NCAPA President John Sallstrom asked me to consider running for President – and wouldn’t take “no” for an answer! While I served as president, I sought and received invaluable counsel from PA leaders and friends, including Alisha DeTroye, Marc Katz, Don Metzger, Audrey Tuttle, Elmira Powell and Bill Vaasen. When I ran for Treasurer, it was at the behest of founding member and long-time Board member Paul Hendrix. Access to and encouragement from each of these giants of the profession is one of the coolest features of the NCAPA from a leadership perspective – no matter what you want to do as a leader, someone else has probably already done something like it and can help you achieve those goals.”
Ryan believes that legislative and regulatory advocacy is the most important reason to maintain membership in NCAPA, an organization that is “THE voice for PAs in North Carolina.” He feels strongly that when NCAPA “speaks to regulatory agencies, such as the North Carolina Medical Board, or legislative bodies such as the General Assembly, it is important that our membership numbers include as many North Carolina PAs as possible.” Ryan hopes that PAs in North Carolina will be supported to practice “at the top of their licenses by legislative/regulatory bodies and by employers as well. Passage of our current Optimal Team Practice bill (SB 345 PA Team Based Practice) will go a long way towards this goal.” He is also hopeful for continued PA leadership and continued diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, stating that “it is essential for optimal care that the PA workforce more closely resembles the characteristics of our patients in terms of race, ethnicity, gender identity (or lack thereof), and sexuality.”
Ryan currently lives in Wallburg, in Davidson County, NC. He is employed by Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and practices in family medicine in Advance, NC, where he has practiced for nearly the entirety of his 15-year career. When asked what he loves most about being a PA, he shares:
“I love the ability to be a positive influence in the lives of my patients. As a PA in family practice, I also love that I generally see patients repeatedly over a number of years – this really allows me to get to know them and their lives, and I am continuously impressed at the really impressive and cool things that people have done with their educations, careers, hobbies, and interests. I also enjoy seeing multiple generations of the same family – there are very few specialties in medicine that consistently allow this, and I am always honored when that kind of trust is extended to me.”