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 | June 2017

In this issue:


President’s Letter


Updates from the NC Legislature


Share Your Voice: PA Reflections from an NCMB Meeting


Don’t Miss Out! 41st Annual NCAPA Summer Conference


Upcoming Regional CME Workshops


Regional Chapter CME Opportunities


Member Survey: Planning for the Future


Self-Nominations for NCAPA Board Remain Open


Student Leadership Retreat: Save the Date


Getting the Most Out of the NCAPA Career Center


2016 Statistical Profile on Certified Physician Assistants


Mental Health on the Forefront of Issues for Certified PAs


Comprehensive Online Review for the PANCE/PANRE


Welcome Members!


President’s Letter 

 Bowtie photo_Truettby Truett Smith , MPAS, PA-C

I was able to witness a remarkable event in the AAPA House of Delegates (HOD) in May. After much debate, Delegates to the House approved Optimal Team Practice (OTP). There were some initial concerns expressed by the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) and others with the original language, so the NC delegation helped amend the resolution that was ultimately passed. The resolution will provide states greater flexibility when considering how to modernize PA laws.

Optimal Team Practice reemphasizes the PA profession’s commitment to team-based care and reaffirms that the degree of collaboration between PAs and physicians should be determined at the practice level. It also supports the removal of state laws and regulations that require a PA to have and/or report a supervisory, collaborating or other specific relationship with a physician in order to practice. In addition, the new policy advocates for the establishment of autonomous state boards with a majority of PAs as voting members to license, regulate and discipline PAs, or for PAs to be full voting members of existing medical boards. Finally, the policy says that PAs should be eligible to be reimbursed directly by public and private insurance for the care they provide. This historic decision of the AAPA HOD will help to move our profession forward over the next 50 years! I could not be any more proud of our NC Delegation. OTP will be a topic of discussion at the NCAPA August Board meeting as we review and assess next steps.

The AAPA House of Delegates also voted against state lobbying of the NCCPA. Unfortunately, recent NCCPA lobbying efforts have negatively impacted PA modernization bills in West Virginia, Illinois and New Mexico. The House resolution was meant to send a message to the NCCPA that we should all be working together to improve PA practice throughout the nation, not creating roadblocks to PA practice modernization.

NCAPA State legislative efforts on the Handicap Placard Bill and the STOP Act continue to move forward, albeit, very slowly. Be sure to read the Legislative Updates in this issue of The Pulse and remain informed by periodically checking the Legislative Action Center , found under the Advocacy tab on our website.

I would love to hear from you if you have any comments or concerns about current national or state issues. Feel free to email me at

Until next month!


Truett Smith, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA

NCAPA President



Updates from the NC Legislature

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

Legislative leaders have stated their intentions to adjourn the session for the year within the next month. Prior to adjourning for the year, however, the legislature must pass the state’s $22.9 billion budget and pass any legislation that they believe needs to become law prior to the 2018 session beginning next May.

NCAPA is actively working with committee chairs and bill sponsors to ensure that either SB 160 or HB 11 become law before the legislature adjourns for the year. Both bills, entitled Handicap Parking Privilege Certification, will clarify that PAs and NPs may sign for handicap placards (and the House version also includes a line that allows for CNMs to sign for an initial application for a temporary removable windshield placard). HB 11 is currently sitting in the Senate Rules committee, and SB 160 was referred to the House Transportation committee last Thursday. Once either bill makes it through its respective committee and chamber, it will go to the Governor for the final signature into law.

On Wednesday, June 14, the Senate Health Care Committee took up HB 243: Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act. Health Care Co-Chair Sen. Ralph Hise of Mitchell County proposed an amendment to the bill that will limit the language that require PAs and NPs to personally consult with their supervising physician to apply ONLY when a “patient is being treated by a facility that primarily engages in the treatment of pain by prescribing narcotic medications or advertises in any medium for any type of pain management services.” The amendment was unanimously agreed to by the committee, and bill sponsors stated that it was a friendly amendment to the legislation.

Section 4 of the bill will no longer impact the vast majority of PAs. Only PAs practicing in pain clinics will be subject to the personal consultation requirements set out in the legislation.

The Senate Health Care Committee plans to vote on the bill in committee on Thursday, June 15, and if the bill receives a favorable report, it will go to the Senate floor for consideration by the chamber. Once the bill becomes law, NCAPA plans to work with the North Carolina Medical Board on any rules that are established to regulate the personal consultation requirement for PAs practicing in pain clinics.

Finally, NCAPA continues to closely monitor the state’s budget bill, SB 257: Appropriations Act of 2017. The Senate passed their version of the proposal on May 12, with the House passing their version on June 2. The two chambers are now working out their budget proposals differences in a conference committee, and it is expected that they will finish up negotiations and release the final budget for the 2017-2019 fiscal biennium as early as today. There are several provisions that NCAPA is monitoring in both budget proposals, including a provision that would require the Board of Governors to study the feasibility of establishing a PA program at Winston-Salem State University, as well as another provision mandating all PAs, NPs, and physicians who provide Medicaid services and have an electronic health record system to connect to, and actively use, the North Carolina Health Information Exchange by June 1, 2019. Click here to read the full comparison of the House and Senate budget proposals.

Don’t forget to bookmark the Legislative Action Center so that you can stay current on legislative actions that impact PAs and the health care industry!



Share Your Voice : PA Reflections from an NCMB Meeting

by Nathalie Ortiz-Pate, PA-C

On May 17th, as a member of the NCAPA Government Affairs committee, I had the privilege of attending a meeting at the North Carolina Medical Board. I hadn’t realize that the meetings are open to all PAs, as I’m sure many others had not, as I was the only practicing PA in the audience. Sarah Wolfe, NCAPA Government Affairs staff, was also in attendance. She is so dedicated to advocating for PA issues that I would consider her an “honorary” PA. Sarah is more passionate about the profession than some PAs I know!

As luck would have it, PAs and the supervision of PAs were the “hot topic” that day, making it a great day to be present. From my own perspective, I have had a great relationship with my supervising MD and haven’t had any issues regarding the process of maintaining the forms required by the NCMB, so the reasoning behind the review of supervising PAs was somewhat of a mystery to me. Questions arose such as:

  • How many PAs should a supervising MD supervise?
  • Is distance between supervising MD and PA an issue?
  • What about PAs that have more experience than the MDs supervising them?
  • Is supervision really an accurate term? Should it be collaboration?

The most important lesson I learned from the NCMB meeting is that when changes are being discussed, it is important to have a PA at the table. We, as PAs have to make our presence known at these types of meetings and voice our concerns. This time, these issues were only being discussed; next time, decisions could be made that would affect our daily practice. We can only have a say in these decisions if we show up and are active in organizations like NCAPA. Hope to see you at the next meeting!



41st Annual NCAPA Summer Conference

 Embassy Suites, Kingston Plantation
Myrtle Beach, SC
August 20-25, 2017



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! Register and pay by May 31st for our best registration rates.

Our full agenda is announced and we are proud to present a variety of interesting topics.  There is truly something for any provider-each lecture hour on the agenda will include case studies and clinical pearls that will be useful in YOUR clinical practice.  In addition, we offer the 2 hours of Opioid Prescribing CME now required by the NC Medical Board included in your full conference registration or Wednesday daily registration.

Click here to view the full schedule.
Click here for conference information & registration

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 NCA.

  *Please note:  Our room block is SOLD OUT at the Embassy Suites property.  There are plenty of rooms available at the Kingston Plantation Condos and Villas and at the Hilton.  All properties at the Kingston Plantation can take advantage of the free shuttle to the meeting space at the Embassy Suites. 



Joint Injection Workshop Coming to Wilmington and Boone

Joint Injection Workshop
South East AHEC
Wilmington, NC
June 24, 2017 | 9am-Noon


Registration is open!

Registration is now open for a hands-on Joint Injection workshop to be held at South East AHEC in Wilmington, NC.  This workshop will appeal to a broad range of practitioners who are developing joint and soft tissue injection techniques.

Anatomical landmarks will be reviewed using a unique teaching style.  Participants will demonstrate the ability to implement evidence-based practice guidelines in clinical decision-making as well as demonstrate appropriate injection techniques using our joint injection models.

All participants are encouraged to dress comfortably for this workshop!

 AAPA Category 1 CME logo
This program has been reviewed and is approved for a maximum of 3 hours of AAPA Category 1 CME Credit by the Physician Assistant Review Panel.  Physician Assistants should claim only those hours actually spent participating in the CME activity.

Joint Injection Workshop
Wake Forest University Department of PA Studies
Appalachian State University Campus
Boone, NC
September 16, 2017

Registration will open in August 2017



Regional Chapter CME Opportunities

 PAPA 2017 Fall Seminar
Forsyth Medical Conference Center
3333 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston Salem, NC 27103
October 14, 2017 | 7:30am – 4:00pm

Piedmont Association of Physician Assistants is holding their Annual Fall Seminar in Winston-Salem again this October. For more information and to register, go here.



Member Survey: Planning for the Future

NCAPA is embarking on our next three-year strategic plan and we want to hear from you! We are in the information gathering stage, preparing for a larger planning meeting in October. Staff and volunteers would really appreciate our members’ input on what you perceive to be important and areas you would like NCAPA, as an organization, to focus on. We will be sending out an email with a link to a short survey on Friday, June 16th. Please take the time to complete it and you can be entered into a drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card. Thank you!



Self-Nominations for NCAPA Board Remain Open

by NCAPA Nominating Committee

The NCAPA Nominating Committee is soliciting candidates for open positions on the Board of Directors and Nominating Committee in 2018. 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!

The following positions for elected offices are open for nominees: President-Elect, Treasurer, Director-At-Large (three positions), and a Nominating Committee Member. To read more about these positions and to nominate yourself or a colleague, click here. The deadline for nominating a colleague has passed, but the deadline for nominating yourself is August 1, 2017.

All terms begin January 1, 2018. Nominees for officer positions (President-Elect and Treasurer) must be an NCAPA Fellow member in good standing. All other nominees must be a Fellow or Associate member.



Student Leadership Retreat: Save the Date!

The 2017 NCAPA Student Leadership Retreat will be held on Saturday, November 11th. This event will be open to all students in NC PA programs and will focus on focus what to expect in the initial years following PA school, how to become a leader and advocate for the profession, and what lies in the future for PA practice. The event will begin at 9am with light breakfast and socializing and wrap up around 3pm.  Lunch will be provided.

Final details are still being determined but students should be on the lookout for an email with more information in July!



Getting the Most Out of  the NCAPA Career Center

NCAPA’s Career Center is updated weekly with jobs from employers across the state and in a variety of specialties. All jobs are searchable by specialty or other keywords such as ‘full time’ or ‘part time.’ Job seekers can even sign up to receive alerts when jobs in a specific region or specialty are posted, and upload their resume for employers to review. And don’t forget— members benefit from a coupon code (found in the member portal) to provide preferred placement for their resume, bringing it to the top of the pack!

NCAPA is committed to connecting PAs with exciting career opportunities. Make sure your next job search includes a search of the NCAPA Career Center!


2016 Statistical Profile on Certified Physician Assistants

from NCCPA

Fifty years after the first three PAs graduated from Duke University, Certified PAs are key providers in the healthcare delivery system, practicing medicine and surgery in every state, specialty and clinical setting. The most comprehensive data available has just been published in the 2016 Statistical Profile of Certified Physician Assistants . With input from over 94% of Certified PAs, the profile shows:

  • Over 70% of PAs work in specialties outside primary care, including in highly technical surgical specialties, emergency medicine and hospital medicine.
  • A shift from the early years when the profession consisting of former military medics was all male to a population of Certified PAs that is now 67% female.
  • The states with the largest number of PAs are New York, California, Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida. However, three of the top five states with the largest number of PAs per capita are Alaska, South Dakota, and Montana, indicating that Certified PAs often fill the void for healthcare in rural areas.
  • Certified PAs earn an average salary of over $104,000 with the highest paid to those in pathology, dermatology, surgical subspecialties and critical care medicine.

The report, released by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), is the most comprehensive data available on PA practice, with profile information compiled from over 101,000 Certified PAs.



Mental Health on the Forefront of Issues for Certified PAs

from Business Wire; June 13, 2017, Leesburg, VA

Six national PA organizations came together to identify how to impact the mental health crisis in this country. The PArtners in Mental Health Summit, attended by nearly three dozen healthcare leaders, resulted in a unified commitment to work together to address the challenges of identifying and treating this critical patient care issue. The six organizations included:

  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the PA
  • American Academy of PAs
  • National Commission on Certification of PAs
  • nccPA Health Foundation
  • PA Education Association
  • PA Foundation

Ted Wendel, Ph.D., chair of the board of the nccPA Health Foundation, notes that approximately one in five adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness every year. He noted: “Certified PAs are on the front lines of healthcare, treating over 8 million patients a week, many with chronic illnesses and multiple comorbidities. Mental illness is often associated with these conditions, and PAs have a unique opportunity to evaluate patients and offer a treatment or referral at this point of care.”

Leveraging a collective impact strategy, the six organizations acknowledged the need to engage and equip all PAs to address mental and behavioral health needs and developed a framework to create and implement programs that will enable them to do that.

The summit was convened and supported by the nccPA Health Foundation. Find the original story here.



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!

Beth Alcala, Durham
James Anderson, Wingate
Kyle Bailey, Fairview
Wanda Baker, Matthews
Megan Branche, Troutman
Morgan Bredow, Holly Springs
Cynthia Burkes, Buies Creek
Maura Carter, Cary
Laura Carter, Winston Salem
Anthony Chapman, Rocky River, OH
Anthony Chavis, Raleigh
Teresa Clayton, Durham
Lisa Cordero, Virginia Beach, VA
Carlton Crain, La Grange
Christina Darrow, Fayetteville, WV
Anthony Domzalski, Sanford
Christopher Donovin, Wilmington
Morrow Dowdle, Hillsborough
Shannon Evans, Lumberton
Todd Feltz, Southern Shores
Christopher Flowers, Greensboro
Greg Furness, Irmo, SC
Maria Georgalas, Bethlehem, PA
Heather Goldfuss, Oak Island
Kirsten Goolsby, Greensboro
Jillian Graby, Churchville
Debra Hall, Dublin, GA
Charles Haver, Stow, OH
Sarah Hendrickson, Raleigh
Benjamin Hennessee, Hillsborough
Joseph Hobbs, Holden Beach
Jeffrey Hoffman, Corning
Ingram Jansen, Fayetteville
Teshia Jones, Pfafftown
Kathy Jones, Fayetteville
Gary Kauffman, Andrews
Vincent Keeney, Rocky Mount
Mary Keller, Elkin
Michael Keller, Elkin
Ginger Kenney, Raleigh
Julie King, Goodview, VA
Ivona Kocon, Mountain Top, PA
Amelia Lamb, Wilmington
Carol Lee, Latta, SC
Melvin Levers, Winston-Salem
Angela Lewis, Winston-Salem
Audrey Little, Weaverville
Victoria Locklear, Maxton
Rickmon Logan, Charlotte
Adam Lunnie, Salem, VA
Megan MacNabb, Charlotte
Brittany Macon, Raleigh
Stephanie Mason, Raleigh
Rebecca Mercer, New Bern
Tenesa Miller, Waxhaw
N. Morgan Miller, Hendersonville
Claudiu Mioc, Wingate
Patricia Mistretta, Columbus, GA
Kristen Murphy, Winston-Salem
Kelly Murray, Hagerstown, MD
Andrew Nida, Greensboro
Christopher Norman, Greenville
Claire Owens, Clayton
Laurel Pate, Burnsvile
Shaunna Perez, Falcon
Ijeoma Perkins, Durham
Sharon Petzel, Tifton, GA
Josie Prabhakar, Raleigh
Mark Rasmussen, Asheville
Adam Rhodes, South Dartmouth, MA
Jessica Rodriguez, Knightdale
Joseph Rush, Sugarloaf, PA
Gregory Sanders, Charlotte
Daniel Shapiro, Wilmington
Carleigh Sherfield, Vilas
Caroline Sisson, Boone
David Spainhour, Gastonia
Thomas Spalding, Hillsborough
Thomas Spiegel, Pinehurst
Sarah Stephens, Concord
Sara Suh, Raleigh
Bill Thomas, Lumberton
Thanh Tran, Raleigh
Michelle Urso, Charlotte
Temeka Wallace, Spring Lake
Tracy Wang, Chapel Hill
Mark Ward, Murphy
Jennifer Weaver, Oneonta