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 | November 2016

In this issue:


President’s Letter


Passing the Gavel


2016 Elections Impact on Healthcare


Applicants Sought for PA Seat on NC Medical Board


Activate Your 2017 Membership


Hurricane Matthew and Disaster Preparedness


NCAPA Cares: Hurricane Matthew Relief Efforts


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


Changes in Interpretation Regarding Disability Plates


NCAPA Election Results


NCAPA Endowment Student Scholarship: Gardner-Webb Recipient


Regional Chapter Updates: A Note from Jane Girskis


NCAPA Endowment Seeking Applicants for Board of Trustees


NCCPA Announces New PA-C Emeritus Designation for Retiring PAs


Comprehensive Online Review for the PANCE/PANRE


Welcome Members!



 Wanda Hancock

President’s Message

 by Wanda Hancock,MHSA, PA-C

As we enter the holiday season, I take the time to reflect and think of all the things for which I have to be thankful.  Certainly, at the top of the list is the NCAPA and all the support and services the Academy provides me as a PA. During this past year, NCAPA has made exceptional progress in many areas, some of which I’d like to share with you.

The Government Affairs Committee has been at the forefront of reviewing legislation and reports that may affect our practice daily. They organized the first PA Day at the Legislature in June and it was an overwhelming success as PAs throughout the state made connections with legislators while explaining the value of the PA profession.

The Continuing Education Committee, and its subcommittees, have provided exceptional service to the PAs of North Carolina by providing excellent CME at the Summer and Recertification conferences as well as through regional workshops.  These educational offerings not only provide national recognition and financial support to assist NCAPA in achieving strategic goals, but also provide PAs with up to date information to improve patient care.

The Health Committee has been in the process of developing a program to assist PAs with recovery needs in order to continue or return to practice. They are providing help to those who are prepared to make tough choices and supporting them as they focus on the career in which they have invested so much.

The Regional Chapters Committee was reinstated this year and they have been working all year to develop a support system for the local PA chapters throughout the state, including a Regional Chapters Workshop this year at our Summer Conference to allow brainstorming and idea sharing among chapter leaders.

Networking events have been planned and provided by our Membership Committee, allowing PAs throughout the state to network with one another.  With the combined efforts of the Communications and Marketing Committee, our membership is growing as PAs really begin to understand the value of NCAPA and the importance of the work of our staff and dedicated volunteers. Our Student Affairs Committee has remained active and involved to keep the needs of PA students in the forefront of NCAPA as we nurture the future of the profession.

Finally, the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and staff of NCAPA have given us the tools to meet the needs of our members, interact with outside organizations and move our organization forward in this ever-changing health care environment filled with transition and growth. Teams of dedicated staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to keep NCAPA the outstanding organization it is as we provide more value to our members and contribute to the growth of the profession.

So, when you begin to reflect, think of all that we have to be thankful for with the NCAPA and its true contribution to the PAs of our state. NCAPA is a leader among PA organizations, due to the dedication of all of the PAs in North Carolina. I am especially thankful for this and grateful that I have been allowed to volunteer for such an organization.

Wanda Hancock, MHSA, PA-C


Passing the Gavel


At the November 5th meeting of the NCAPA Board of Directors, current President Wanda Hancock officially recognized and thanked the Board members who served with her during 2016. She then turned the gavel over to incoming President, Truett Smith, who presented a plaque to Wanda in appreciation for her service.

While Board members’ terms of office are January 1 through December 31, the November meeting was the last in-person meeting of the Board in 2016 and is traditionally the time when this recognition takes place. Wanda remains President until the end of this year and Truett’s term begins on January 1st.


2016 Elections Impact on Healthcare

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

If there is one thing that all North Carolinians can agree on right now, it is that we are all happy to have the elections over with. As swing state voters, we were all inundated with back-to-back political television ads, mailers in our mailboxes, and candidate signs lining the roads. While it remains to be seen what changes will be made to existing healthcare laws, the elections brought changes to some of the committees that work on health policy.

Congressional Delegation
Of the current 2015-2016 NC delegation members, only one serves on a health committee – Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-Harnett). Rep. Ellmers, who lost her bid for reelection during the primary, is a current member of the Subcommittee on Health.

Sen. Burr, who won reelection, currently serves on the Senate’s committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

NC General Assembly
There was an expectation for seats in the state House and Senate to change hands, especially in Mecklenburg and Wake Counties. Specifically, voters chose to replace two Wake County Legislators who had chaired the Health Committee. Rep. Marilyn Avila (R-Wake)who currently serves as chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services (HHS), vice-chair of the Health Committee, and chair of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on HHS, and Rep. Gary Pendleton (R-Wake) who currently serves as vice-chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on HHS, chair of the Health Committee, and a member of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committees on HHS and on Medicaid and NC Health Choice, lost their races.

Additionally, there will likely be more than the usual shake ups of committee assignments in 2017. The Senate Health Care Committee will lose three members who chose to retire at the end of 2016. The House Health Committee, aside from losing Reps. Avila and Pendleton, will also lose three members who did not run for reelection. Committee assignments are typically made at the beginning of the legislative session, which begins on Wednesday, January 11, 2017.


Applicants Sought for PA Seat on NC Medical Board

The independent body that nominates candidates for the Medical Board to the Governor’s Office is seeking PA applicants to fill the unexpired term of Reamer Bushardt, PA-C. Dr. Bushardt has accepted a position with the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. NCAPA was instrumental in securing a PA dedicated seat in 2015, and would like to thank Reamer Bushardt for his service to the NCMB and wish him well in his next adventure.

Under North Carolina law, interested parties must apply through the Review Panel of the North Carolina Medical Board. The Review Panel screens applicants, conducts interviews and makes recommendations to the Governor, who then appoints candidates to the Medical Board. The Review Panel will only consider applicants who hold active, unrestricted NC licenses to practice as a PA. Applicants must be actively practicing clinical medicine at least part time, have practiced in NC for the past five years, and must have no history of disciplinary action within the past five years. Applications are due by December 31, 2016 at 4:45 p.m.

To find information about applicant qualifications and the application process, or to access the online application, visit the NCMB website or contact Jerel Noel, the Review Panel Administrator, at (919) 861-4545.


Activate Your 2017 Membership

Thank you for your continued support of the PA profession in North Carolina!

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.

Go to and activate your 2017 membership today!


Hurricane Matthew and Disaster Preparedness

by Frank Caruso, MPS, PA-C, EMT-P, NCAPA Director at Large
Deputy Commander NC-1/HHS, Disaster Medical Association of PAs, Chairperson


Hurricane Matthew was one of the strongest hurricanes to hit the East Coast in decades, with winds reaching 145 mph and gusts up to 166 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The hurricane killed hundreds of people in Haiti and elsewhere in the Caribbean, and more than two dozen in the US – more than ½ those deaths in NC.   Early forecasts had predicted that Hurricane Matthew would turn out to sea before causing much damage in North Carolina. But the storm stayed along the U.S coast longer than expected, making landfall in South Carolina and bringing torrential rains to both the Carolinas.

All of the torrential rains resulted in what would be considered a “serious inland flooding event” from rising floodwaters, sometimes to record levels, flowing over the banks of rivers and devastating low lying communities and towns. These floods left massive destruction, including death, illness, broken homes and lives. The repairs to the damaged infra-structure will be ongoing for months and possibly years.

As in other natural and man-made disasters, this event resulted in massive unified response efforts from both the private and public sector.  These response efforts have made a huge difference in helping impacted communities both during and after the event and will make a difference in the long term recovery as well.

I would encourage all NC PAs (and NPs) to consider joining our State Medical Assistance Teams (SMAT), Disaster Medicine Assistance Team (DMAT), or one of the other myriad of non-government agencies and/or community groups that have been organized to help communities recover in times of need. We need and would greatly appreciate your help!

There are always opportunities to volunteer last minute to assist when disasters occur, but the most effective way to offer your services would be to involve yourself in pre-disaster planning, training and ongoing education.

Stay strong and be prepared!! If you need any further information, feel free to contact me at

An aerial view shows flood waters after Hurricane Matthew in Lumberton, North Carolina October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane

An aerial view shows flood waters after Hurricane Matthew in Lumberton, North Carolina October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane

Governor Pat McCory has activated the state’s disaster relief fund to support long-term recovery efforts.The governor’s office is partnering with United Way of North Carolina, which will act as the administrative organization for the fund. Only financial donations are accepted.

To donate, go to or mail checks payable to “North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund” to the governor’s office at 20312 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699. A text-only phone number for donations is being set up.


NCAPA Cares: Hurricane Matthew Relief Efforts

NCAPA hosted a donation drive during our recent Board of Directors Meeting on November 5th to benefit families and individuals affected by Hurricane Matthew. Altogether, the board members donated over 85 pounds of food!

The donations have been brought to The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina Hurricane Matthew Relief Center, which will distribute the donations to the areas of highest need in the state.

NCAPA offices at the Stead Center are a drop-off site for items to be sent to flood-affected individuals. We will be accepting bottled water, nonperishable food items, baby wipes, diapers, pet food, toiletries, toys, first aid supplies, and blankets. We will not be accepting clothing! If you are in the area and would like to drop off items, the NCAPA offices are open 9:00am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday. Our address is:

1121 Slater Road, Durham, NC  27703. If you need to contact us directly, feel free to call 919-479-1995.

We realize that many of you may not be able to get to the Stead Center to drop off items so we have developed a list of other donation sites and organizations working to respond to the disaster. You can read the full list here. If you know of other sites or groups in your community that are not on the list, please email NCAPA Administrative Coordinator, Kerstin Becker and we will update our list.


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

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


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 focused on a review of all organ systems.  NCAPA plans to request 30 hours of AAPA Category 1 CME credit for the general sessions and 22 hours in workshops from the PA Review Panel.  The total number of credit hours is yet to be determined. The full agenda with speakers will be announced in December 2016.

CME will be awarded to PAs and NPs.  Whether or not you need to take the PANRE, this conference is an excellent review for any health care provider.

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.


Changes in Interpretation Regarding Disability Plates

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

Earlier this month, employers across the state received notice from the DMV stating that PAs were not permitted to sign for disability plates and placards. The law, which has been in place since 1991, states that physicians, ophthalmologists, and optometrists, are permitted to sign for the disability plates and placards. Historically, this has been a task that has been routinely delegated to PAs, as it is not out of the scope of practice for PAs. As a result of this announcement from the DMV, in the short term, we are currently working with the Department of Transportation to understand why the interpretation of this law has recently changed. In the long term, we will be working with the legislature to have this law clarified to explicitly include PAs.


NCAPA Student Director-at-Large Election Results

The NCAPA election for Student Directors-at-Large closed on October 16th. The following candidates were elected to terms that begin on January 1, 2017:

Josh Woody, PA-S, Campbell University

Julie McCracken, PA-S, Duke University

NCAPA 2017 Board of Directors meeting dates will be:

  • January 21, 2017 (Stead Center)
  • April 29, 2017 (Stead Center)
  • August 19, 2017 (Myrtle Beach, SC)
  • November 4, 2017 (Stead Center)


NCAPA Endowment Student Scholarship: Gardner-Webb Recipient

by Sue Reich, PA-C, MPAs

The NCAPA Endowment Student Scholarship designated for a Gardner-Webb PA Program student was awarded to Ms. Sarah McManus.  Originally aiming for a career in veterinary medicine, Sarah had a change of heart while attending NC State University. Graduating cum laude in 2014 with a BS in Biological Sciences, she pursued a career in medicine.  Ms. McManus has been drawn to serve in leadership and represents her school in the Assembly of Representatives of the Student Academy of the AAPA.  Undecided about the details of future practice, she is dedicated to making a maximum impact on her patients’ lives.  The NCAPA Endowment congratulates Sarah McManus and looks forward to her future involvement in PA leadership in North Carolina and nationally.


Professor Heather Deibler, PA-C, MS,PAS who serves as the Associate Director of Clincial Education, Sarah McManus in the middle, and Professor Tracy Bell, PA-C, MMSc,  Director of Clinical Education for Physician Assistant Studies, College of Health Sciences, Gardner-Webb University. 

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. [add link to donation page] Thank you to all who have generously donated through the years.


Regional Chapter Updates: A Note from Jane Girskis

Jane Girskis, MS, PA-C, FWNCPEA, President

Well, here we are in my favorite season, Autumn.  We celebrated a successful PA Week and the weather is beautiful in western NC. During PA Week, the Far West NC Physician Extender Associates (FWNCPEA) held a 3rd Annual Free Fall Conference on October 8th. It was a great success, for the most part. (It seems I can never get away from technical difficulties!!)

Six hours of category 1 AAPA approved CME were offered in areas of mental health, physical health, womens’ health, cardiology, diabetes, emergency medicine and even medical provider role in recognizing and stopping sex trafficking.

This conference would not have been possible without support from the NCAPA and the NCAPA Endowment Regional Chapter CME Grant. A special thanks to Sandy Pierce, my “way out here” cohort who was a large part in the making the day run smoothly.

I do believe in thinking globally but acting locally and am glad to be able to have this regional chapter of NCAPA.  I started the FW NC PEA chapter with the hope that PAs here and around the state would step up and become involved.  The only way to affect one’s life and profession is not by sitting back and letting others do all the work and have the power to make all the decisions.  Get up, go out and let your voice be heard!


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.


NCCPA Announces New PA-C Emeritus Designation for Retiring PAs

Johns Creek, GA, Oct. 25, 2016 – The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) has announced a new designation to honor currently and formerly certified Physician Assistants who have proven their dedication to lifelong learning and maintenance of certification and are now retired from practice. The PA-C Emeritus designation will be awarded to those PAs who:

  • Are at least 60 years old or unable to practice due to permanent disability
  • Are retired from clinical practice
  • Have been NCCPA-certified at least 20 cumulative years as a PA
  • Have no reportable actions in their NCCPA disciplinary history

According to NCCPA Board Chair Denni Woodmansee, MS, PA-C, “The PA-C Emeritus designation recognizes certified PAs who have a long history of upholding the highest professional standards. It is a title of respect that acknowledges their willingness to complete rigorous recertification requirements throughout their careers as part of their commitment to the patients they served.” The PA-C Emeritus is an honorary title and is not equivalent to PA-C certification; it is intended for those who no longer need to maintain certification.

Through the end of 2017, NCCPA will accept applications from all PAs meeting the requirements above. Beginning in 2018, applications will only be accepted from currently certified PAs, to be awarded when their PA-C certification expires.

Proceeds from the one-time $50 application fee will be donated to the PA Foundation to expand the NCCPA Endowed Scholarship that funds three annual scholarships to PA students.

For more information or to apply, PAs should visit .


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
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  • 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!

Alaina Alevizatos, Raleigh
Lovest Alexander Jr., Durham
Steve Anderson, Rockingham
Jamie Andrews, Concord
Stacy Bachmann, Winston-Salem
Mark Banks, High Point
John Bass, Goldsboro
Rosalind Becker, Charlotte
Tracy Bell, Hendersonville
Sarah Blake, Wilmington
Gayle Bodner, Winston Salem
Amy Boyd, Eden
Scott Boyd, Eden
Darcy Burgard, Wilmington
Pamela Burleson, Bullock
Gary Butts, Statesville
Jamie Camp, Gaffney, SC
Virginia Christman, High Point
Jay Clarke, Arden
William Cody, Hayesville
Tom Colletti, Pittsboro
Harvey Colley, Clover, SC
Debra Copeland Sizemore, Clemmons
Vincent Costella, Greensboro
Mckenzie Cox, Charlotte
Christopher Craig, Winston-Salem
Daniel Culbreth, Wilmington
Patricia Cyrs, Chesapeake, VA
Amanda Dancy, Greensboro
Clifford Daub, Morrisville
Owen Davis, Winterville
Rebecca Dawson, Greensboro
Barbara Dean, Banner Elk
Jennie Dellinger, Gastonia
Katina Eley-Hardy, Colerain
Andrew Ervin, Lumberton
William Fenstermacher, Wilmington
Melissa Fowler, Morganton
Wayne Freas, Leland
Elizabeth Fuller, Raleigh
Karen Gimblet, Hickory
Ross Goldbaum, Hillsborough
Chelsea Gough, Charlotte
Carrie Green, Fayetteville
Wanda Hancock, Farmville
Nicole Harris, Hickory
Katie Haspeslagh, Mt. Airy
Jessica Heath, Clayton
William Heisel, Huntersville
Karen Hills, Chapel Hill
Alexandrea Hostetler, Charlotte
Bill Hull, Hendersonville
Hal Hunt, Pembroke
Lori Hvozdovic, High Point
Laura Icenhour, Charlotte
Eugene Jackson, Danville, VA
Bryan James, Hollywood, FL
Betty Lynne Johnson, Buies Creek
Allen Jones, Fayetteville
Andrew Jones, Charlotte
Cheryl Jones, Sanford
Shawn Joy, Greensboro
Nancy Keeler, Winston Salem
Kyle Kirkland, Durham
Audrey Konigsberg, Murphy
Robert Lackey, Mars Hill
Jeffrey Lamphere, Fuquay Varina
Jennifer Layton, Winston Salem
Beth Lipson, Asheville
Denise Busbin Locklear, Fayetteville
Nancy Lopez, Greenville
Randal McLean, Lumberton
Carrie Merritt, Advance
Rebecca Millsaps, Lillington
Anna Misior, Chapel Hill
Charlene Morris, Stonewall
Suzanne Morton, Gastonia
Sarah Mulkey, Charlotte
Krista Murphy, Jacksonville
Lindsay Musser, Winston-Salem
Thomas Notto, Eastover
Mellisa Nowak, Holly Springs
Scott Olson, Pinehurst
Peter Omonde, Washington
Laura Orsban, Advance
Nicomedes Osalvo, Durham
Mark Pane, Advance
Mac Pannill, Cary
Gina Pasquale, Winston-Salem
Kishor Patel, Charlotte
David Paulson, Benson
Bill Payne, Greenville
Kyle Pelligra, Raleigh
Drew Perkins, Greensboro
Alicia Pielow Krol, Charlotte
Catherine Pilgrim, Greenville
April Pope, Benson
Penny Pope, Mount Airy
Tim Pysell, Rock Hill, SC
Kim Ray, Winston-Salem
Noelle Redmon, Summerfield
Courtney Reed, Winston-Salem
Michael Roche, Yadkinville
Sarah Roeser, Greenville
Nicholas Rosage, Apex
Lauren Salamino, Cary
Erin Schulhof, New Bern
Jessica Sekelski, Arden
Linda Sekhon, Advance
Lori Seymour, Mount Pleasant
John Skinner, Matthews
Justin Smith, Morehead City
Whitney Smith, Fayetteville
Sarah Spitzfaden, Apex
Michael Stephanides, Morganton
Tiffany Stephens, Raleigh
Jeremy Stinson, Raleigh
Ray Stone, Wilkesboro
April Stouder, Chapel Hill
Cameron Sweeney, Cary
Jane Tesson, Durham
Aaron Thomas, Cary
Amanda Tipton, Winston Salem
E. Gail Tracy, Palmetto Bay, FL
Bowie Tran, Kernersville
Frank Trenery, Kure Beach
Daryl Turlington, Wilmington
Pamela Turpin, Reidsville
Louis Valente, Winston-Salem
Loren Vaughan, High Point
Michael Vollmer, Winston Salem
Ellen Weaver-Bailey, Whispering Pines
Tamara Wellman, Ashland, KY
Jeffrey Williams, Winston Salem
Todd Williams, Holly Springs
Kianna Wood, Winston Salem
Robert Yakos, Clemmons