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 | October 2016

In this issue:


President’s Message


NCAPA Cares: Hurricane Matthew Relief Efforts


Renew Your NCAPA Membership. Build Your Future as a PA.


Physician Assistant Advisory Council Meeting Held in September


NCAPA Election Results


Join Us in Greenville: Joint Injection Workshop


2016 NCAPA Endowment Student Scholarship Winners


Wake Forest Recipients of NCAPA Endowment Student Grants


31st Annual NCAPA Recertification Exam Review Conference


Regional Chapter Updates


NCAPA Regional Networking Events


Wake Forest PA Students Raise Funds and Alzheimer’s Awareness


NCAPA Endowment Seeking Applicants for Board of Trustees


Comprehensive Online Review for the PANCE/PANRE


Welcome Members!


 Wanda Hancock

President’s Message

 by Wanda Hancock,MHSA, PA-C

Hopefully everyone has done well during Matthew’s visit to our state. We in the eastern part of the state are still feeling the impact of the storm with rivers cresting higher than ever. Although much of the coast was spared many of the ill effects of this potentially devastating storm, many other communities are still plagued with flooded homes, evacuations, and road closures. As usual, the first-responders and medical teams around the state are taking on this daunting experience with the great spirit of professionalism and skill.

Due to the hazards presented by the storm and wishes for everyone’s safety, the NCAPA Student Leadership Retreat scheduled for Saturday, October 8th, was cancelled.  Thanks to all those involved for your patience as we waited until the last minute possible to make the right decision. We will contact everyone when the event has been rescheduled.

The conference planning staff and volunteers did an outstanding job of presenting another wonderful Summer Conference. Although I was not able to attend, NCAPA President-Elect Truett Smith stepped in and did a wonderful job of filling my shoes. There were committee meetings, a board of directors meeting, and continued fun and relaxation for all those in attendance.  NCAPA has traditionally provided one of the best CME conferences in the nation and that tradition was certainly upheld again.  We are working to bring our education offerings into the next generation as we look at developing online learning opportunities. Your needs and desire for easily accessible CME are foremost in our plans as we strive to provide what is helpful and important to our members throughout the state.

As we move toward the future, NCAPA has hired another staff person to assist in reaching, and in some ways exceeding, the goals of our strategic plan.  In November, we will meet to review our current three-year Strategic Plan as we begin to embark on our final year. These are truly exciting times, as NCAPA has continued to grow and expand services under the superb leadership of Emily Adams. Her energy and commitment to excellence is indescribable.

Our committees have truly shown this year that it takes an army. We need members who will continue our efforts and prove that NCAPA has been first among the best over the past 50 years of PA practice. All of us should look forward to the many exciting programs, celebrations, and public recognition of the profession during our 50th anniversary in 2017.  If there is a program offered in your area, please step up to help and participate.  NCAPA’s newly elected officers and board members are already ramping up with great enthusiasm for next year.

Just as our state is coping with the forces of nature, NCAPA has been tremendous in stepping up to the plate for me during my personal loss.  I truly appreciate all of the prayers, concerns, messages and caring that was shown to me during the illness and death of my husband, Robert Hancock.  You have been there for me and I hope that I am able to be there for you during these last few months to finish out 2016 with great accomplishments and progress so typical of NCAPA.

Thank you,

Wanda Hancock, MHSA, PA-C


NCAPA Cares: Hurricane Matthew Relief Efforts

NCAPA staff has made the decision to establish our offices at the Stead Center as 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.


Renew Your NCAPA Membership. Build Your Future as a PA.

Thank you for making NCAPA an important part of your professional life.  Over the past forty years, NCAPA has grown to be one of the strongest PA Academies in the country. We remain devoted to advocating for your rights as a PA, promoting the PA profession, and supporting your development as a PA in North Carolina.

NCAPA works with policy makers to protect your rights and ensure PA interests are represented in the changing healthcare landscape. This year, NCAPA hosted the first PA Day at the NC Legislature to let legislators know that PAs are vital to health care access in North Carolina and to ensure that PAs are included in all relevant healthcare legislation.

 NCAPA engages the public and promotes the value of employing PAs in today’s world of healthcare challenges. We work with PA education programs and affiliated organizations to make sure the public understands the high quality education PAs receive and the variety of skills and expertise PAs provide.

NCAPA provides the best continuing education your money can buy. We consistently present top notch speakers at our annual conferences. In 2017, we will be focused on developing online CME to make it even easier for you to take advantage of the member discounts offered on our continuing education offerings.

NCAPA provides you with what you need to succeed as a PA.

Be sure to renew your membership today!



Physician Assistant Advisory Council Meeting Held in September

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

Last month the Physician Assistant Advisory Council (PAAC) of the North Carolina Medical Board (NCMB) met to discuss issues and policies that impact PAs across the state. The PAAC, which meets twice a year, is made up of members of the NCMB, leadership from NCAPA, every PA program, and other members with expertise on PA matters.

At the September meeting, the Council discussed the proposed changes to the recertification process from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Members of the NCMB stated that at this time, they were not actively looking into requiring maintenance of certification as a requirement for licensure. In order for the PAAC to understand what the impact would be to licensed PAs in North Carolina, NCMB staff is looking into how many currently licensed PAs have maintained certification by the NCCPA, and how many have not. The PAAC plans to discuss this issue at their next meeting in March 2017.

Additionally, the PAAC received an update on the NCMB’s new Safe Opioid Prescribing Initiative, which investigates licensed PAs and physicians that meet one of the following criteria:

  1. The prescriber is within the top 1% of licensed providers prescribing 100 MME per patient per day.
  2. The prescriber is within the top 1% of licensed providers prescribing 100 MMEs per patient per day in combination with any benzodiazepine and is within the top 1% of all controlled substance prescribers by volume.
  3. The prescriber has had two or more patient deaths during 12 months due to opioid poisoning.

At this point, 72 physicians and PAs have been investigated under the Initiative, with 60 of the prescribers falling under the third criteria listed above, experiencing at least two patient deaths during July 2014 and June 2015. It was emphasized to the PAAC that just because a licensee was being investigated for an overdose death, did not necessarily mean it was the fault of the licensee, but it is still the responsibility of the NCMB to ensure that these licensees are properly prescribing opioids.

The meeting concluded with a discussion of what the role of PAAC should be going into the future. With there being a permanent seat on the NCMB for a PA (currently filled by Reamer Bushardt, PharmD, PA-C of Winston-Salem) and more opportunities for the PA program directors to meet throughout the year, PAAC members agreed that the Council should consider meeting just once a year instead of the current biyearly meetings. The PAAC plans to consider this, and additional proposed ideas, at the March 2017 PAAC meeting.



NCAPA Election Results

by Emily Adams, Executive Director

The NCAPA election for Officers, Board Members, and the Nominating Committee concluded on October 1, 2016, with a runoff election for a Director-at-large position that concluded on October 13th. Thank you to all of the candidates and to all who participated by voting!  The following candidates were elected to terms that begin on January 1, 2016.  To read a bit about each new Board member and the new member of the Nominating Committee, click here.

President-Elect: Samantha Rogers

Vice-President: Detra Chambers

Secretary: Linda Sekhon

Directors-at-Large: April Stouder and Christina Beard

Nominating Committee Member-at-Large: Meg Beal

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)

The updated Bylaws have been voted on and approved by the Board of Directors and the NCAPA membership. The document describing the substantive changes can be found here and the full version of the bylaws, with all the changes included, are here.

The NCAPA 2017 Student Directors-at-Large Election is underway and closes on October 16th. The results will be posted in the next issue of The Pulse.


Join Us in Greenville: Joint Injection Workshop

Saturday, October 22, 2016
Eastern Area Health Education Center
Greenville, NC

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


Frank Caruso, MPS, PA-C will be reviewing anatomical landmarks 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.

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


2016 NCAPA Endowment Student Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to all the recipients of the 2016 NCAPA Endowment Student Grants!  They are:

  • Jacob McDougall, Methodist
  • Elizabeth McLawhorn, ECU
  • Sarah McManus, Gardner-Webb
  • Alexandra Miller, Campbell
  • Tuyet Van Thi Nguyen, Duke
  • Amber Race, Elon
  • Krysten Vazquez and Lydia Sparks, Wake Forest
  • Michelle Winters, High Point

Best of luck to you in the remainder of your clinical year.  We are very grateful for your dedication to the PA profession!


Wake Forest Recipients of 2016 NCAPA Endowment Student Grants

by Sue Reich, PA-C, MPAs

The Thomas Benjamin Houck memorial award for PA students at Wake Forest PA program was shared by two recipients this year.  After the scholarship committee deemed a tie for Ms. Lydia Sparks and Ms. Krysten Vazquez, the grant amount was split between the students.  Robert Wooten, current president of the NCAPA Endowment, awarded the checks to the two happy recipients in a presentation made with their class in attendance to cheer them on.


Ms. Krysten Vazquez earned a BS in biology with a minor in chemistry and sports medicine from the University of Miami, where she earned dean’s list honors.  Her community and campus involvement were extensive, as she worked in volunteer outreach for agencies that deal with cancer patients and families, rural health services, peer advising, fall prevention and wellness services.  In PA school, Krysten is a frequent volunteer at the student-run DEAC (Delivering Equal Access to Care) clinic in Winston-Salem, and at Share the Health and Missions of Mercy dental clinic. Krysten has been teaching fellow students medical Spanish in her “spare” time.  Her goal is to work in primary care, with a special focus on preventive medicine and a second objective of launching an advocacy program for Hispanic patients. The NCAPA Endowment congratulates Ms. Vazquez for her outstanding work.

Krysten Vazquez and Robert Wooten

lydia-sparksA graduate with highest distinction from UNC-Chapel Hill, Ms. Lydia Sparks earned a BA in psychology and political science. She pursued post-baccalaureate studies at NC State, while also working as a paralegal, but eventually found her way into medicine. She has worked extensively with learning, aging and cognitive ergonomics in some interesting studies about the preservation of mental functioning in adults. Lydia volunteered with Urban Ministries, and in the role of a habilitation therapist for people with developmental disabilities.  A special interest of hers involves working to fight human trafficking in Nepal.  Ms. Sparks is looking toward a career involving mental health, and wants to maintain her volunteer efforts in organizations that address the passions she has.  Congratulations to Ms. Sparks for her energy and devotion.

Lydia Sparks and Robert Wooten


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.


Regional Chapter Updates

mapa_pulseMetrolina Association of Physician Assistants (MAPA) in partnership with Charlotte Ear, Eye, Nose and Throat (CEENTA) sponsored a 6-hour, evidence-based CME to Charlotte area PAs on Saturday, October 1st. Fun was had by all as PAs were educated on relevant clinical updates on current ENT topics and observed MAPA’s willing president, Ray Brown, as he was laryngoscoped! MAPA looks forward to hosting more CMEs for chapter members in the future.

And dont’ forget! Piedmont Association of Physician Assistants (PAPA) is holding their 2016 Fall Seminar today, Saturday, October 15th from 7:30am to 4:00pm. The conference is for PAs and NPs only and is FREE of charge. Breakfast and lunch included. 6 hours of AAPA (approval pending) category 1 CME.  Visit their website for more information.


NCAPA Regional Networking Events

asheville-socialNCAPA held a networking event on Thursday, September 22nd at Pack’s Tavern in Asheville. A total of 21 PAs and PA students showed up for a bit to eat, a bit to drink, and a bit of socializing.  Fun was had by all!

Our next social event was held at Maggiano’s in Charlotte’s South Park area on Friday, September 30th, where we had another 20-30 PAs and students gather for networking and fun, prior to the MAPA Conference held on October 1st.

UPDATE: Due to the flooding in the area and after-effects of Hurricane Matthew, the networking event in the Greenville area planned for October 21st has been cancelled.


Wake Forest PA Students Raise Funds and Alzheimer’s Awareness

from Wake Forest School of Medicine


Front: Kendall Ward, Trisha Gibbons, Morgan Tucker, Jackson Deen, Tripp Kirby; Back: Katherine Stevenson, Madison Pohle, Shelby Wood, Erika Cummings, Wesley Paulson, Taylor Jensen, Cameron Holman; Not pictured:  Brooke Heitzman and Aidan O’Connor.

Members of the Wake Forest PA Class of 2018 recently raised over $10,000 for Alzheimer’s awareness and research. The 14 students are part of the Wake Forest PA program based in Boone, NC. They participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on September 17th. Check out the video!


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.


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!

R Bailey, Rockwell
Jacqueline Barnett, Bowie, MD
Matthew Bell, Hendersonville
Elizabeth Brooke, Winston Salem
Jeffrey Brown, Macon, GA
Patrick Cacchio, Rougemont
David Chester, Winston Salem
Paul Claroni, Rutherfordton
Amanda Collier, Greensboro
Brian Cook, Huntersville
Diane Duffy, Graham
Woods Edward, Asheville
Oswald Ganley, Durham
Melissa Graybehl, Charlotte
Marilyn Heins, Greenville
Shawn Hopkins, Greenville
Joy Klaben, Fayetteville
John Lohnes, Durham
Joy Moretz, Apex
Amber Murtaugh, Charlotte
Carolyn Namde, Cary
Martha Nelson, Hillsborough
Abigail North, Raleigh
Lindsay Reese, Aberdeen
Samuel Roth, Kannapolis
Amanda Swiss, Hampstead
Joel Thompson, Charlotte
Luigi Troiani, Durham
Ryan Vann, Winston Salem
Laura Wells, Fayetteville
Kelly Wohler, Charlotte