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 2017

In this issue:


President’s Letter


Legislative Updates


Another Successful and Fun Student Medical Challenge Bowl!


HOD Election: Voting Begins May 20th!


41st Annual NCAPA Summer Conference


Upcoming Regional CME Workshops


Why I Love Being a PA


Regional Chapter CME Opportunities


Interested in Serving on the Board? NCAPA Seeking Nominations


Dean Minton Scholarship Recipients


NCAPA Endowment Student Grants Available


Highlights from Campbell University PA Program


DHHS Seeking Public Input on Medicaid Reform


Primary Care Provider Survey on Clinical Practice Guideline on Acute Otitis Externa


Comprehensive Online Review for the PANCE/PANRE


Welcome Members!


President’s Letter 

 Bowtie photo_Truettby Truett Smith , MPAS, PA-C

April was a very busy month! NCAPA held another successful PA Day at the Legislature on April 25th, where many PAs had productive conversations with various House and Senate members. We were most interested to share our concerns about one provision of the STOP Act (Opioid Bill), which requires PAs to consult with their supervising physician prior to writing prescriptions for certain controlled substances, thereby placing unnecessary barriers to patient care. The bill has passed the House and soon will be taken up by the Senate. NCAPA will continue conversations with House and Senate members through our lobbyist, Sarah Wolfe. To read more about this issue and to stay up to date on other Legislative issues that may impact PAs or our patients, please visit our Legislative Action Center.

With regards to advocacy efforts nationwide, the National Commission on Certification of PAs (NCCPA) recently lobbied the Governor of West Virginia to veto a PA Practice Modernization Bill which had easily passed both the House and Senate. The Bill did not contain a provision requiring re-certification of PAs in West Virginia and the NCCPA felt that the absence of such a provision would hinder the progression of PA practice in the state. The NCCPA was successful in their efforts to have the bill vetoed and has also been successful at impacting PA Modernization Bills in Illinois and New Mexico. The NCAPA opposes these actions and has written a formal letter to the NCCPA to express our displeasure of these recent lobbying efforts. We also sent letters to the other PA constituent organizations throughout the country to share our concerns. The NCAPA feels strongly that the NCCPA should keep their focus on improving the certifying examination, assuring that new PAs have the core knowledge needed to provide safe patient care.

Last, but certainly not least, representatives from NCAPA will convene in Las Vegas for the 2017 AAPA House of Delegates and Annual Conference in May. Many hot topics will be discussed and ratified. These include Full Practice Authority and Responsibility, AAPA Board member term limits, and the possibility of the formation of a new certifying body, just to name a few. Please log onto the AAPA website, read the resolutions, and feel free to express any concerns or endorsements that you may have to me at or to any of the other NCAPA Delegates.

Hope to see you in Vegas!


Truett Smith, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA

NCAPA President



Legislative Updates

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

Second annual PA Day a success
The second annual legislative advocacy day, “PA Day,” at the North Carolina General Assembly was held on April 25. Approximately 25 PAs from across the state attended PA Day and advocated for the PA profession in general, as well as specifically on removing Section 4 of the STOP Act.

Later that afternoon, a group of PA leaders met with the newly-appointed Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Mandy Cohen. Dr. Cohen spoke to the group about her top priorities, which includes combatting opioid addiction and integrating physical and behavioral health care services. Additionally, PA leaders discussed with Dr. Cohen as to how PAs are a critical part of the delivery of health care in North Carolina, so it is essential that PAs be included in all regulations and laws that are within a PA’s scope of practice.

Legislative Update
In response to efforts to pass HB 91: Require Safety Helmets/Under 21, the Government Affairs Committee voted, and the Board subsequently agreed, that NCAPA should oppose any efforts to remove the state’s motorcycle helmet laws. HB 91 would remove the helmet requirement for any motorcycle operator who was 21 years old or older if the individual held a motorcycle license or endorsement for more than 12 months or successfully completed the Motorcycle Safety Instruction Program AND was covered by an insurance policy providing at least $10,000 in medical benefits. At this time, it appears that the bill is “dead” for this year’s legislative session.

On April 25, the Senate unanimously agreed to SB 160: Handicap Parking Privilege Certification. SB 160 clarifies that PAs and NPs may sign for handicap placards, which is a necessary clarification after the DMV took a strict interpretation of the law in late 2016, which currently does not explicitly name PAs. The bill is currently sitting in the House Rules committee.

A similar, but not identical version of this bill, HB 11, passed the House in March on a vote of 114-4. HB 11 includes a line that allows for CNMs to sign for an initial application for a temporary removable windshield placard, while SB 160 does not include this language. HB 11 is currently sitting in the Senate Rules committee. NCAPA expects that one of the two bills will become law before the end of this year’s legislative session.

In late April, NCAPA submitted a letter to the bill sponsors of the Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act. The letter, which can be read in part here, expressed NCAPA’s concerns with Section 4 of the bill, stating that it could cause an undue burden on the patients that PAs serve. The bill was referred to the Senate Rules Committee on April 11, and is still awaiting for a referral to the Senate Health Committee for its first hearing in the Senate. NCAPA continues to work with the bill sponsors and other legislators, seeking another solution to the current Section 4 of HB 243.

HB 902: Enhance Patient Safety in Radiologic Imaging would require a PA to be licensed by both the North Carolina Medical Board and the proposed Radiologic Imaging and Radiation Therapy Board of Examiners, in order to perform fluoroscopy. This would be an additional license on top of the license a PA receives in order to practice medicine from the North Carolina Medical Board. NCAPA has asked the bill sponsors to exempt PAs from this legislation. As of today, the bill has not been calendared to be heard by a committee.

Be sure to check out the Legislative Action Center to stay up to date on legislative happenings.



Another Successful and Fun Student Medical Challenge Bowl!

by Kerstin Becker, NCAPA Administrative Coordinator

On May 6th, the Student Affairs Committee hosted the 2017 PA Student Medical Challenge Bowl at the Stead Center in Durham in anticipation of the National Challenge Bowl in Las Vegas at the upcoming AAPA Conference.

Six teams competed in the Challenge Bowl, played in the Jeopardy game-show format with two rounds. Categories this year included Neurology, Dermatology, PA History, Anatomy, Physical Exam, Cardiovascular, Pulmonology, EENT, Musculoskeletal, and Gastrointestinal.

Over half of the PA schools in North Carolina were represented by both first- and second-year students, who participated in the event on inter-collegiate teams.

Spectators, including staff members and students from UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke, cheered on the six teams as they battled for a 1st place finish.

The Zooboomafoos emerged victorious with 215 points, although No MRSA nearly handed them a last minute upset, but ultimately fell a few points short of 1st place with a score of 210. 3rd place, with 110 points, went to The Glutamates.

The remaining three teams had between 0 and 60 points and all participants received prizes. Fun was had by all!

 First Place: The Zooboomafoos       

Second Place: No MRSA         

Third Place: The Glutamates                       

4th Place: The Papa Alphas

5th Place: Mittelschmertz

6th Place: The Bone Crushers


HOD Election: Voting Begins May 20th!

The electronic ballot for HOD delegates will open on May 20th. NCAPA Fellow members will receive an email with their username and password, which will allow them to log into the online ballot. Voting ends on June 15th and results will be posted in the July Pulse.

We are electing 9 delegates and 2 extra delegates to serve from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019.

Please be sure to vote!

41st Annual NCAPA Summer Conference

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

Early Bird Pricing through May 31st!


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. 



Upcoming Regional CME Workshops

Joint Injection Workshop
South East AHEC
Wilmington, NC
June 24, 2017 | 9am-Noon
Registration is open!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.


Why I Love Being a PA

by Jane Girskis, PA-C

I have been excited about anything to do with medical issues, blood or gore, and “fixing people” since I was a child.  I work in Urology and see patients from age 0 to beyond 99 years old. Some days, while trying to educate my patients, I may feel like I say the same thing over and over again; yet,every once in a while, somebody will come back to me and say, “I followed your advice and it really made a difference!”  That’s truly gratifying.

I live and work in a very small town and although it may seem a bit annoying at times to run into patients at the grocery store, it is honestly more often rewarding than not.  Recently, while sitting at my youngest child’s soccer game, I ran into the wife of a recently deceased patient, who was also there to watch her grandkids play soccer. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to the funeral of her husband, but at that moment, I was able to give her a hug and tell her how much we will miss him and will miss seeing her at the office. Overall, the patients and families that I see are very appreciative, and hugs are not uncommon.  Not a bad gig, if you ask me!


Regional Chapter CME Opportunities

MAPA 2017 Spring CME Conference
Edison Square Family Medicine
10030 Edison Square Drive, Suite 100 Concord, NC 28027
May 20, 2017 | 8:30am – 3:00pm

The Metrolina Association of Physician Assistants (MAPA) invites you to attend their spring conference entitled “Internal Medicine Grand Rounds.” This conference provides 5 Category 1 CME hours presented by local Charlotte area physicians on evidence based IM updates. For further details and to register go here.

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.



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 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!

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, 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 is May 31, 2017. 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.



Dean Minton Scholarship Recipients

from Metrolina Association of Physician Assistants
Scholarship winners with Truett Smith, PA-C, NCAPA President and MAPA Vice-President

Each year, MAPA awards scholarships in honor of Dean Minton to local PA students enrolled at Wingate and/or Gardner-Webb. This year, MAPA awarded three $500 scholarships. The recipients were Alec Sims and Matthew Lutz from Wingate University and Hillary Roberts from Gardner-Webb University. Scholarships are funded by MAPA membership dues. Congratulations to the recipients and best wishes on your continuing education!



NCAPA Endowment Student Grants Available

Don’t forget! June 11 is the deadline to apply for 2017 NCAPA Endowment Scholarships. You must be a current student member of NCAPA and enrolled in your clinical year in a NC PA program in September of 2017.

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, 2017.  Official transcripts (no copies please) should be mailed to:

NCAPA, att. Kerstin Becker, 1121 Slater Road, Durham, NC 27703.



Highlights from Campbell University PA Program

from the Campbell University PA Program

  • Campbell PA students and faculty member Miguel Pineiro hosted the medical tent for the Rock-n-Roll Marathon in Raleigh on April 1;
  • Faculty member Miguel Pineiro was interviewed by Univision discussing hypertension in the Hispanic population On April 6;
  • The Campbell University PA Class of 2016 had a 100% PANCE Pass rate! Congratulations!!



DHHS Seeking Public Input on Medicaid Reform

from the NC Department of Health and Human Services

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is seeking public input from April 25 to May 25, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. on the Medicaid and NC Health Choice programs transformation (also known as “Medicaid reform”).

While all comments are welcome, the Department is specifically looking for input on the following topics:

  • Integrating Primary Care and Behavioral Health Services
  • Supporting Provider Transformation
  • Care Management and Population Health
  • Addressing Social Determinants of Health
  • Improving Quality of Care
  • Paying for Value
  • Increasing Access to Care and Treating Substance Use Disorder

For specific information and sample questions on each of these topics, refer to the Request for Public Input document on the DHHS Medicaid Reform website.

I strongly encourage you to share your expertise with the Department as we consider whether modifications are needed to the Section 1115 waiver application submitted June 1, 2016, to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Your input is crucial to ensure Medicaid is transformed to support North Carolina health care professionals as they strive to improve the health for people in our state.

Comments will be accepted at one of four public input sessions to be held during May (pre-registration is not necessary):

May 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Greensboro – Guilford County DHHS Building, 1203 Maple St, Rooms 122 and 123

May 10, 3-5 p.m., Greenville – Greenville Convention Center, 303 Greenville Blvd SW, Emerald Ballroom

May 12, 2-4 p.m., Asheville – Asheville-Buncombe Technical College, 340 Victoria Rd., Ferguson Auditorium

May 16, 6-8 p.m., Raleigh – McKimmon Conference & Training Center, 1101 Gorman St.

You also may provide comments in writing:


U.S. Mail: Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health Benefits, 1950 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1950

Drop-off: Department of Health and Human Services, Dorothea Dix Campus, Adams Building, 101 Blair Dr., Raleigh.

Thank you for partnering with the Department and the North Carolina General Assembly on this significant transformation effort. For Medicaid transformation information and progress updates, visit



Primary Care Provider Survey on Clinical Practice Guideline on Acute Otitis Externa

from Dr. Adam Honeybrook, Dr. Nicholas Mildenhall, and Dr. David Kaylie

Acute otitis externa is defined as diffuse inflammation of the external ear canal, which may also involve the pinna or tympanic membrane. Over 10 years has elapsed since the Clinical Practice Guideline: Acute Otitis Externa was first published in 2006. Over the past decade, substantial medical, societal, and governmental efforts have been devoted to the creation and implementation of such clinical practice guidelines. Guidelines help clinicians translate best evidence into best practice with a goal of ultimately improving patient care.

This survey will ask how you treat patients with otitis externa and how you approach your diagnostic and treatment decisions. If you have reviewed the guideline, this survey will also ask you questions about your perception of the Otitis Externa Clinical Practice Guideline and if the guideline has affected your practice.

The results of this survey will be used to assess the perception of and rates of adherence to the Otitis Externa Clinical Practice Guideline. This study is important as it will assist in providing education and resources to clinicians to manage patients with otitis externa.

The 23-question survey will take 5-10 minutes. All survey responses are anonymous. We thank you in advance for your time.

SURVEY LINK or copy and paste the address into your browser:



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!

Ken Anderson, Roanoke, VA
Rebecca Bailey, Wake Forest
Barbara Bennett, Winston Salem
Dawn Bickerton, Scottdale, PA
Kathy Black, Wilmington
Keith Bond, Pfafftown
Andrea Brock, Mocksville
Karen Brown, Kalamazoo, MI
Tonya Burnette, Hope Mills
Orvile Campbell, Matthews
Michael Carroll, Greensboro
Lauren Childs, Charlotte
Maya Cohen, High Point
Earl Cummings, Lumberton
Melinda Daye, Kannapolis
Ashley Drew, Mt. Holly
Jennifer Dugan, Mint Hill
Robert Edens, Raleigh
Erin Floyd, Mullins, SC
Robert Grove, Wilmington
Jeff Harrison, Dudley
Mark Hepler, Summerfield
Caitlin Heredia, Hickory
Tiffany Hiatt, Winston Salem
Chelsea Hopkins, Charlotte
Matthew Howard, Sugar Grove
Chris Justus, Bristol, TN
Nancy Keeler, Winston Salem
Cristina Kim, Englewood, NJ
Tom Kozesky, Aliquippa, PA
John Krogh, Durham
Laurie W. Lee, Hillsborough
Michael Lutz, Newton
Gabriel Mantz, Sayre, PA
Maida Martin, High Point
Taylor Maxwell, Charlotte
Shelley McElhanon, Charlotte
Ashley McKinney, Asheville
Renee Miles, Blythewood, SC
Mike Modrow, Raleigh
Elwood Moore, Farmville
Sarah Moore, Malone, NY
Armond Morace, Greenville
Donna Murray, Charlotte
Linda Myers-Reed, Micaville
Tiffany Noel, Winston-Salem
Adrienne Novey, Charlotte
Nick Oravetz, Charlotte
Robert Pate, Fayetteville
Christine Plummer, Fayetteville
Anuradha Pradhan-Costello, Charlotte
Sara Richard, Salisbury
Allison Rickher, Matthews
Yvette Roane, Laurel, MD
Serena Sam, Morrisville
Tiffany Scheib, Southport
Dennis Seely, Hot Springs
Andrew Sewalish, Huntersville
Samantha Starkey, Charlotte
Steven Taxman, Durham
James Taylor, Fayetteville
Lori Tharp, Midland, PA
Gary Thompson, Danville
Sarah Turner, Elizabeth City
Craig Webb, Wilmington
Lisa Wharton, Chocowinity
Audriana Willis, Morehead City