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 | January 2016

In this issue:
President’s Message


Legislative Updates


Don’t Miss a Beat! Activate your 2016 Membership by January 31st


30th Annual NCAPA Recertification Exam Review Conference


Special Offer for NCAPA Student Members-FREE WORKSHOP!


Come In from the Cold – NCAPA Winter Social!


40th Annual NCAPA Summer Conference


NCAPA Endowment Student Scholarship: A Thank-You


NCAPA Leader Introduction: Ryan Vann


New PANRE Model from the NCCPA Concerns Some PAs


Survey of Physician Assistants Concerning Oral Health


PAs in Primary Care: Why or Why Not?


Welcome Members!


 Wanda Hancock

President’s Message

 by Wanda Hancock,MHSA, PA-C

Let me begin by wishing all our fellow PAs and PA Students in North Carolina a wonderful 2016.  It is my sincere hope that you will reach out to your colleagues who are not yet involved in NCAPA and encourage them to join you in your commitment to move our profession forward. What a wonderful resolution!  One that helps you help others. NCAPA is committed to making PA practice in North Carolina better for all.  Let’s be sure that all are involved in supporting this mission.

During the November Board of Directors meeting, the strategic plan for NCAPA was reviewed by the out-going and in-coming committee chairs and members, board members, executive committee, and all of the staff.  Changes were made to reflect the progress that was made in 2015, which has been tremendous, and to add new directives based on what we have learned from our consultants and members.  We have a solid plan to take us into 2018 and feel confident that, even with the changing environment in healthcare, we can accomplish all that is contained in the plan and more. That is, with your help, support, and expertise.

Check out the Legislative Action Center on our website!  You can find it by clicking on the Advocacy tab.  Part of our mission is to help make the most of our profession.  We do this through government relations and by making sure that PAs are included in any legislation that is passed which impacts our practice.  Just last year, we were able to secure a PA-only seat on the NC Medical Board. But even though North Carolina enjoys the best practice regulations in the country, this did not come about without a lot of hard work.  In the “old” days this was done by truly dedicated PAs who gave of their time to meet with the legislators and political leaders.  Today, due to time we cannot take away from our jobs and families, we have to find a different way. Through frugal management of our revenues, NCAPA has done that.  We have staff to assist us in moving our cause forward and monitor daily actions that impact our practice. Any PA in the state can access information on important legislation that may impact PA practice simply by visiting our Legislative Action Center.

We have already made changes to our approach to technology and anticipate continuing this effort during the coming year.  We continue to seek new approaches to offering continuing education, including the ability to offer on-demand CME. CME and NCCPA certification and recertification are at the forefront of our members’ interests and NCAPA is making great strides to meet those needs with the consistent quality we have provided in the past.  Our Winter Conference has evolved into a wonderful collection of review lectures, prepared to bring confidence to those who attend and are preparing for the certification examination.

Another focus during the year will be to bring along our newer members in an effort to grow our organization.  For many years we have held a position that was of envy to many constituent organizations.  We provide support to ALL PAs practicing in North Carolina by monitoring state and national regulations that may impact our practice rights or reimbursement, yet we still have only 20% of the PAs in North Carolina as members of NCAPA. A vegetable garden can be beautiful, but without care, water, and fertilizer, it will bear no fruit.  NCAPA is similar to this.

During the coming year, we will transition into working with a new Executive Director.  The Search Committee has spent countless hours reviewing the many applicants and has narrowed down the selection.  We hope to announce our new Executive Director by the end of January.  This will be a change for the staff and the board members.  I prefer to see it as an opportunity to move NCAPA to the next level, and continue the phenomenal progress we have made this past year.  A tremendous amount of energy and expertise of our Executive Committee has brought us to the final deliberations in the selection process.  We give our best wishes to Cathie Feild as she enters into retirement in February.  She has been a wonderful leader, confidant, manager, and friend over the past three years.  We will miss her.

This is an exciting time for me, and I truly appreciate the opportunity you have given me to contribute in a meaningful way to NCAPA.  What more can make your career complete than making a difference?  My job for the coming year cannot be accomplished without you.  Strong committees and members will help me to lead the organization.  We are all blessed with a wonderful profession and organization.  Please contact me if you have a passion that you would like to work toward during the year. Help me make the most of this during 2016.

Thank you,

Wanda Hancock, MHSA, PA-C


The New Year Brings New State Laws

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

During the 2015 legislative session, 300 bills became law. While a good majority of those 300 bills became the law of the land immediately upon signature, many also had effective dates set in the future, including 20 bills that became effective on January 1, 2016.

Effective January 1, 2016, the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) must:

  • Provide Medicaid and NC Health Choice reimbursement for the administration of covered vaccinations or immunizations provided by immunizing pharmacists.
  • Consistent with new federal requirements, adopt an average acquisition cost methodology for brand and generic drug ingredient pricing.
  • Increase by 10% the rate paid for private duty nursing services provided pursuant to Clinical Coverage Policy 3G.
  • Submit a State Plan Amendment so that beginning January 1, 2016, no Medicaid provider may receive reimbursement for Graduate Medical Education in addition to their DRG Unit Value base rate under the methodology, as defined in the Medicaid State Plan.

Additionally, the Chief Medical Examiner is required to establish a medical examiner training program, starting January 1, 2016, that includes training on sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) during medicolegal death investigations. According to the legislation, autopsies play a key role in determining the diagnosis of SUDEP, yet it has been found that SUDEP cases may be underreported due to lack of awareness and education among medical examiners.

A new law that has caught the eye of many media outlets in recent weeks is the requirement that all qualified physicians that advise, procure, or cause a miscarriage or abortion after the sixteenth week of pregnancy must provide certain records, including the ultrasound, to DHHS. All materials provided or generated by the physician to DHHS are not public record and must comply with HIPAA, and are to be used for statistical purposes only. Under the legislation, a “qualified physician” is (i) a physician who possesses, or is eligible to possess, board certification in obstetrics or gynecology, (ii) a physician who possesses sufficient training based on established medical standards in safe abortion care, abortion complications, and miscarriage management, or (iii) a physician who performs an abortion in a medical emergency as defined by G.S. 90-21.81(5).

Until the legislature reconvenes in late April, North Carolina’s citizens will not see any new laws passed. The legislative oversight committees, which are scheduled to begin this week, however, will give the citizens a preview of what kind of legislation to expect during the 2016 short session.


Don’t Miss a Beat! Activate your 2016 Membership by January 31st

by Kat Nicholas, Director of Membership and Marketing

Did you know that if you have not renewed your membership yet for 2016 this will be your last issue of The Pulse? You will miss out on loads of great information about our conferences, CME opportunities, local networking events, local and national news regarding PAs and the PA profession, and, even more importantly, all the legislative updates containing information that could potentially affect your rights to practice in North Carolina.

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 2016 membership today!


30th Annual NCAPA Recertification Exam Review Conference

Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center
February 20-23, 2016
Durham, NC

Register Now!

The conference agenda is based on the NCCPA PANRE exam blueprint and will be 100% focused on a review of all organ systems. Even if you are not up for recertification or don’t take the PANRE, this conference is an excellent review of all organ systems for any health care provider.

NEW for 2016! The conference begins on a Saturday this year and runs through Tuesday afternoon.  That means less time away from the office and more time to study for the PANRE!

This program has been reviewed and is approved for 30 hours of AAPA Category 1 CME credit for the general sessions and 22 hours in workshops by the Physician Assistant Review Panel. PAs should claim only those hours actually spent participating in the CME activity.

Credits awarded by the AAPA are accepted by the ANCC Certification Program and the AANP as Continuing Education (CE) credits for nurses and nurse practitioners.

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 22, 2016, or while availability lasts. Our room block is close to a sell-out, so please book your room ASAP!

For hotel reservations, click here or call (919) 941-5050.


Special Offer for NCAPA Student Members-FREE WORKSHOP!

The NCAPA is offering a PANRE/PANCE Board Review workshop at the February 2016 conference. This 2 evening workshop consists of PANRE/PANCE test questions that are administered live with John Bielinski, MS, PA-C.  Attendees will be given handouts of all questions and answers that will be reviewed in the workshop.  There is also a 200 question take-home exam provided to all attendees.

The workshop will be held at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham, NC. Normally costing $175, this workshop is being offered to NCAPA Student Members free of charge. It is scheduled for Saturday, February 20 from 6-9pm and Sunday, February 21, from 6-8pm.

To register, please RSVP to Carin Head via email:


Come In from the Cold – NCAPA Winter Social!

Join us for networking with fellow PAs. Our first social event of 2016 will be held the Friday night prior to our Recertification Conference (details above) in Durham, NC.  You do not have to be attending the conference to attend the social event.

Friday, February 19th
The Stead Center
1121 Slater Road
Durham, NC

Heavy appetizers, wine, and beer.  And it’s free!  PA students welcome to attend.  If you think you might join us, please email Kat Nicholas at and state that you will be joining us, as well as any guests you may have, for the social on February 19th.  Hope you can make it!


40th Annual NCAPA Summer Conference

Registration is Open!

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

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!

The first 100 registrants will receive $25 off our already low early registration rates.  The discount applies to full conference registrations only.

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 AOP.


NCAPA Endowment Student Scholarship: A Thank-You

from Nicole Oakley, PA-S, 2015 NCAPA Student Representative, Methodist University

NCAPA About Me

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


NCAPA Leader Introduction: Ryan Vann

Ryan Vann, PA-C, is a Past-President of NCAPA and currently serves as the NCAPA Finance Committee Chair, a member of the Government Affairs Committee, and as a member of the Nominating Committee. He is from Boonville, NC, located in Yadkin County, and graduated from Duke University’s PA program in 2007. Ryan specializes in Family Medicine and currently works in Advance, NC for Family Medicine-Hillsdale, part of Wake Forest Baptist Health.

What do you like best about being a PA?

My ability to help patients with treatment and preventive care during all stages of life.  I also like that family medicine gives us the opportunity to see multiple generations in the same family.

How did you get involved with NCAPA?

I was an NCAPA Student Representative on the Board of Directors while at Duke, and then became involved in government affairs upon graduation.  Several PAs were instrumental in encouraging my continued involvement, including chairing the Finance Committee and serving as President of the Academy a few years ago.

Why do you think it is important to be involved in NCAPA?

PAs must be actively involved in the continued evolution of our profession.  As the voice for PAs in North Carolina, active participation in the NCAPA gives us an opportunity to influence everything from reimbursement and governmental rules/regulations to the public perception of PAs in North Carolina.

Any other personal information you would like to share?

I am married to wife, Shannon, who is a dentist and we have two children, Bryson (5) and Spencer (1).  We are die-hard Carolina fans and attend football and basketball games when possible.


New PANRE Model from the NCCPA Concerns Some PAs

by Jane Boston, New England Journal of Medicine

In the early part of November 2015, the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) selected a new Physician Assistant National Recertifying Exam (PANRE) model for further exploration and public comment. The NCCPA believes that the new “two-component” model, consisting of the usual secure exam plus a new series of at-home generalist assessments, would better assess PAs’ maintenance of the skills and knowledge that are needed in a rapidly changing field. Read the full story here.


Survey of Physician Assistants Concerning Oral Health

Brandon Churchman, PA-C, from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, regarding a research project on patients’ oral health:

I am contacting you to ask for your help with a research project that explores your thoughts about your patients’ oral health. Being a physician assistant myself, I became keenly aware of how important an interprofessional approach to patients’ dental care is when I began my studies as a dental student. I therefore designed a survey and try to find out what other physician assistants think about being involved in interprofessional care for their patients’ oral health. The survey is anonymous and has IRB approval from the University of Michigan Institutional Review Board (#HUM00090540).

You can access this anonymous survey with this web link:

If you have questions concerning the survey, please contact me at

Thank you very much for your help with this project.


PAs in Primary Care: Why or Why Not?

Katie Brode, a PA student from Wagner College, New York has created a study regarding PAs in Primary Care. Katie writes:

The purpose of the study is to determine demographic factors displayed by primary care and non-primary care PAs, job satisfaction between primary care and non-primary care PAs, and willingness of practicing PAs to consider switching to primary care. We hope our research will provide data from which we can draw recommendations to help recruit PAs to fill the ever-growing primary care demand. I would really appreciate it if you could please take this survey. The link is:

Thank you for your time and help. 

Katie Brode 


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!

Gail Albergo, Durham
Sam Aloian, Apex
Carey Amato, Fort Mill, SC
Tyler Anderson, Charlotte
Alyssa Anderson, Hampstead
Ijeoma Anen, Fayetteville
Roger Austin, Hudson
Callie Averette, Fuquay-Varina
Chris Barry, Morrisville
Cheryl Beauman, Siler City
Rosalind Becker, Wingate
Tatjana Benedict, Apex
Elizabeth Benfield, Wilmington
Tracy Black, Monroe
Melinda Blazar, Hillsborough
Neptali Bocanegra, Chapel Hill
Ken Boccaccio, Willow Spring
Gayle Bodner, Winston Salem
Katherine Bogart, Apex
Heather Bowers, Oak Island
Mary Boyce, Raleigh
Samara Boyd, Pantego
Linda Brower, Elizabeth City
Greta Brunet, Apex
Liz Buno, Roxboro
Gary Butts, Statesville
Neal Cabaniss, Appomattox, VA
Margaret Cagle, Waynesville
Laura Carter, Winston-Salem
Dr. Robert Cipriano, Weaverville
Tracey Cloninger, Raleigh
Jason Coggins, Garner
Emily Cole, Hendersonville
Paul Coleman, Matthews
Harvey Colley, Lenoir
Christopher Craig, Winston-Salem
John Crawley, Fayetteville
Kevin Cullen, Fayetteville
Douglas Dalton, North Tazewell, VA
Clifford Daub, Fayetteville
Barbara Dean, Banner Elk
Rebekah DeCamillis, Winston-Salem
Lynn Degnan, Raleigh
Christine Denney, Raleigh
Alisha DeTroye, Clemmons
Tom DeVito, Raleigh
Charles Donau, Fayetteville
Margaret Donnelly, Durham
Elissa Doty, Raleigh
Margaret Dunlap, Charlotte
Eric Dyer, Leland
Stephanie Edwards, Cornelius
Andrew Ervin, Lumberton
Shaily Estrella, Lewisville
Stephen Fairchild, Goldsboro
Patrick Feron, Aberdeen
Sunnie Flowers, Winston-Salem
Angela Ford, Oak Ridge
Gerard Forest, Whispering Pines
Melissa Fowler, Morganton
Sarah Franco, Greenville, SC
Elizabeth Frost, Black Mountain
Nanette Fulp, Winston Salem
Audrey Furnas, Forest, VA
Katie Furr, Oakboro
Tina Garrett, Greensboro
Deborah Gessner, Greensboro
Allen Gifford, Hillsborough
Karen Gimblet, Hickory
Jane Girskis, Sylva
Cragin Greene, Denver
Frances (Yvonne) Greenlee, Kernersville
Janine Gregoloff, China Grove
John Griffith, Wilmington
M. Peter Gunn, Raleigh
Brian Hanley, Marion
Zachary Hartsell, Clemmons
Erin Hartsfield, Charlotte
Hannah Hefner, Taylorsville
James Heine, Fayetteville
David Henderson, Morehead City
Stacey Heppert, Clayton
Tiffany Hiatt, Winston Salem
Michelle Hilliard, Morganton
Faith Hislop, Rutherfordton
Robert Holliday, Winston-Salem
Mark Hollo, Taylorsville
Debra Holmes, Wake Forest
Charles Huggins, Red Springs
Cashin Hunt, Winston-Salem
Robin Hunter-Buskey, Raleigh
Carla Hupert, Wilmington
Lori Hvozdovic, High Point
Carolyn Jarrell, Charlotte
Elizabeth Jobe, Lumberton
Kevrin Johnson, Durham
Cortney Jones, Cerro Gordo
Meagan Jones, Charlotte
Laura Justen, Charlotte
Chetan Kapat, Raleigh
Sharon Kast, Fletcher
Marc Katz, Vale
Rita Katz, Vale
Georgina Keene, Durham
Jane Keilitz, High Point
John Kennedy, Asheville
Amanda Kiker, Norwood
Mary King, Asheville
Sandra Klug, Burlington
Audrey Konigsberg, Murphy
Adeline Kranzburg, Winston-Salem
Harry Kurtz, Raleigh
David Lange, Valdese
Tami Lee, Roxboro
Laurie Lee, Hillsborough
David Leedy, Winston Salem
Rich Leshock, Winston-Salem
Kathy LeStrange, Winston-Salem
Melvin Levers, Winston-Salem
Andrea Lewis, Greensboro
John Lloyd, Mocksville
Genevieve Long, Greenville
Albert Lundquist, Greensboro
Jose Mahiquez, Benson
Kimberly Major, Southport
Rita Malkki, Durham
Mark Malzahn, Salisbury
Susan Marra, Kernersville
Wilda McCain, Fayetteville
Leslie McCutcheon, Apex
Varnell McDonald-Fletcher, Durham
Sarah McManus, Shelby
Betsy Melcher, Durham
Angela Meredith, Fayetteville
Elsie Min, Greensboro
Elwood Moore, Greenville
John Moore, LaGrange,
Ryan Moorhouse, Waxhaw
Patricia Nelson, Raleigh
David Newbrough, Elizabeth City
Charles Niemeyer, Gastonia
Tiffany Noel, Winston-Salem
Laura Orsbn, Advance
Seth Pattan, Benson
Kyle Pelligra, Raleigh
Drew Perkins, Greensboro
Staci Pessetti, Fayetteville
Susan Petry, Durham
Brittany Phero, Chapel Hill
Amber Price, Troutman
Marshall Putnam, Fuquay-Varina
Tim Pysell, Rock Hill, SC
Holzhauer Rachel, Charlotte
Ashley Rawls, New Bern
Kim Ray, Winston-Salem
Suzanne Reich, Winston-Salem
Jerry Rider, Clarksville, TN
Larry Roediger, Roaring Gap
Diana Roetting, Charlotte
Jason Romblad, Lexington
John Sallstrom, Morganton
Katherine Scheller, Fayetteville
Jeana Schneider, Durham
Michelle Schnoll, Gastonia
Lauren Schultz, Boiling Springs
Christian Schulz, Charlotte
James Schumacher, Broadway
Kristi Seward, Durham
Lori Seymour, Mount Pleasant
Daniel Shapiro, Wilmington
Anna Shtymak, Asheville
Truett Smith, Davidson
Joshua Smith, Morrisville
Lisa Snegosky, Greensboro
Betsy Southern, Walkertown
Sarah Spainhour-Reese, Asheville
Venayagaratnam Srikantha, Goldsboro
Doyle Stark, Lawton, OK
April Stouder, Chapel Hill
Erin Stover, Greenville
John Strader, Summerfield
Annamarie Streilein, Durham
Megan Stritch, Charlotte
Todd Svitzer, Boone
Steven Taxman, Durham
Megan Tetlow, Fort Myers, FL
Leandra Tonweber, Charlotte
Darren Trafton, Wilmington
Bowie Tran, Kernersville
Frank Trenery, Kure Beach
James Trenner, Raleigh
Margie Trent, Lexington
Tammy Triplett, Bassett, VA
Glenn Tripp, Angier
Ashley Underwood, Durham
James Ursin, Hendersonville
Lana VanStory, Fayetteville
Samantha Verruto, Raleigh
Sharon Walter, Rock Hill, SC
Andrea Ward, Pittsboro
John Warren, Winston-Salem
Ann Watson, Sparta
Joyce Weber, Wilmington
Courtney White, Raleigh
Lacey White, Leland
Joe Wilber, Chapel Hill
Krissi Williams, Kitty Hawk
Kristen Williams, Concord
Todd Williams, Holly Springs
Rufus Williams, Raleigh
Sean Wilson, Erwin
Miranda Worley, Eden
Martine Wurst, Charlotte
Maureen Young, Pine Knoll Shores
Cary Zakrzewski, Durham