Visits to the Stead Center are by appointment only. Please call the NCAPA office for more information. Read More »

Visits to the Stead Center are by appointment only. Please call the NCAPA office for more information. Read More »

The Pulse | December 2016

In this issue:
President’s Letter


DHHS Provides Update on Medicaid Reform


2016 is Almost Over – Activate Your 2017 Membership Today!


Registration is Open! 31st Annual NCAPA Recertification Exam Review Conference


2017 NCAPA Job Fair


2016 Recipient of the Joyce Nichols Community Service Grant


NCAPA Endowment Student Scholarship: Methodist


Save the Date – NCAPA’s Winter Social!


41st Annual NCAPA Summer Conference Room Block is Open!


NCAPA Endowment Seeking Applicants for Board of Trustees


NCAPA CME Survey Coming in January


Comprehensive Online Review for the PANCE/PANRE


Welcome Members!


 Wanda Hancock

President’s Message

 by Wanda Hancock,MHSA, PA-C

What an exciting time to be President of NCAPA!  I truly want to thank you, the membership, for giving me this opportunity. It is amazing how far we have come as a profession in the past 50 years.  This would not have happened without the dedicated PAs before me, who have licked the stamps, typed out reports, crunched numbers, and kept the eye on the prize.  My job this year has been so easy with our dedicated staff, and all of the bright innovative ideas about how to reach new heights and goals.  I believe that we have moved to the next level of growth and sophistication while we continue to look ahead.

None of our successes come without struggle.  Currently, we are working with the DMV to correct the interpretation of the regulation for providing patients with a handicapped permit. NCAPA is constantly watching and staying attuned to new laws and regulations so that we can be at the forefront of these types of issues. But we need active and daily involvement in our communities and our organization. In 2017, we will be sending five representatives to AAPA’s Leadership and Advocacy Summit. We will also be holding another PA Day at the Legislature in April. We will have a presence. Thankfully, we have a wonderful advocacy team but they need each of us, all of you, to report what the issues are or how we can improve access to care. The lines are open and collaboration is key to setting a better work environment for us all.

CME and recertification are other issues near and dear to our hearts.  Online CME will become a reality this year.  We have the staff, consultants, and infrastructure in place to begin developing this important tool for our continued education. We are also working with AAPA to arrive at a mutually beneficial solution to PA recertification issues. This will likely be a reoccurring problem that will require our active involvement.  So, keep your radar on, and give us feedback on a regular basis.

Over the coming year, we will ask for your input and participation in surveys.  Please do not overlook your responsibility to help us move forward.  We can only guide NCAPA if we have our finger on your pulse.  No one has all of the answers, so we depend on our membership for advice and guidance.  Please offer this freely.  It only takes a minute to contribute to the success of our next 50 years. Our staff has arrived to the point of being able to get out of the trenches and plan our next chapter, but our membership is our greatest asset to reaching our goals. We have the resources, but we need the engagement, interest, and ideas of you, the PAs of the next 50 years.

We have started planning our program events for the year-long celebration of a half century of patient care, excellence, and commitment under the guidance of your incoming President, Truett Smith.  He has a robust year planned for 2017 to include celebration of our past and setting the stage for our future.  Advocacy will remain at the top of the list.

During this season of giving, I urge you to consider honoring our past with support for the PA History Society as they work toward funding the Veterans Memorial gardens at the Stead Center. Prepare our future by making a contribution to the NCAPA Endowment to increase our support to students who are struggling to complete school.  I am a firm believer in the philosophy that what you give returns ten-fold. This has held true for me in all of my 40 years of professional, personal, and spiritual growth. We have so much to offer.  I know that you have given me an honor this past year that I will always treasure.  For that I am thankful and know that next year will be in strong and capable hands.

Thank you,

Wanda Hancock, MHSA, PA-C


DHHS Provides Update on Medicaid Reform

by Sarah Wolfe, Assistant Vice-President, McGuire Woods Consulting 

On November 29, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Rick Brajer provided an update to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Medicaid and NC Health Choice on the status of the state’s Medicaid reform plan, enacted by the legislature in 2015. The plan, which aims to move the program from fee-for-service to managed care, must be approved by the federal government before it can be implemented by the state.

The federal approval process was essentially put on hold during the election season, in order to see who the next president would be and how that could impact the state’s reform plan. With the presidential election now in the past, DHHS officials have been looking into President-elect Donald Trump’s transition plan and what the implications of that plan could be for North Carolina. Secretary Brajer stated during his presentation to the oversight committee that President-elect Trump’s transition plan includes the intention to “maximize flexibility for states in administering Medicaid, to enable states to experiment with innovative methods to deliver healthcare to our low-income citizens.”

Continuing the conversation, DHHS Deputy Secretary Dave Richard stated that while it was all just speculation at this point, it seems that the state may be able to move quicker on getting the reform plan approved by the federal government under President-elect Trump, due to his goal to allow states to be more flexible.

Lawmakers and DHHS officials also deliberated during the oversight meeting Trump’s campaign talking points about transforming Medicaid into a block grant program and how that would fit into North Carolina’s reform plan. Lawmakers and DHHS officials discussed that there would be more flexibility to carry out the program on the state level by receiving a lump sum of federal Medicaid money to manage the program, rather than expanding or contracting federal spending based on the use of services by individuals. They cautioned, however, that they will need to keep an eye on this, as it could mean that the state is picking up more of the bill for the Medicaid program than it does currently.

Secretary Brajer summed up the potential implications of the Trump administration on the state’s Medicaid reform plan with the following points:

  • “There is some risk to expansion match rate and certain funding innovations, until more clarity emerges on the direction of changes;
  • If stringent per-capita caps are introduced, states will need to manage within them, and thus will need to review and potentially update relationships and incentive models with both MCOs and providers;
  • Because exact policy details are currently unclear, it will be important for all stakeholders to monitor appointments at HHS and CMS, and to keep alert for indications of how the new Congress views Medicaid reform.”



2016 is Almost Over – Activate Your 2017 Membership Today!

2017 Membership slider_TAKE2

NCAPA is the only organization devoted exclusively to promoting and representing all PAs in North Carolina, and we work hard to make sure the public and our legislators fully understand the value of PAs. We strive to offer the best CME there is through our annual conferences, workshops, and soon-to-be online educational offerings.  And we work to keep you connected with your fellow PAs so that you can take full advantage of the support and guidance your colleagues have to offer.

Our profession is stronger when PAs work together toward shared goals of quality service and optimal health care. Make sure your voice is heard when important issues arise affecting your profession.


Registration is Open!
31st Annual NCAPA Recertification Exam Review Conference

Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center
February 18-21, 2017
Durham, NC

button All registrations received and paid for by December 31st are eligible to win an iPad! The drawing will take place on Tuesday, January 3rd and the winner will be announced on NCAPA’s Facebook page.

Join us for the 31st Annual NCAPA Recertification Exam Review Conference.  The conference agenda is based on the NCCPA PANRE exam blueprint and will be geared 100% toward a basic review of all organ systems.  Whether or not you need to take the PANRE, this conference is an excellent review for any health care provider.

The full agenda with speakers is now available here!

This program has been reviewed and is approved for 31 AAPA Category 1 CME credits by the PA Review Panel.  The optional workshops carry additional Category 1 CME credits.  PAs should claim only those credits actually spent participating in the CME activity.

Credits awarded by the AAPA are accepted by the ANCC Certification Program and the AANP as Continuing Education (CE) credits for nurses and nurse practitioners.

AAPA Category 1 CME logo

The Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center has reserved a block of rooms for NCAPA conference attendees.  Conference rates are available for all reservations booked for the conference before January 20, 2017, or while availability lasts. For hotel reservations, click here or call (919) 941-5050.


2017 NCAPA Job Fair

NCAPA is hosting its first ever Job Fair on February 17, 2017 from 1:00 – 6:00pm at the Shearton Imperial Hotel in Durham. This is the Friday prior to our Recertification Exam Review Conference that begins the following day, on Saturday, February 18th.

Registration is now open for job seekers. And it’s free! Polish your resume and practice those interview skills. Start the New Year with a new job!

Employer Recruitment:
We are now recruiting employers looking to hire highly qualified PAs in North Carolina. If you are an employer and are interested in having a booth, you can find registration forms and more information on our website. We are offering special reduced rates for public health and government employers.

Please register and spread the word!


2016 Recipient of the Joyce Nichols Community Service Grant

by Sue Reich, PA-C, MPAs

The 2016 recipient of the Joyce Nichols Community Service Grant is the High Country Community Health (HCCH) Center in the western mountains of NC.  PA Ruth Dotson applied for the annual $2000 award on behalf of the center, requesting funds that will be earmarked for uninsured and low-income patients with hepatitis C to obtain the labs they need for pre-treatment evaluation.

High Country Community Health (HCCH) is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHS) with two clinics operating in Watauga and Avery counties with outreach to under-served populations in northwestern NC. HCCH provides medical, behavioral and dental health care regardless of patients’ ability to pay. In 2015, HCCH provided care to just over 4,000 medical patients; 37% of those patients were at or below 100% of poverty and 26% were uninsured. HCCH’s presence in western North Carolina is paramount given the high prevalence and incidence of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV).

An estimated minimum of 110,000 individuals are living with chronic HCV in NC, and Western North Carolina is the highest at-risk area for acute HCV, according to a study completed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) with support from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.  Avery county is one of the 11 identified most vulnerable counties in North Carolina. There is only one gastroenterologist in the three county areas of Avery, Watauga and Ashe.

Newer Hepatitis C treatments offer cure rates of over 90%.  However there are many barriers to treatment, including ongoing illicit drug and alcohol use, patient noncompliance, insurance requirements, and the cost of pre-treatment labs, radiology and treatment medications.  At HCCH, approximately 26% of patients are uninsured and self-pay.  It is the goal of the HCCH program, with assistance from the Joyce Nichols Community Service Grant, to help reduce access to care barriers by removing the cost burden through provision of financial aid to uninsured qualified persons to assist with the cost of pre-treatment labs and radiology.

Ms. Ruth Dotson came to HCCH in June, 2015 with the goal of establishing a chronic HCV clinic aimed at identifying and treating underserved patients with the disease.  With previous experience in gastroenterology and treating HCV patients, she desired to fill a gap of providing services to patients who are underserved and otherwise unable to receive care and possible treatment.  She has been proactive in obtaining previous support from the PA Foundation via an IMPACT grant and from Gilead Pharmaceuticals to further expand and implement the in house and community screening programs. The NCAPA Endowment’s Joyce Nichols Community Service Grant will further assist Ms. Dotson and her colleagues in continuing this worthwhile project.  As Ms. Dotson said, in her appreciation message to the Endowment, “It will truly make a difference in the lives of others!

Congratulations to Ms. Ruth Dotson and the High Country Community Health center for their excellent work and advocacy for patients who are in dire need of life-saving health services.

If you would like to make a donation to the NCAPA Endowment to help support causes such as the Joyce Nichols Community Service Grant, please visit our website.


NCAPA Endowment Student Scholarship: Methodist Recipient

by Sue Reich, PA-C, MPAs

The NCAPA Endowment awarded its 2016 scholarship for a Methodist University PA student to Jacob McDougall. Jacob hails from Massachusetts, but attended undergraduate school in Utah. Now getting close to graduating from PA school this December, he has plans to stay right here in North Carolina to practice medicine.  Jacob is a serious student, with a willingness to serve his program’s student government, particularly in fundraising projects. Outside of school, he volunteers at Fayetteville Urban Ministries helping illiterate adults learn how to read and write and disadvantaged children there with homework and staying physically active.  While he is undecided regarding an intended scope of practice, Jacob’s long term goals include incorporating his clinical and organizational skills into charitable work. How fortunate that he is interested in settling here and benefiting the citizens of NC. Congratulations to Jacob for all of his hard work!


Director of Methodist University’s PA Program, Christina Beard, MPAS, PA-C, and Jacob McDougall
The NCAPA Endowment awards annual scholarship grants to a second year student from each of the North Carolina PA programs. Please consider making a contribution to support those who are the future of our profession. Thank you to all who have generously donated through the years.


Save the Date – NCAPA’s Winter Social!

Join us as for networking with fellow PAs and PA students while enjoying appetizers, wine, and beer. A way to kick off the PA profession’s 50th Year! Our first social event of 2017 will be held on on Friday, February 17th from 6-9pm at the Stead Center, 1121 Slater Road, in Durham, NC. So save the date! We will begin asking for RSVPs in the next issue of The Pulse.


41st Annual NCAPA Summer Conference Room Block is Open!

Thinking about attending our 2017 Summer Conference? The conference will be held at the Embassy Suites, Kingston Plantation in Myrtle Beach, SC, from August 20-25, 2017. Yes, that’s about nine months away, but now is the time to book your room! NCAPA has reserved a block of rooms at the Kingston Plantation, but rooms in our block tend to fill up very quickly, so we recommend you book your room ASAP!  You may reserve your room by clicking here or call the resort directly at (843)449-0006 and use the group code NCA.


NCAPA Endowment Seeking Applicants for Board of Trustees

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.


NCAPA CME Survey Coming in January

Please be on the lookout for a survey that will be emailed in early January.  This survey will be specifically targeted to your CME preferences and NCAPA will use it to determine our future CME offerings.  Thank you in advance for participating in the survey.


Comprehensive Online Review for the PANCE/PANRE

from Exam Master


*Exam Master’s PANCE/PANRE resources are the leading resource for more efficient study, with content outlined into concise topics and subjects. All questions have an excellent representation of topics/subjects in the actual exam. Our extensive question banks feature the leading, most significant questions for a more focused study and improved board preparation experience.

Key Features:

  • Over 3000 questions covering the PANCE/PANRE exam blueprint organized by topic, subject and categories
  • Quickly assess your strengths and weaknesses with personalized, detailed score reports
  • Detailed explanations provide thorough coverage of learning concepts
  • Available in test, study and review modes for flexible learning
  • Create notes, flash cards and mark questions for deeper study and retention

Special discounted access available through NCAPA, only $95 for a 3-month subscription!

To purchase, visit the NCAPA online store or call 919-479-1995.

*Exam Master® has no affiliation with National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) or Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)


Welcome Members!

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!

Patricia Aboagye-Kumi, Fayetteville
Julia Alexander, Charlotte
Shelda Amilcka, Charlotte
Amy Arruda, Raleigh
Roger Austin, Hudson
Lucy Barden, Greensboro
Christopher Barry, Morrisville
Greg Barton, Pfafftown
Barbara Beck, Greensboro
Robert Bednar, Colfax
Thakurdeo Bhiro, Laurel Hill
Dixie Bhiro, Laurel Hill
Elizabeth Blankenship, Lewisville
Lauren Bleja, Huntersville
Olivia Blue, Pleasant Garden
Katherine Bogart, Apex
Lisa Boyd, Belmont
Sara Branch, Raleigh
Kellie Bunn, Raleigh
Sarah Busbin, Fayetteville
Corina Buzard, Wilson
Kaisha Byers, Charlotte
Jessica Cain, Winston-Salem
Heidi Campbell, Pinnacle
Susan Capps, Gastonia
Courtney Capstack, Durham
Frank Caruso, Clemmons
Michael Cevasco, Mocksville
Windy Christy, Lumberton
Anthony Clare, Wilmington
Saige Clark, Raleigh
Tracey Cloninger, Raleigh
Jason Coggins, Garner
Glen Combs, Winston Salem
David Coniglio, Southern Pines
Thomas Coppley, Lexington
Valerie Cumbea, Cary
Caroline Dana, Charlotte
Juana Diaz Perez, Hendersonville
Patricia Dieter, Durham
Ruth Dotson, Boone
Kelly Durham, Swansboro
Dave DuVernois, Mint Hill
Eric Dyer, Leland
Audrey Eaves, Greenville
Jennifer Erickson, Hillsborough
Constance Fair , Morehead City
Stephen Fairchild, Goldsboro
Kathleen Ferrell, Raleigh
Jason Ferris, Mount Airy
Karen Fetzko, Charlotte
Kathryn Finch, Wilmington
Courtney Fletcher, Cary
Jessica Fowler, Indian Trail
Elaine Fox, Greensboro
Scott Foxworth, Hope Mills
Sarah Franco, Greenville, SC
Kirsten Frostad, Wilmington
Jeremy Gaines, Waxhaw
Linda Gale, Nebo
Shelly Garcia, Holly Springs
Laura Gerstner, Holly Springs
Lynn Gilbert, Boone
Alexandra Godfrey, Lewisville
Lee Gray, Greensboro
Frances (Yvonne) Greenlee, Kernersville
Samuel Grossinger, Durham
M. Peter Gunn, Raleigh
Jessica Hardin, Cape Carteret
Wayne Harp, Charlotte
Danielle Hayes, Hampstead
David Henderson, Morehead City
Aaron Hewitt, Charlotte
Danielle Hogan, Fuquay-Varina
Jason Hrdina, Chapel Hill
Gretchen Huhnerkoch, Charlotte
Albert Hunt, Durham
Keith Hutchins, Roanoke Rapids
Angela Jackson, Fayetteville
Cheryl Jaros, Oriental
Jeffrey Katz, Hickory
John Kennedy, Asheville
Michelle Kerr, Matthews
Ashraf Kobeissi, Fayetteville
Katharine Kovacs, Raleigh
Olga Kramer, Charlotte
Lauree Kruyer, Southern Pines
Jeff LaFuria, Raleigh
Kristen Lahm, Charlotte
David Lang, Greenville
Emma Lawrence, Winston-Salem
Robert Lawrence, Greenville
Stacey Lee, Charlotte
Michele Lenze, Summerfield
Lacey Lewis, Leland
Tristan Lunde, Charlotte
Shaun Lynch, Cary
Mark Malzahn, Salisbury
Gail Marion, Winston-Salem
Deborah Martin, Pilot Mountain
Sue Martin, Lewisville
Gina Mauldin, Holly Springs
Leslie Mccutcheon, Apex
Michelle McMoon, Durham
Ashley Medina, Concord
Betsy Melcher, Durham
Laura Michel, Middle Village, NY
Rashonda Mintz-Smith, Harrisburg
Roger Mitchel, Southern Pines
Kristen Monahan, Raleigh
Wallace Moncrief, Morganton
Tracy Morea, Cary
Jodi Morehart, Asheboro
Harvey Nix, Bat Cave
Linda Nutt, Davidson
Lisa Oakley, Fayetteville
Justin Ollis, Greensboro
Julia Paquette, Cornelius
Lauren Parker, Winston-Salem
Jimmy Patterson, Mt. Gilead
Thomas Peluso, Durham
Aimee Polk, Raleigh
Allison Porter, Statesville
Christina Poythress, Goldsboro
Leslie Pretter, Raleigh
Amber Price, Troutman
Talia Pringle, Wilmington
Marshall Putnam, Fuquay-Varina
Makisha Ramsey, Fayetteville
Courtney Reed, Winston-Salem
Jordyn Reisenauer, Hickory
Bill Ricketts, Greensboro
William Rigsbee, Wilmington
Jason Romblad, Lexington
Salvatore Rondinelli, Charlotte
Elena Ruppe, Fayetteville
Linda Ryznar, Charlotte
Christine Schlemmer, Charlotte
Katherine Shea, Marion
Teresa Sifferman, Raleigh
Alicia Sigmon, Claremont
Ashley Simon, Winston Salem
Ginger Sims, Winston Salem
Truett Smith, Davidson
Kimberly Stabingas, Apex
Tiffany Statler, Charlotte
Deborah Stoia, Durham
Christine Strader, Reidsville
Courtney Stump, Stanley
Phillip Talbert, Shelby
Leandra Tonweber, Charlotte
James Trenner, Raleigh
Elizabeth Turner, Raleigh
Audrey Tuttle, Winston-Salem
Clarissa Urban, Raleigh
Devyn Walke, Winston-Salem
Bryan Walker, Durham
Lauren Wall, Raleigh
Sharon Walter, Rock Hill, SC
Richard Wayne, Cashiers
James Westbrook, Elkin
Christie Westbrook, Goldsboro
Sarah Weston, Fredericksburg, VA
Nancy White, Winston Salem
D Whitney, Fayetteville
Tiffany Wightman, Hickory
Deborah Williams, Hickory
Jeffrey Williams, Winston Salem
Eric Wright, Rose Hill
Martine Wurst, Gastonia
Karin Young, Asheville