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 | May 2016

In this issue:


President’s Message


Save the Date: PA Day at the North Carolina General Assembly


North Carolina General Assembly Convenes for 2016 Short Session


Interested in Serving on the Board? NCAPA Seeking Nominations


40th Annual NCAPA Summer Conference


Join Us in High Point for a Joint Injection Workshop


For Students: NCAPA Endowment Scholarships


NCAPA Endowment Student Scholarship: A Thank-You


Gardner-Webb PA Students Experience Helicopter Transfer Procedures


Methodist University PA Program Thanks You!


NCAPA 2016 PA Student Medical Challenge Bowl Recap


NCAPA Endowment Seeking Applicants for Board of Trustees


NCAPA Leader Introduction: April Stouder


Regional Chapter Updates


Finding Relief from the Pain of Addiction


The PA Profession and Substance Use Disorder


North Carolina Medical Journal Available Online


Welcome Members!


 Wanda Hancock

President’s Message

 by Wanda Hancock,MHSA, PA-C

Now that Spring has finally arrived, there are many things to keep us all entertained, excited and engaged. At NCAPA, we have some dedicated members and staff who have brought the NCAPA to 211˚, which means we are almost at the boiling point. So what did it take to get us there? I’d like to share some of what’s been happening.

The Government Affairs committee has a PA Day at the Legislature planned for some of our members to visit the Capital.  We are in a short session this year so it is time to make ourselves known to our elected officials. We want them to know who we are and where our interests lie in the coming year so that when action is needed, they know who we are, what we do, and what we stand for.  Under the leadership of Detra Chambers and Marc Katz, we have invited ALL of our members to come to the Legislature and show our pride in our profession and demonstrate our role in delivering the best health care for the citizens of North Carolina. Staff member Sarah Wolfe is coordinating this effort with the GA committee and it promises to open many doors for us.  Make plans now to join the NCAPA on June 15th to visit the Capital.

The AAPA conference starts on Saturday, May 14, and a group of 9 delegates are studying hard to prepare for the House of Delegates.  We have listened to our members’ position on some of the issues and plan to listen to all of the testimony during the reference committee hearings.  With all seven of our delegates seated, Samantha Rogers on Reference Committee B, Gail Curtis, Speaker of the House, Jeff Katz, AAPA President, and Sue Reich as Parliamentarian, WE GOT THIS!  It is such a good feeling to know that NCAPA is so proactive and involved. Our Executive Director, Emily Adams, will make the trip with us to see the HOD in action, meet with AAPA staff, and gather information on vendors and conference activities.  The June issue of The Pulse will be chocked full of information from the conference.  For any of you planning to attend, come and look us up and join the NCAPA for some of the fun that San Antonio promises to offer.

We are finishing the technology upgrade at the Stead Center, thanks to the forward thinking of Sally Paille, the NCAPA Business Manager and our consultant in all things technical, Rob Bednar. This means that even if you can’t come to the board meetings in person, you can potentially join us via teleconference. This will be so important next year as we reach out to more of our members to join us in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the PA profession.  President-Elect Truett Smith is forming a 50th Anniversary Task Force to finalize our plans for celebration throughout 2017.

The PA History Society has planned a renovation for the Veterans’ Memorial Gardens at the Stead Center. The garden will be re-dedicated in 2017, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the profession, as well as the 15th anniversary of the PA History Society. You will soon hear about the 50/50 campaign to help raise the remainder of the funds to complete the renovations; I hope that all our members will contribute in some way to the project. Many thanks go out to Dr. Reginald Carter for all his hard work and his efforts making this dream a reality. We are so grateful to have some of the founders of our profession still moving us forward.

At the NCAPA Board meeting on April 23rd, the board of directors voted to support our NCAPA Endowment with a $1500 donation to assist reaching fund raising goals and make more funds available for student scholarships. We are hoping that our members will also take a step forward to contribute to the NCAPA Endowment.  All of us remember the cost of tuition and books during our education; it feels good to help others attain the success we all appreciate on a daily basis.

This month, I have had opportunities to participate in a review of the NCAPA Policies and Procedures with the Government Affairs Task Force, attend the meetings of the Health Committee, Executive Committee, and the Government Affairs Committee.  Weekly meetings with staff have helped keep me focused and on track.  In addition, I was able to attend the Urological Association of PAs in Orlando, Florida.  I have even managed to enjoy the beautiful weather here by spending a couple of days in my rose garden.  Just like my efforts with NCAPA, I feel that my efforts in the garden will result in beautiful things later on this year.  You see, it really does not take much effort to kick the heat up another degree to get to that 212˚ if everyone throws a little more fuel on the fire. I know that getting to a full boil is in our reach. Just one little degree.

Thank you,

Wanda Hancock, MHSA, PA-C


Save the Date: PA Day at the North Carolina General Assembly

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


North Carolina General Assembly Convenes for 2016 Short Session

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

On April 25, the North Carolina General Assembly officially convened for the 2016 short session. While lawmakers did successfully tackle many key policy items during the first year of the 2015-2016 biennium, including Medicaid reform, there are still plenty of unsettled matters that will be debated and voted on this year.

Legislative rules allow for only certain matters to be considered during the short session years. Those matters include bills that: directly affect the state budget, amend the Constitution of North Carolina, successfully passed out of one of the two chambers in 2015, resulted from an interim study or oversight committee, impact state or local pension or retirement systems, pertain to redistricting or election law, or local bills that are deemed noncontroversial and approved by every representative and senator whose district is impacted by the local bill.

While it is hard to predict what will undeniably become law by the end of the short session, and what will ultimately not make the cut, it is possible to make some educated predictions on what to expect.

Health Care
Throughout this year’s interim, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health & Human Services took a deeper dive into many issues that originally surfaced in previous years, but additional study and work was needed for many of the issues. This year, we can expect to potentially see legislation concerning:

  • Certificate of Need
  • Reforms to the child welfare and foster care systems
  • Expanded scope of practice for advanced practice registered nurses
  • Recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Abuse
  • Authorizing a statewide standing order for the state health director to prescribe opioid antagonists
  • Funding dementia caregiver programs
  • Modifications to the state’s laws governing step therapy protocols for prescription drugs
  • Further consolidation of the LME/MCO regions

Medicaid Reform
The Medicaid reform legislation that passed in 2015, H372: Medicaid Transformation & Reorganization, directed the Department of Health & Human Services to submit all legislation by March 1, 2016, that would be needed in order to allow the Medicaid reform plan to continue to progress. Consequently, the following recommendations were put forth by the Department:

  • Exclude the following populations from pre-paid health plan (PHP) enrollment: medically needy beneficiaries, beneficiaries who are eligible only for emergency services, coverage for refugees, services provided by local education agencies (LEAs), Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), and Child Developmental Agencies (CDSAs), and individuals who are presumptively eligible for Medicaid from the PHP delivery system.
  • Allow up to 12 regional contracts with provider-led entities (PLEs), current law allows for 10 regional contracts.

Also, the NC Department of Insurance (DOI) was charged with recommending solvency requirements to apply to PHPs and the statutory changes needed to implement the recommendations. As a result, on March 1, DOI reported their recommended changes for solvency, licensing, and fee requirements to the General Assembly.

State Budget Adjustments
Even though lawmakers pass the biennial budget in odd-numbered years, that does not prevent the legislature from making adjustments to the budget, depending on the state’s financial situation. Currently, the state is reporting a $237 million surplus for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, which gives lawmakers plenty of wiggle room when it comes to state employee and teacher raises, and funding other priorities. At the end of April, Governor McCrory released his proposed fiscal year 2016-2017 budget recommendations.

The Governor’s budget recommendations account for 23 percent of the total proposed budget, spending $5 billion over the fiscal year.

  • Expands Medicaid services for adults with Alzheimer’s or related dementia by adding an additional 320 slots to the Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults.
  • Expands Medicaid services for people with developmental disabilities through adding an additional 250 Medicaid Innovations Waiver slots.
  • Includes dollars for funding residency programs in the 70+ North Carolina counties that are designated health professionals shortage areas (HPSA).
  • Invests in statewide resources for the state to identify and track the primary carrier of the Zika virus and other similar diseases.
  • Devotes $30 million in the recommendations that resulted from the Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health & Substance Abuse. The recommendations include $9 million to combat heroin and prescription drug abuse, $5 million to support therapeutic courts and diversion from the justice system to treatment, $13 million for case management, and another $3 million for emergency housing for persons with mental illness that are transitioning out of emergency departments and correctional facilities.

The House will be the first chamber to take up proposed adjustments to the state budget. Leaders from both the House and Senate have stated that they do plan to pass the budget out of both chambers before the new fiscal year begins on July 1, 2016.


Interested in Serving on the Board? NCAPA Seeking Nominations

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.


40th Annual NCAPA Summer Conference

Embassy Suites, Kingston Plantation
August 21-26, 2016
Myrtle Beach, SC


Register Today!

Act soon – Early bird pricing ends May 31st!

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. 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, providing something of interest for any and all providers. Each lecture hour on the agenda will include case studies and clinical pearls that will be useful in YOUR clinical practice.

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

And don’t forget to make your hotel reservation soon!  Our room block fills up very quickly and some properties and room types are already full. Click here to reserve your room or call (843)449-0006 and use the group code AOP.


Join us in High Point for a Joint Injection Workshop

Saturday, June 25, 2016
High Point University
Greek Conference Center, Room 103
High Point, NC

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

Register Now!

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!

There will be an optional tour of the High Point PA Program immediately following the workshop.  All are invited to attend the 90 minute tour of one of the newest PA Programs in North Carolina.

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.


AAPA Category 1 CME logo



For Students: NCAPA Endowment Scholarships

Time is running out!! 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, attn: Kat Nicholas, 1121 Slater Road, Durham, NC 27703.


NCAPA Endowment Student Scholarship: A Thank-You

from Abigail Pettigrew, PA-S, Duke University


As I start on my sixth of twelve clinical rotations and near the halfway mark of my second year, my upcoming graduation is on my mind more and more. This is something I have worked for many years to achieve and with it comes a sense of accomplishment and excitement. Receiving the NCAPA Endowment Scholarship helped to relieve some of the stress that also comes with leaving the academic world and entering the career field as a PA. This scholarship has lessened the loan burden required to complete my education and increases my freedom in seeking a position after graduation. It will also help free me to perform international medical mission work earlier in my practice as a PA, as has been my dream since before I began the journey of becoming a PA.

As I reflect on what my life will be after I graduate in August 2016, I am so excited to join the family of PAs working across this state and country. I plan to seek a position in a surgical specialty, perhaps pursuing a post-graduate surgical residency to further my training. I plan to stay in the southeastern part of the country after graduation, having enjoyed these last few years in North Carolina immensely. I want to offer my sincere thanks to the NCAPA Endowment and the NCAPA as a whole for their support of my education and my future professional goals.

To learn more and/or donate to the Endowment, please go here


Gardner-Webb PA Students Experience Helicopter Transfer Procedures

from Lawrence Herman, PA-C, MPA, DFAAPA, Dean and Program Director
Physician Assistant Studies, Gardner-Webb University
Regional One and crew landing.Regional One and crew landing.

Gardner-Webb University’s Prof. Drew Harrill, PA-C, MPAS, NREMT-P, enhanced the Emergency Medicine curriculum this year by adding a hands-on component involving helicopter air medical transfers and evacuations. Spartanburg Regional Medical Center’s Department of Emergency Medicine and Regional One, the air medical helicopter that covers parts of upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina, provided the students with a first-hand experience when Regional One landed at the College of Health Sciences with a pilot, co-pilot, flight nurse and flight paramedic recently. The PA students – who are just about to begin clerkships – had an orientation to the $2.6 million helicopter and crew. Working primarily in rural and medically under-served practices, the Gardner-Webb students now have a much clearer understanding of what needs to be accomplished and prepared for prior to an inter-facility transfer. They also received a much clearer understanding of what to anticipate when working in a tertiary care center that is receiving a patient from another facility or a trauma victim from the scene of a fire, explosion or motor vehicle accident.

Christen MacKorell, PA-SShown above is Christen MacKorell, PA-S, getting a close up idea of the restrictions and limitations upon the flight crew and what they must be able to manage inside the helicopter while undertaking a patient transfer.
Sam Halloway, Sean Ober, and Andrew RushlowLeft to right, Gardner-Webb PA students Sam Halloway, Sean Ober and Andrew Rushlow after examining the inside of the Bell 407 helicopter.


Methodist University PA Program Thanks You!

Methodist University PA Program recently held their 7th Annual golf tournament on April 2, 2016. The event raised over $11,000 benefiting both the Fayetteville Urban Ministries and the Class of 2017. Thank you to all those who played a helping hand in making this annual event a successful one.


NCAPA 2016 PA Student Medical Challenge Bowl Recap

by Kat Nicholas, NCAPA Director of Membership and Marketing

Thirty-two students, representing seven different PA programs in the state, competed on six randomly selected inter-collegiate teams in the 2016 Student Medical Challenge Bowl held on Saturday, April 16th.  The Challenge Bowl is a Jeopardy-style game with two rounds of play, each with five categories of questions ranging in point values from 5-25 points, with a number of “daily doubles” thrown in.  Buzzer technique and strategic wagering on Final Jeopardy are key, as is phrasing the answer in the form of a question. Question categories included neurology, dermatology, anatomy, physical exam, PA history, cardiology, pulmonary, EENT, musculoskeletal, and gastroenterology.

Due to the growth in the number of PA programs in the state, we realized that we may no longer be able to rely on simply having four teams, as we have in the past. A new buzzer system was purchased this year, enabling us to accommodate the current number and any future growth for many years to come. This year, we settled on six teams whose members were pre-determined to include students from different PA programs, allowing the participants the opportunity to network with other students from across the state. After a few minutes of personal discussion, each team came up with team names.  The first team asked to be called “Dura Maters”; alas, all Kat heard was “Durham Otters.” After much laughter, they decided “Durham Otters” would suit them fine.  The second team chose “No MRSA”; third team opted for a simpler play on words, choosing the name “Team Three.”  The fourth team went with “Cremasters”, fifth team opted to call themselves “Wenkebache” and the sixth team chose “Azoles” as their designated name.

After introductions and a brief overview on the functioning of the new buzzer system (wireless! flashing lights! funny sounds!), the Challenge Bowl began. Molly Calabria, Student Affairs Committee Chair, and Laura Gerstner, the Director of Clinical Education at Campbell University and Student Affairs committee member, co-emceed the event, Kat Nicholas served as scorekeeper, and special thanks to Wanda Hancock, Emily Adams, and Linda Sekhon who stepped in and made sure flashing buzzers were recognized and assisted in keeping everyone on their toes.

Team 1_Durham Otters (Dura Maters) Team2_No MRSA

Above left: Durham Otters; Above right: No MRSA

Team3_Team 3 (first place) Team4_Cremasters

Above left: Team Three; Above right: Cremasters

Team5_Wenkebache Team6_Azoles

Above left: Wenkebache; Above right: Azoles

The students on each team worked really well together during their deliberations, though a few found it difficult to not keep testing the new buzzer system. . .At the end of round one, the Cremasters had the lead with a total of 125 points, with the team farthest behind at -35. Team Three was surprisingly quiet for the majority of the first round, ending the round with only 15 points. They came back in round two and, thanks to betting it all on Final Jeopardy, took first place and won the Challenge Bowl with a total of 180 points.  Each player went home with a bit more cash in their pocket than they came with, providing them with enough money equal in value to a candy bar (last place) all the way up to a deluxe extra large pizza (first place).

Students participating in this year’s Challenge Bowl included:

  • Campbell students: Bernard Campo, Ashley Hoover, Stacy Kropp, Ryan Millar, Josh Woody, Samantha Worley
  • Duke students: Emily Buckmiller, Ashley Cole, Julianna McCracken
  • ECU students: Ryland Bradley, Jonathan Bullock, Lexis Hohman, Matt Monaco
  • Elon students: Lindsey Bradshaw, Phia Caccavale, Peter Guertin, Alexis Sampson, Brittany Wiseman, Katherine Vornheder
  • High Point students:  Megan Anderson, Allison Chila, Lauren Lundin, Jenn Savage
  • Methodist students: Donovan Grierson, Nik Newton, Brian Rose
  • UNC students: Natalie Ford, Mary Garner, Dave Manning, Alyse Moses-Lebron, Gabriell Neri-Mynatt, Chris Orange

I’d like to thank the staff and students from UNC, Lenoir-Rhyne, and High Point that came to watch. It’s always nice to have a cheering section.  And huge kudos to the first year students from UNC, who had only been in PA school for a mere four months, that participated in the Challenge Bowl. Way to dive right in!  Win or lose, fun was had by all.


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 Leader Introduction: April Stouder

April Stouder, PA-C, is an NCAPA Director at Large and the Director of Clinical Education for the Duke PA program.  She is also a member of the NCAPA Professional Development Review Panel and Chair of the Educational Development Panel.  April was born in Indiana and attended Duke’s PA program, graduating in 2000. She officially moved to North Carolina in 2002 and has worked in adult hematology-oncology for the majority of her time as a PA, mostly in rural, underserved areas. She continues to work clinically one day a week in hematology-oncology in Laurinburg.

What do you like best about being a PA?
Getting to work as part of a team to care for patients, helping patients manage challenging diagnoses and being involved in PA education.

How did you get involved with NCAPA?
I began serving on the PDRP reviewing conference proposals, and gradually became more involved in the Academy.

Why do you think it is important to be involved in NCAPA?
It’s important to stay up to date on issues that can impact PA practice, and the Academy has our backs in this regard. It’s also a great opportunity to meet PAs from around the state and an excellent way to give back to our profession.


Regional Chapter Updates

  • Metrolina Association of Physician Assistants (MAPA) have in the past years given $500 scholarships to students at the Wingate PA program. Beginning this year, MAPA is awarding (1) $500.00 scholarship to a Gardner Webb PA student and (1) $500.00 scholarship to a Wingate PA student. The Dean Mintonscholarships will be named the Dean Minton Scholarship in honor of a fellow MAPA member who passed away this year.   Dean (pictured left) was an ordained minister, a retired Army Chaplain and a PA who practiced mostly Psychiatry. He was also involved with the NCAPA in several leadership positions, including President.

2016 MAPA scholarship recipients are Catherine McClellan from Wingate and Emily Cole from Gardner-Web.


  • 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
  • Unifour PA/APRN Clinicians (UPAA) featured a presentation to its members on major depressive disorder on April 21. Dr. Brian Bonfardin, a psychiatrist from Johnson City, Tennessee, delivered the presentation on behalf of Takeda. Faculty of the Lenoir-Rhyne University Physician Assistant Program attended, as well as four students from the program’s first class. As the event was held close to the Lenoir-Rhyne campus, UPAA members had the opportunity to tour the Lenoir-Rhyne PA program facility afterward.
Lenoir-Rhyne PA Program Faculty left to right- Dr. Rick Ball, Program Director; Donna Lacey PA-C, Clinical Director; and Wesley Reid PA-C, Academic Coordinator (2) Students from Lenoir-Rhyne Physician Assistant Program, left to right, Jessica Berry, Catherine Nelson, Shaylo Reyes, and Lena Seda.
Above Left: Lenoir-Rhyne PA Program Faculty left to right- Dr. Rick Ball, Program Director; Donna Lacey PA-C, Clinical Director; and Wesley Reid PA-C, Academic Coordinator  Above Right:Students from Lenoir-Rhyne PA Program, left to right, Jessica Berry, Catherine Nelson, Shaylo Reyes, and Lena Seda.


Finding Relief from the Pain of Addiction

by Jeffrey Katz, PA-C

Jeffrey A. Katz, PA-C, DFAAPA, is a PA working in a family practice clinic in rural Taylorsville, NC; and is president and chair of the board of the American Academy of PAs.

If opioid addiction were a cancer in the body of the U.S., today it would be at Stage 4, metastasized and spreading throughout every corner of every state.

In my rural North Carolina family practice clinic, I am keenly aware of opioid misuse and addiction. I regularly see patients struggling with addiction or I hear their stories of loved ones stuck in its clutches.

No one sets out to become an addict. The paths to addiction are many and it is a healthcare provider’s responsibility to mitigate them.

Many of my patients suffer with chronic, sometimes debilitating, pain for which they are seeking relief. As providers, we must acknowledge the reality of the situation. We need to challenge the belief there is a “quick fix” to pain management. And we must be willing to roll up our sleeves and dig into the root cause of our patient’s pain, working as their partners and advocates to develop a treatment plan that considers alternatives to opioids for pain management, but that also leaves opioids as an available option if truly warranted. Decisions regarding therapeutic options and management for pain should be determined using best practices and evidence-based guidelines on a case-by-case basis.

Read the full article here.


The PA Profession and Substance Use Disorder

by Corey John Richardson, MPAS, MBA, LCAS

Corey John Richardson is a doctoral student in health science at A.T. Still University, a licensed therapist in the treatment of substance use disorder, and clinical director of behavioral health services at Rudisill Family Practice in Hickory, N.C. Although he is not a PA-C, he is a consultant for the NCAPA Health Committee, a peer review committee for licensed North Carolina PAs with addiction.

Physician assistants (PAs) practice medicine, but like everyone else, they can suffer from diseases, including substance use disorder. Rates of substance use disorder among practicing PAs and PA students appear to be about 10%, similar to the rate in the general population. One article suggested the rate of substance use disorder for healthcare providers may be as high as 40%.  As of December 31, 2014, the United States had nearly 102,000 certified PAs, with an estimated growth rate of 38% through 2022. With such growth in the profession, those suffering from substance use disorder represent a significant and growing number of PAs—and a threat to the public good when substance use disorder in the profession is undetected or ignored, or when PAs cannot get appropriate treatment.  Read the full article here.


North Carolina Medical Journal Available Online

from North Carolina Medical Journal

The North Carolina Medical Journal is a journal of health policy analysis and debate and covers a range of medical and public health topics each year. In 2015 topics included rural health, traumatic brain injury, patient and family engagement, evidence-based practice, and military health. If you are interested in reading the NCMJ online and would like to sign up, go to


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!

Shelda Amilcka, Charlotte
Leah Baker, Dobson
Mark Banks, High Point
Daina Barber, Swansboro
Elizabeth Batts, Fort Bragg
Kristin Berka-Kehl, Rock Hill, SC
Curtis Bowe, Jr., Chapel Hill
Lauren Boyd, Asheville
Chauna Brooks, Raleigh
Marilyn Bullaboy, Winston Salem
John Cain, Winston-Salem
Seth Call, Hickory
Thomas Callahan, Burlington
Ernest Castellano, Charlotte
Kristen Chandler, Jacksonville, FL
James Clark, Raleigh
Maya Cohen, High Point
Julienne Connor, High Point
Earl Cummings, Lumberton
Angela Duke, High Point
Robert Edens, Raleigh
Sean Epps, Rocky Mount
Ericka Fehl, Pittsburgh, PA
Cynthia Ferguson, Norfolk, VA
Hyman Fowler, Sanford
Cindy Fowler, Mount Airy
Leigh Freeman, Durham
Stephanie Goddard, Advance
Conrad Gorman, Mount Pleasant, SC
Gale Harkness, Winston Salem
Sarah Harter, Norfolk, VA
Elizabeth Haynes, Winston-Salem
Rose Healy, Baltimore, MD
Odinaka Idada, Raleigh
Nick Izaj, Jamestown
Julie Izaj, Jamestown
Kathy Jones, Fayetteville
Stephanie Knutson, Raleigh
Olga Kramer, Charlotte
Victoria Locklear, Maxton
Gail Marion, Winston-Salem
Julie Martin, Winston Salem
Edward McDowell, Mount Airy
Jeffery Mcneil, Wake Forest
Christopher Mercer, APO, Armed Forces Europe
Katie Mezynski, Durham
Kamlesh Mistri, Hickory
Alison Neal, Elizabeth City
Kate Neece, Chapel Hill
Caitlin Nichols, Encinitas, CA
Robert Paul, Wake Forest
Brent Perkins, Ocean Isle Beach
Shannon Poplstein, Raleigh
Tiffany Schaefer, Williamsburg, VA
Molly Sharp, Salem, VA
Catherine Shull, Winston-Salem
Freda Sigmon, Cary
Kevin Slater, Rockingham
Tammy Slater, Winston-Salem
Louisa Stewart, West End
Joel Stoia, Durham
Suzonne Stratton, Winston Salem
Vicky Surratt, Winston-Salem
Katie Sweetapple, Cary
Emma Weavil, Kernersville
Marie Wiles, South Hill, VA
Collin Wright, Salisbury
Abby Young, Charlotte