In this issue:
by Wanda Hancock,MHSA, PA-C
The NCAPA has been moving into 2016 with a bang. The PA networking social reception that took place on February 19 was full of area PAs and students, many of whom had never had the chance to visit the Stead Center before. The Recertification Exam Review Conference proved to be a huge success with great attendance and great speakers. Emily Adams joined our team on March 21 and really hit the ground running. Staff have been wonderful getting her oriented to the operations of NCAPA. Although Emily was not on board at the time, she was able to attend the social event and part of the conference to see how things work. I think we wowed her with the quality of the conference, attendees, and the smoothness of the registration process.
We do not have the specifics for the House of Delegates this year yet, but we understand that there will be a full slate of resolutions up for debate. In anticipation of the challenges, the Executive Committee and the delegates have taken a proactive stance in reaching out to our membership to obtain information about the issues we know will be addressed. One of the hottest topics will be the new recertification requirements being proposed by the NCCPA. (While an official response is being developed by NCAPA based on the input provided by our members through a recent survey, I strongly encourage each PA to write to the NCCPA concerning your views on the current and proposed guidelines.) Another resolution that is sure to be present (again) this year is the proposal to change our title from Physician Assistant to Physician Associate. This has been discussed the past 3 years and sounds like it will be on the agenda once more. And lastly, a healthy debate will likely occur on the topic of moving the terminal degree for the PA to that of a doctorate. While each of these topics have pros and cons, the delegates want to know what our members’ opinions are. Thank you to all of you who responded to the survey. We will provide a summary of the survey in the near future and certainly use the results to guide our decision making.
One of the first clinical skills PAs are taught is to triage our patients so that necessary treatment is received in a timely fashion. Through the years, I have found that applying this same type of approach to life has been useful in order to participate and have time for everything. I am asking that each of you consider adding NCAPA to your “life’s triage”. There are so many areas where your help is needed to make us even stronger. To keep us the best PA organization in the country, it takes all of us pitching in. We have phenomenal resources with regards to our staff, but they still need our support. During the next few months, we are planning increased advocacy, marketing, improved health for the PA, and working towards increasing our membership, in addition to all of the other support activities. If NCAPA is a part of your triage, you will be an active part of these initiatives to move us forward.
There are many ways to support our efforts and all I ask is that you try to fit a small part of your professional organization into your life. Technology has allowed this to be much easier than ever before and your input is so essential. Ask a colleague to join, sign up to serve on a committee, attend one of the regional networking events, attend Legislative Day at the Capital on June 15, develop a plan for PA Week in October, work locally toward celebrating the 50th anniversary next year, or come to the Summer Conference to learn and have fun. Regardless of your particular interest, NCAPA can use your talent or meet your needs. Please don’t let our profession be the patient that has a black toe tag during your triage.
Wanda Hancock, MHSA, PA-C
by Sarah Wolfe, Assistant Vice-President, McGuire Woods Consulting
Mark your calendars! Wednesday, June 15, 2016 will be a Legislative Advocacy Day for PAs. Everyone is welcome to attend!
As the people who are the boots on the ground, PAs advocating for the PA profession on the state level is extremely important. In this ever-changing health care environment, it is essential for PAs to educate the decision makers about what PAs do, as well as why fair reimbursement and the ability to practice to the fullest extent of our license is crucial.
On June 15, we will begin the day by receiving a crash course on lobbying from our government affairs consultant, Sarah Wolfe. She will give us all of the information we need in order to be successful advocates for the PA profession while we are down at the legislature. This advocacy day will allow NCAPA members to meet face-to-face with their legislators and the leadership of the health care committees in order to educate them about the high quality care that PAs provide in communities across North Carolina.
Continue to stay tuned for additional details on the 2016 legislative day. If you are interested in attending, or have any ideas, comments or questions, please contact Sarah Wolfe at email@example.com.
by Sarah Wolfe, Assistant Vice-President, McGuire Woods Consulting
On March 1, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), released their multi-year draft plan for reforming the state’s Medicaid program, as required by the Medicaid reform legislation passed last year. The legislation requires DHHS to transform the state’s current Medicaid program from fee-for-service to prepaid health plans (PHP), in order to provide more cost predictability for the state. Additionally, the program must be a patient-centered model- promoting community-based, comprehensive care management and integrating both behavioral health and physical health.
Specifically, the draft waiver application states that there are four demonstration initiatives:
- Creating Systems of Accountability for Outcomes
- Next generation PHPs in a hybrid model- commercial plans and provider-led entities
- Transformation of primary care medical homes (PCMHs) to person-center health communities (PCHCs)
- Progress toward integrated behavioral and physical health
- Long-term services and supports for Medicaid-only individuals
- Creating NC PCHCs & Connecting Children and Families in the Child Welfare System to Better Health
- PCHCs to participate in PHP provider networks
- Improve rural health access, outcomes and equity
- Enhancing outcomes for children and families in the child welfare system
- Supporting Provider through Engagement and Innovations
- Practice supports for quality improvement
- Creation of an Innovations Center for providers to learn and share best practices
- Require all Medicaid providers to connect to the Health Information Exchange network by February 2018
- Build a population health management tool that will combine both clinical and administrative claims data
- Strengthen the safety net through an “essential provider” designation that will secure a place for safety net and rural health community providers in the PHP networks
- Expansion of community residency and health workforce programs that focus on ambulatory and preventative care
- Ease the administrative burden for providers in PHP contracts through uniform credentialing and requirements for prompt payment
- Care Transformation through Payment Alignment
- Safety net hospital payments
- Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) initiatives
- Provider-directed value-based payment incentives
- Rural and public provider payments in order to strengthen the outpatient safety net providers
In order to change a state’s Medicaid program, a state must submit a waiver application to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). North Carolina is submitting a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver to CMS since it allows for broad changes in eligibility, benefits, cost sharing, and provider payments. These waivers are used to test and study new approaches to program design and administration. The Department will submit the Section 1115 waiver to CMS on June 1, 2016.
Currently, DHHS is seeking public comment from beneficiaries, providers, health plans, and any other person or group interested in Medicaid reform. The deadline for submitting public comments is April 18 and you may submit a public comment here.
Once the waiver application is submitted, it is expected that it will take 18-24 months to receive approval, and then state law requires the new plans to begin 18 months after approval. At the present time, DHHS expects that the new plans will begin at the earliest on July 1, 2019.
The following links will provide you with additional details on the draft Medicaid reform plan:
NCAPA is pleased to announce that our endorsed candidate, Gail Curtis, has been elected as President-Elect of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). Gail has been a practicing PA for over 30 years and a Past-President of NCAPA. She has also served as an AAPA board member and Vice-President, as well as Speaker of the HOD. We know Gail will be an excellent leader of the PA profession nationally as President-Elect and, ultimately, as President of AAPA. Thank you to all who voted in the election. And congratulations to Gail Curtis!
See the full AAPA election results here.
Embassy Suites, Kingston Plantation
August 21-26, 2016
Myrtle Beach, SC
It’s that time of year . . .every Summer, the NCAPA combines the best CME conference for PAs with a family-friendly beach vacation. We start our sessions early and end early so you can have the best of both worlds!
NCAPA has reserved a block of rooms at the Kingston Plantation in Myrtle Beach. Rooms in our block fill up very early, so we recommend you book your room ASAP!
Click here to reserve your room or call (843)449-0006 and use the group code AOP.
June 11 is the deadline to apply for 2016 NCAPA Endowment Scholarships. You must be a current student member of NCAPA and be beginning or enrolled in the first twelve months of your clinical year in a NC PA program by September of 2016.
To be considered, we must receive your completed application, done either online or by mail, and an official transcript from your PA program, postmarked by June 11, 2016. Official transcripts (no copies please) should be mailed to:
NCAPA, att. Kat Nicholas, 1121 Slater Road, Durham, NC 27703.
from Caitlin Heredia, PA-S, Gardner-Webb University
The vast majority of physician assistant students rely heavily on loans to carry them financially through their education, and I am no different. There truly are few scholarships available for PA students, so I was delighted to find that the NCAPA Endowment invests in students financially as well as professionally and educationally. I am fortunate to have been awarded a forgivable loan with a commitment to service in North Carolina that helps provide for part of my tuition and living expenses, but the NCAPA Endowment Student Grant has helped to further alleviate the ever-present burden of student loans that will require repayment starting in just a year. While I am incredibly grateful for the financial support that the NCAPA Endowment fund has afforded me, I am equally, if not more, thankful for the honor of knowing this group has faith in me as a future PA and to represent Gardner-Webb University’s physician assistant program in what I hope is a worthy manner.
In May 2016, I will complete my clinical year and graduate as a PA. After passing the PANCE, I plan to pursue a career as a PA-C in or around my new home, Gastonia, North Carolina. At this time, I have an open mind about the specialty I will pursue. I am leaning toward family medicine because I feel that building a strong foundation in primary care will make me a better PA, and I also enjoy the opportunity to build relationships with patients that this practice affords. I also have interests in endocrinology and women’s health, and look forward to seeing where I will begin my first job as a physician assistant.
To learn more and/or donate to the Endowment, please go here
from Ray Brown, PA-C, MAPA President
Dean Minton, Past-President of NCAPA (1990), passed away on March 23, 2016. As a small boy growing up in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, Dean wanted to be a preacher, a doctor, and a pilot when he grew up. He said he’d be a doctor during the week, fly his airplane on Saturdays, and preach on Sundays.
Dean graduated from North Wilkesboro High School and attended Mars Hill Junior College before earning a Bachelor of Arts at Wake Forest. He then went on to receive his Masters of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and became an ordained Baptist Minister. In 1961, he joined the US Air Force, serving as Chaplain, and retired 27 years later as a Lieutenant Colonel. Dean then began his 16-year second career as a Physician Assistant.
After retirement from the US Air Force, Dean attended the Wake Forest Bowman Gray Physician Assistant Program and graduated in 1983. He worked as a PA in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Bowman Gray, then as a Physician Assistant and Family Therapist for the Winston Center for Psychotherapy. Dean moved to Charlotte in 1988 where he was a Physician Assistant and Family Therapist with Mecklenburg Psychiatric Associates. In 1992, he went to work as a PA for Carolinas Medical Center Department of Psychiatry until he retired in 1999.
Dean had a passion to help others. He was a very active PA, advocating for patients and mentoring new PAs. His contributions while serving as a director and President of the NCAPA Board of Directors continue to help PAs in North Carolina today. He was instrumental in starting the Metrolina Association of Physician Assistants (MAPA) and setup MAPA’s first webpage. He served as President and on the board of MAPA as Secretary until he retired in 1999. Dean Minton was a PA who always cared for his patients and provided leadership to fellow PAs. He was instrumental to the growth of the PA profession in North Carolina. He will be missed.
from Sandy Pierce, PA-C, NCAPA Membership Committee Chair
I feel privileged to have worked as a PA in North Carolina since 1976. During that time I have been honored to serve with some remarkable people, all aiming for one goal of serving our communities by providing the best health care available to all. Many of those excellent providers and educators have been PAs – my peers.
I am positive that in your career you also have been touched or influenced by the efforts of a PA. This could have occurred while consulting with another PA as you were seeking the best medical solutions for a particular patient, or working together on a community health initiative or joining forces to produce an article, or completing a research project. It may have even occurred while you were receiving care or counseling from a PA. I hear many stories of the positive impact of PA’s during patient encounters that have encouraged folks to pursue this career.
Look around you! Is there a colleague, one of your peers, that has impacted your life or your practice style? Is there an individual PA in North Carolina that has quietly …or boisterously …gone the extra mile and served in a manner that symbolizes what being a PA is all about?
If so, please consider taking a few minutes to nominate that special person for the NCAPA PA of the Year.
For more information, including all of the criteria and the online nomination form, please visit the NCAPA website. The deadline for nominations is May 15th. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact Kat Nicholas, Director of Membership and Marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 919.479.1995.
by NCAPA Nominating Committee
The NCAPA Nominating Committee is soliciting candidates for open positions on the Board of Directors and Nominating Committee in 2017. Serving on the NCAPA Board is an important way to contribute to your profession and a wonderful leadership experience. North Carolina is often cited as a great state in which to practice as a PA. It got that way through the vision, leadership, and volunteer work of PAs just like you!
If you know a PA who cares deeply about the profession, who wants to contribute to the future of the profession, who is a good listener, collaborator, and decision maker—or if you are that person—please nominate her/him for a position on the NCAPA Board of Directors.
The following positions for elected offices are open for nominees: President-Elect, Vice-President, Secretary, Director-At-Large (two positions), and Nominating Committee Member. To read more about these positions and to nominate yourself or a colleague, click here. The deadline for nominating a colleague is May 31, 2016. The deadline for nominating yourself is August 1, 2016.
All terms begin January 1, 2017. Nominees for officer positions (President-Elect, Vice-President, and Secretary) must have been an NCAPA Fellow member in good standing for the calendar year prior to election. All other nominees must have been a Fellow or Associate member.
The NCAPA Endowment is currently seeking applicants for the Board of Trustees. The term is for three years and begins upon selection. Read about the Endowment here. If you are interested in applying for a position on the Board of Trustees, you can find the application form here.
Chris Barry, PA-C, is a NCAPA Director at Large. He was born in Connecticut, and lived there and Maryland briefly, until moving to North Carolina at the age of 7. Chris went to PA school at Emory University in Atlanta and graduated in 2000. He worked in the Atlanta area for 5 years after graduating PA school, before returning to the great state of NC. Chris currently lives in Morrisville and works in general pediatrics for Jeffers, Mann, & Artman Pediatrics, dividing his time between the practice’s Cary and Clayton offices.
What do you like best about being a PA?
I know it probably sounds cliché, but I truly love helping people. I enjoy interacting with my pediatric patients and their parents, and watching them grow as families. I enjoy being part of the healthcare team and helping find solutions to improve patient care and health outcomes. As PAs, we are trusted healthcare professionals, and we can make such a positive impact in our patients’ lives.
How did you get involved with NCAPA?
I had previously done a lot of volunteer work on the national level. Through the leadership positions I held with AAPA and the Society for PAs on Pediatrics, I got to know some of the past and present NCAPA leaders. These leaders encouraged me to become involved in the state level, and was honored to be elected to the NCAPA Board of Directors by the membership.
Why do you think it is important to be involved in NCAPA?
As a PA, I have always been involved in my profession, and I want to continue to be involved. I am a passionate supporter of our profession, and I want to ensure that North Carolina continues to be one of the best states for PAs to work. If a PA in NC has a question, concern, or comment, please email me at email@example.com (I check my email often!)
Any other personal information you would like to include, such as spouse, children, hobbies, etc.
I am married to a wonderful woman, Ashley Barry, and we have 2 incredible daughters, Jessica and Leah. Ashley works as a research scientist in a virology lab at Duke. In addition to being excellent students, my daughters are very involved in many forms of dance. My daughters and I are also involved in the Y Guides program (formerly known as Indian Princesses). In my free time, I enjoy barbecuing, photography, and the sport of curling. I began curling in early 2015, and I now am a proud member of the Triangle Curling Club. I encourage you to give curling a try sometime– we offer Learn To Curl classes throughout the year, and it’s a lot of fun!
from Alejandro Rendon, PA-S, Lenoir-Rhyne NCAPA Student Representative
The Lenoir-Rhyne University (LRU) Physician Assistant Program began its first semester in January 2016. LRU brought together a diverse faculty to lead the PA studies program: Dr. Richard Ball,Program Director; Professor Gerald Erickson, Director of Didactic Education; Professor Donna Murray, Clinical Director; Professor Wesley Reid, Academic Coordinator; Dr. Joshua Stone, Director of Medical Studies; and Mrs. Kelly Powell, Administrative Assistant. The faculty have done an amazing job selecting their inaugural class of students who have various cultural and professional backgrounds, including technicians, scribes, sports medicine, nursing, pharmacy and military.
The class of 2018 visited the Stead Center in Durham on April 1st to gain a better understanding of the history of the PA profession. The students were impressed by the military roots of the PA profession, and they are proud that Lenoir-Rhyne continues to honor the military tradition, as several faculty members and students have been able to enrich LRU’s PA studies with their previous military experience. Some of these military roots are displayed in two of our fellow classmates:
Rebecca Pastelak joined the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in December of 2009 and enlisted in the military at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. She began her military career in financing, but shortly after the events of September 11, 2001, Rebecca was deployed. After her tour in the Balkans, she became interested in aviation and enrolled at Fort Rucker where she learned how to fly a UH-60 Blackhawk. While flying Blackhawks, she met her husband who was also a Blackhawk pilot. Rebecca’s desire to serve remained even after retiring from the military, prompting her decision to matriculate into the Physician Assistant program at LR.
Jennifer Baker, an Aerospace Medical Technician in the Air Force Reserves, started her career in 1997 when she was stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, NC. She was a part of the Active Duty component, Air National Guard, during her 19 years of service and is now currently with the Air Force Reserves. Jennifer was deployed multiple times throughout her career and trained to the level of paramedic and independent duty medical technician. Following her experiences in the military, she decided to expand her scope of practice and further her education by matriculating into the P.A program.
(Jennifer and Rebecca in the Veteran’s Memorial Garden at the Stead Center)
Jennifer and Rebecca have stated that they are excited to be at Lenoir-Rhyne University pursuing a medical profession that is so rich with veterans.
Our first semester of classes, Gross Anatomy, Medical Science I, Professional Practice I, History and Physical Examination and Clinical Laboratory Science, is coming to an end. As an inaugural class we are looking forward to all the exciting memories that this journey will take us and we are anxious to help enrich and grow the Hickory and Catawba Valley Medical Community as physician assistant students.
The Campbell University PA Program will host its fourth annual Charity Golf Tournament on Saturday, June 4. The Captain’s Choice format tournament will have a shotgun start beginning at 9am at Keith Hills Country Club in Buies Creek. Registration fees are $80 per single player and $300 per foursome. All proceeds from the event will benefit Make-A-Wish Eastern North Carolina. Questions regarding registration and sponsorship opportunities should be directed to Christina Francis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Far West NC Physician Extender Associates (FWNCPEA) 3rd Annual Fall Conference will be on Saturday, October 8th from 8:00am to 4:00pm. The conference is FREE and includes continental breakfast and lunch. It will be held at the Balsam Mountain Inn, Balsam, NC. 6 hours of AAPA (approval pending) category 1 CME. Register at www.FWNCPEA.com.
The Piedmont Association of Physician Assistants (PAPA) will be holding their 2016 PAPA Fall Seminar on Saturday, October 15th from 7:30am-4:00pm. The free seminar is open to all PAs and NPs. Breakfast and lunch is included. 6 hours of AAPA (approval pending) category 1 CME. Find more information on the PAPA website.
from The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery
The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (JBJS), a leader in providing peer-reviewed scientific research for the orthopaedic community, is currently recruiting authors to submit articles and case studies for consideration to the editorial board of their new journal targeting PA and NPs, the Journal of Orthopedics for Physician Assistants (JOPA). The journal is free during 2016, as this is considered a “building year.” Future plans include offering a subscription of JOPA combined with the online journal JBJS Reviews, with CME features.
More information on submitting articles can be found here.
The Board of Podiatry Examiners submitted a regulatory proposal seeking to allow PAs to submit a letter certifying a medical illness or condition for a continuing education hardship waiver last Fall, 2015 (see the October 15th NC Register at page 900 ). That proposal has been unanimously approved (see page 1991) and became effective as of March 1, 2016.
Welcome to our renewing and our brand new members!
The following members have joined or renewed their membership since our last issue. Thank you all for your support of NCAPA and all PAs in North Carolina!
Kyle Bailey, Fairview
Susan Blumenthal, Cary
Sabrina Boyte, Morehead City
Andrea Brock, Mocksville
Valerie Buffaloe, Greenville
Christena Burell, Shelby
Misty Chastain, Lexington, SC
Virginia Christman, High Point
Christine Cybele, Winston Salem
Anna Deaton, Charlotte
Morrow Dowdle, Apex
Lori Elmore, Lincolnton
Constance Fair, Morehead City
Eric Fisher, Winchester, VA
T Fogarty, Gastonia
Sara Garcia, Charlotte
Sharyn Gates, Hillsborough
Parnian Ghassemi, Mt. Holly
Desek Gibson, Aberdeen
Kristin Giudice, Charlotte
Kevin Greene, Charlotte
Lewis Hall, Phenix City, AL
Jeffrey G. Harrison, Dudley
Stewart Harsant, Asheville
Diann Hedrick, Vale
Frances Hill-Bush, Irving, NY
Andrea Kelly, Charlotte
Ivona Kocon, Mountain Top, PA
Amy Kosich, Asheville
Clifford Kramer, Charlotte
Katherine Moretz, Asheville
Katherine Myers, Raleigh
Allyson Norwood, Charlotte
Chelsea O’Kane, Raleigh
Lori Pardue, New Bern
April Pope, Benson
John Rhodes, Roanoke, VA
Brian Robinson, Boone
Shervon Robinson, Charlotte
Sean Russell, Rolesville
Justin Sacripante, Raleigh
Melissa Scott, Apex
Tracy Scott, Greensboro
James Seal, Goldsboro,
Richard Sepka, Durham
Lindsay Shade, Charlotte
Robin Shaver, Salisbury
Matthew Smith, Charlotte
Amy Smith, Wilmington
Chad Snow, Charlotte
Kristin Stiller, Cary
Kathy Swartz, Raleigh
James Taylor, Fayetteville
Lauren Thomas, Morehead City
Brenda Thomas, Raleigh
Amy Thompson, Clemmons
Joel Thompson, Charlotte
Ashley Tipper, Cornelius
Lauren Urrea, Thurmond
Louis Velazquez, Ahoskie
Grace Wallenborn Harris, Asheville
William Wearmouth II, Hendersonville
Daniel Young, Senoia, GA