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 | April 2015

In this issue:


President’s Message


Health Care Legislation Gains Traction in the North Carolina Legislature


39th Annual NCAPA Summer Conference


New Educational Development Panel Seeking Members


Nominate the 2015 PA of the Year!


Interested in Serving on the Board?


House of Delegates Nominations


Provide Your Voice


NCAPA Staff Introduction: Kat Nicholas


For Students: NCAPA Endowment Scholarships


PA Student Medical Challenge Bowl


NCAPA Regional Chapter Updates


Healthiest You Challenge


SDPA and AAPA Meet With AAD Regarding the DermCare Team


Commercial Driver Medical Examiner Training DVDs Available!


 Marc_pres letter photo

President’s Message

 by Marc Katz, PA-C

April brings an NCAPA Board meeting, preparation for the AAPA House of Delegates, and our legislative agenda into full bloom.

The NCAPA just finished its annual financial audit. Through careful planning, our organization remains in great financial shape with monetary and fixed assets, including our own building, dedicated to Doctors Stead and Estes. Full details of our audit will be discussed at our upcoming Board meeting on April 18th.

The Board meeting will also include a presentation by the North Carolina Physicians Health Program and a presentation on the proposed PA program at UNC, Chapel Hill.  UNC is currently undergoing the accreditation process and hopes to matriculate its first class in January of 2016. Our Board meetings are open to any member and I invite you to join us and witness your Board of Directors and Committee Chairs discuss issues relevant to all PAs in North Carolina.

Our annual Summer Conference is not far away, starting August 16 at the Kingston Plantation in Myrtle Beach. Those who have attended can attest to the phenomenal mix of education and fun for registrants and their guests. Start practicing your volleyball, horseshoe and running skills now so you will be ready!!

The AAPA House of Delegates will convene its annual meeting in San Francisco this year, starting May 24. NCAPA will be sending seven delegates and two alternates who will represent North Carolina to this policy making body. My understanding is that there will be many resolutions to debate this year; our representatives should be receiving these shortly and I will summarize them in next month’s Pulse.

I mentioned last month about a bill to be introduced in the North Carolina legislature to give PAs their own seat on the North Carolina Medical Board. Hopefully you have learned a little about this by looking at the Legislative Action Center on the NCAPA website (found under the Advocacy tab). The bill was introduced on April 14th and will be referred to committee for consideration. We will be reaching out to you to contact your elected representatives for support. There have been several other bills introduced this year dealing with health care topics and health care professionals in North Carolina. Read about these bills in the article below and through the Legislative Action Center.

As always, I invite your feedback and participation in NCAPA. Is there anything we are falling short on? Is there something we need to address? What are we doing right or what else can we be doing for you? Email me at or see me at the Board meeting.

Thank you,

Marc Katz, PA-C


Health Care Legislation Gains Traction in the North Carolina Legislature

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

At the request of the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants, on Tuesday, April 14, four state representatives filed a bill that will change the composition of the North Carolina Medical Board (NCMB). House Bill (HB) 724: Amend Composition of NC Medical Board, will expand the membership of the NCMB from 12 members to 13 members, ensuring that both physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) have a voice on the Board. As the law is currently written, the Governor is responsible for appointing either a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner to the Board, as recommended by the independent Review Panel.

In 1993, the Board composition was expanded to include three public members, one at-large member, and one PA or NP member. That year, Wayne VonSeggan of Winston-Salem was the first PA member to be appointed to the NCMB. At that time, the population of practicing PAs and NPs in the state was much smaller than it is now. Today, there are over 4,600 NPs and 5,000 PAs licensed in the state. Due to the boom in the number of practicing PAs and NPs in NC, the NCAPA felt that it would be in the best interest of the state’s citizens and health care professionals to give both professions a voice on the board.

HB 724 was filed by Representatives Donny Lambeth of Forsyth County, Chris Malone of Wake County, Susan Martin of Wilson County, and Pat Hurley of Randolph County. At the time of publication, the bill had not yet been referred to a committee for debate.

Several other health care bills are also making their way through the legislature this year. Two bills have been filed in the Senate to modify the scope of practice in nursing- Senate Bill (SB) 240: Define Scope of Practice of CRNAs and SB 695: Modify Nursing Practice Act. SB 240 would eliminate the requirement for physician supervision of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and defines the practice of nursing by CRNAs under the Nursing Practice Act. SB 695 would allow NPs, Certified Nurse Midwives, and Clinical Nurse Specialists to be licensed by the NC Board of Nursing as an advanced practice reregistered nurse.

Neither bill has been up for debate in a committee yet.

Several different versions of Medicaid reform have also been filed in the state House and Senate this year. While all versions express intent to modernize the state’s Medicaid program, as well as provide budget predictability and stability, each lays out a slightly different plan on how to achieve that goal.

SB 568: NC Health Care Modernization – Would transform the fee-for-service system to a value-based system, through allowing licensed commercial health insurers to offer Medicaid plans based on a primary care centric purchasing strategy. The bill also allows for at-risk provider-led organizations to collaborate with the state’s LME/MCOs to manage and serve the patient population.

SB 574/HB 372: 2015 Medicaid Reform – Would “modernize and stabilize” the Medicaid program through provider-led capitated health plans.

SB 696/HB 525: Medicaid Modernization – Would transform the state’s fee-for-service system to full risk capitated health plans and allow for both provider-led and non-provider-led health plans.

SB 703: Medicaid Transformation – Would direct the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to create a Medicaid reform plan that would transform the state’s fee-for-service system into a capitated, risk-based managed care system. The bill also requires DHHS to enter into at least three risk contracts with three statewide Medicaid managed care organization.

None of the above bills have received a committee hearing yet. Since legislative leaders in both chambers are sponsors of these bills, it shows the intent of this General Assembly to pass some form of Medicaid reform this year.


39th Annual NCAPA Summer Conference

Embassy Suites, Kingston Plantation
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
August 16-21, 2015

Registration is open for our 39th Annual Summer Conference!  NCAPA combines the best CME conference for PAs with a family-friendly beach vacation. Register now for our best registration rates!

Are you looking to fulfill your SA CME Requirement?  NCAPA is offering an Acute Care Medicine Self-Assessment workshop at the Summer Conference. This CME program is designed to evaluate where in acute care medicine and EKG interpretation you need to focus and where to take proactive steps for improvement.  Presented by John Bielinski, PA, from CME4Life, LLC, the Acute Care Medicine SA workshop utilizes the audience response system for immediate feedback to presented questions. There will be discussion, engagement and tools for learning presented.

Seats are strictly limited due to the number of audience response units – a wait list will be available when seats are filled. The NCAPA plans to request 20 hours of AAPA Category 1 Self-Assessment (SA) CME credit from the PA Review Panel. The total number of approved credits is yet to be determined.

Click here for conference information & registration

Click here for hotel information & room reservations

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.  Please note that we have 2 different group codes for our room block this year.  Make sure you are using the correct code when booking your room to receive our negotiated rates.

Embassy Suites & Kingston Condos Group Code NAP
Hilton & Royale Palms Group Code APA

Reserve your room now for the best selection!


New Educational Development Panel Seeking Members

Are you interested in Continuing Medical Education?  Do you have a passion for bringing the latest and greatest CME to North Carolina PAs?  Then we are looking for you!

NCAPA is developing a new sub-committee of the Continuing Education Committee called the Educational Development Panel.  The Educational Development Panel will ensure that NCAPA can provide CME through a variety of ways, such as online, webinars, and one-day workshops.  The sub-committee will also assess ways in which to provide the new Self-Assessment and Performance Improvement CME required by NCCPA.

The chair of this sub-committee is April Stouder, MHS, PA-C.  If you are interested in serving on this sub-committee, please contact Carin Head, NCAPA Director of Conferences & CME, for a committee application.  Carin can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at (919) 479-1995.


Nominate the 2015 PA of the Year!

from Kat Nicholas, Director of Membership and Marketing

NCAPA’s PA of the Year award honors a PA who has demonstrated exemplary service to the profession and the community, while providing significant contributions to the health of the citizens of North Carolina. To be eligible for the PA of the Year award, an individual must be a Fellow Member of NCAPA in good standing for a minimum of five years and be licensed by the NC Medical Board.

May 1 is the deadline for 2015 nominations. Any NCAPA member may submit a nomination, including self-nomination. The 2015 PA of the Year award recipient will be honored at the NCAPA 2015 Summer Conference in Myrtle Beach, SC. In addition to a plaque, the recipient will receive a complimentary conference registration and one night’s lodging associated with attending the awards presentation.  The recipient’s name will be added to a permanent plaque at the Stead Center recognizing PA of the Year award winners.

Submit your nomination today!


Interested in Serving on the Board?

by the NCAPA Nominating Committee

The NCAPA Nominating Committee is soliciting candidates for open positions on the Board of Directors and Nominating Committee in 2016. 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 and 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 Nominating Committee Member. To read more about these positions and to nominate yourself or a colleague, click here.  The Nominating Committee is looking forward to receiving your applications!  The deadline for nominating a colleague is May 29, 2015.  The deadline for nominating yourself is August 1, 2015.

All terms begin January 1, 2016. Nominees for officer positions (President-Elect and Treasurer) must have been a Fellow member in good standing of the NCAPA for the calendar year prior to election. All other nominees must have been a Fellow or Associate member.


House of Delegates Nominations

by the NCAPA Nominating Committee

Nominations are now open for candidates seeking to be the NCAPA representatives to the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) 2016 and 2017 House of Delegates (HOD).  The AAPA HOD is the representative governance body for the national professional organization. It is comprised of delegates who represent chapters and other constituent groups.  AAPA determines the number of HOD representatives from NCAPA based on the number of AAPA Fellow members in North Carolina.  NCAPA will have seven (7) delegates in 2016-2017.  Our NCAPA President serves as the Chief Delegate, so six (6) more will be needed.

Nominations for Delegates are being accepted for a term of office that begins on July 1, 2015, and ends on June 30, 2017.  NCAPA Fellow members may self-declare or nominate another Fellow Member. (Fellow members are PAs who are members of both AAPA and NCAPA.) Those elected will represent NCAPA at the 2016 and 2017 AAPA HOD meetings, with travel, lodging, and meal expenses paid by NCAPA.

In order to be eligible, you must:

  • Be a Fellow Member in good standing through the previous calendar year.
  • Submit a Letter of Intent and brief Platform Statement to the NCAPA Nominating Committee via the NCAPA Executive Director no later than May 8, 2015.

Voting by electronic ballot will begin May 20 and close June 15, 2015.  Only NCAPA Fellow members in good standing are eligible to vote.

The entire slate of candidates will be ranked, based upon the number of votes received, in order to assign NCAPA’s delegates and alternates. NCAPA policy requires that the current President serves as the Chief Delegate.  Election results will be announced by June 19, 2015.

For further information or to submit your Letter of Intent and Platform Statement, please contact Cathie Feild, NCAPA Executive Director, at  Letters of Intent and Platform statements may be sent to this email address or by fax to 919-479-9726 or by mail to Cathie Feild, NCAPA, 1121 Slater Road, Durham, NC 27703.  If sending by mail, please allow enough time for your materials to arrive by May 8th.


Provide Your Voice

from Kat Nicholas, Director of Membership and Marketing

NCAPA is the voice of the PA profession in North Carolina.  We will continue to advocate for PAs throughout the state as we strive to provide the greatest possible value to our members. NCAPA staff and volunteers are currently in the process of developing a strategic approach to our public relations and communications efforts with the intent of providing increased value to our members, as well as conveying the value of PAs to the public.  In the not too distant future, you will be receiving an email with a link to a survey.  I encourage each and every one of you to take a few minutes and help us ensure that the work we are doing is headed in the right direction. Provide your input and assist NCAPA in meeting your professional needs and increasing the volume and clarity of your voice.


NCAPA Staff Introduction: Kat Nicholas

Kat Nicholas began working at NCAPA in January of 2014 and is the Director of Membership and Marketing. With her background in non-profits and love of databases, she quickly moved from her initial position of Administrative Assistant into her current role, overseeing all things related to membership, student affairs, regional chapters, and marketing. She is continually impressed by the PAs she meets and their dedication to providing quality healthcare to their patients while advocating for the PA profession.  One of her many goals at NCAPA is to increase public awareness of the value of PAs in healthcare and, at the same time, increase PA awareness of the value of NCAPA.

Kat’s previous experience includes managing a 24-hour crisis line, case management, and fund raising, all of which led to her completion of Duke University’s Certificate in Non-Profit Management.  She currently lives on a 5 acre wooded lot in Chatham County with her husband and two sons, ages 9 and 6.  When she’s not busy being wife and mother, she enjoys baking pie, quilting, rummaging for vintage treasures, and sitting on her porch.


NCAPA Endowment Scholarships – Deadline June 11!

For current PA students who will be entering or newly enrolled in your clinical year in September of 2015, please keep in mind that June 11 is the deadline to apply for 2015 NCAPA Endowment Student Scholarships. 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, 2015.  Official transcripts (no copies please) should be mailed to:

NCAPA, att. Kat Nicholas, 1121 Slater Road, Durham, NC 27703.

I would now like to take this “better late than never” moment to congratulate the 2014 recipients of the NCAPA Student Scholarships.  Alexa Carda (Campbell), Todd McVeigh (Duke), Brandon Alspaugh (ECU), Sahar Osman(Elon), Kristina Sanders (Methodist), Bharath Balu (Wake Forest), and Kenna Holtzclaw (Wingate):  Congratulations!  We wish you the best as you begin your new career as a PA and look forward to having those of you who remain in North Carolina as Fellow members of NCAPA.


PA Student Medical Challenge Bowl

It’s not too late to register! The 2015 Student Challenge Bowl is set for Saturday, May 9, at the Stead Center in Durham.

Here’s how the PA Student Medical Challenge Bowl works:

  • Competition is inter-collegiate: to the extent possible, each team will consist of students from every PA program in North Carolina. Teams are determined on game day, based upon who is in attendance.
  • Responses to all questions require a question prefix (e.g. “What is… or Who is…”). Only one response per question per team.
  • Questions must be answered within 10 seconds, and points are deducted for incorrect answers. Teams “buzz-in” to answer questions as a group. The team that accumulates the most points wins.
  • Prizes for all!

Registrations are due by April 24. Students should contact their NCAPA Student Representative to register.  Current Student Representatives are:

  • Will Ashby, (Campbell)
  • Eric Langhans, (Duke)
  • James Burns, (ECU)
  • Margery Springer, (Elon)
  • Andrew Rushlow, (Gardner-Webb)
  • Nicole Oakley (Methodist)
  • Samantha Condon, (Wake Forest)
  • Jennifer Law, (Wingate)


NCAPA Regional Chapter Updates

  • Far West NC Physician Extender Associates (FW NC PEA) is a group of PAs and NPs that meet once per month for networking, socializing, CME and free food opportunities.  We meet in different locations in Sylva, Bryson City, Franklin, Waynesville, Murphy, Robbinsville, Andrews…after work hours, usually on a Monday around 6pm.If you are interested in joining or know of someone that may be interested, please contact Jane Girskis at:  Yearly dues are $30 and we are in the midst of planning our 2nd Annual CME Conference to be held on Saturday, September 26th. (It’s free!)
  • Metrolina Association of Physician Assistants (MAPA) held a membership social activity on March 27, 2015.  Members and a plus one had a GREAT time at the Checkers hockey game in Charlotte, NC. Everyone had a FABULOUS time, and we were able to extend membership to individuals who wanted to reactivate their membership with the MAPA group.


Healthiest You Challenge

by Marian Cranford, PA-C

To fit our mission of promoting the health of our community, the NCAPA served as a team sponsor in the 5th Annual Healthiest You Challenge, hosted by UNC Healthcare, along with WCHL radio and

The program kicked-off on February 25th at the UNC Wellness Center with a live radio broadcast. A group of 64 finalists, divided into eight teams, were selected to participate in the six-week challenge. Each team worked with a professional wellness coach to design engaging and creative activities, including health education lectures, fitness clinics, group fitness classes, individual workouts, and personal nutrition regimes, all to achieve the goal of better health and wellness.

To listen to the kickoff show, see pictures of this year’s teams, and to learn about their progress –visit


SDPA and AAPA Meet With AAD Regarding the DermCare Team

from AAPA

The American Academy of Dermatology recently announced the DermCare Team, a new initiative designed to make specific AAD products and educational activities available to those who practice with AAD members. Unfortunately, participation in the initiative requires teams to sign an attestation that the AAD member is onsite when the PA practices, unless there are “extenuating circumstances.”

AAPA and the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants sent a letter requesting that AAD either remove the mandatory attestation or update its current position statement requiring the on-site presence of a dermatologist at all times.

SDPA leaders, AAPA’s liaison to AAD, Robert Higham, MPAS, PA-C, and AAPA staff met with AAD leaders on March 22 at the AAD Annual Conference in San Francisco to discuss the issue. Ideally, language will be developed that will support the AAD DermCare Team initiative, while not imposing new restrictions on dermatologists and PAs. AAPA, SDPA and AAD will continue to work on a resolution and will possibly meet again next month to continue to discuss this issue. Look for updates in SDPA and AAPA communications.


Commercial Driver Medical Examiner Training DVDs Available! 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) now requires all medical examiners who wish to provide DOT/CDL exams to be trained and certified. NCAPA has developed a DVD series to train Commercial Driver Medical Examiners according to the new FMCSA standards and prepare them for the FMCSA Medical Examiner Certification Test. This course is approved for 6 hours of Category I CME*.

The DVD series includes 4 DVDs and a Course Workbook.  A Post-Test & Answer Key with feedback will be e-mailed to you as well.

Read what other PAs are saying about NCAPA’s training:

“Thank you for producing an excellent DVD based course which was very helpful in passing the FMCSA Certified Driver Medical Examiner National Registry Examination. The lectures, review materials and summary of waiting periods are well organized and geared for Physician Assistants.” Nelson Zec, PA-C

“I was unable to attend an in-person class, so I ordered the NCAPA’s DVD set to gain my required Certified Medical Examiner training.  This program exceeded my expectations in every way.  The information presented was clear and thorough, and all of my questions were answered during the program.  The accompanying written materials were a great supplement to the information provided by the lecturers, and will be a resource I use often in my clinic.  I would recommend this affordable DVD program to anyone who cannot easily attend an in-person class.” Ryan Vann, PA-C

Click here to purchase the DVD set!

*This program has been reviewed and is approved for a maximum of 6.00 hours of AAPA Category I CME credit by the Physician Assistant Review Panel.  Physician assistants should claim only those hours actually spent participating in the CME activity.