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 | March 2016

In this issue:


President’s Message


Save the Date: PA Day at the North Carolina General Assembly is Confirmed!


10 Year Anniversary of the Stead Center | Veteran’s Memorial Garden Update


40th Annual NCAPA Summer Conference


PA Student Medical Challenge Bowl


Interested in Serving on the Board? NCAPA Seeking Nominations


NCAPA Endowment: Leading the Way


NCAPA Leader Introduction: Detra Chambers


Methodist University PA Program hosting 7th Annual Golf Tournament


Nominate a PA of the Year!


NCAPA Endowment Student Scholarship: A Thank-You


States Removes Barriers to PAs


Welcome Members!


 Wanda Hancock

President’s Message

 by Wanda Hancock,MHSA, PA-C

It has truly been a busy time for me and NCAPA during this month that roared in like a lion.  We are excited by the arrival of Emily Adams, NCAPA’s new Executive Director, who will join our team on March 21st.  Emily attended our membership networking social on February 19th and was impressed with those of you she was fortunate to have met and excited to be a part of a new chapter for NCAPA.

Our 30th Annual Recertification Exam Review Conference was wonderful.  The schedule of the conference was changed to a Saturday through Tuesday format based on previous attendee suggestions and comments and we ended up having a larger turn out than last year.  I was fortunate to be able to attend for a couple of days and enjoyed meeting so many PAs at the conference and socializing with our members at the reception as well.   Just prior to our 30th Annual Recertification Exam Review Conference, Detra Chambers and Alisha DeTroye represented NCAPA at the Leadership Advocacy conference in Washington, DC. They returned with some great ideas and tools to help move NCAPA forward.

There are many issues facing the AAPA House of Delegates (HOD) this year. One of the largest issues is the proposed recertification requirements and schedule from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). The Executive Committee of NCAPA conducted a mini-survey concerning those changes during the Winter Conference. Based on those findings, we plan to expand our survey effort to our entire membership. This will be sent out to you electronically during the next few weeks. PLEASE help us guide our delegates and the profession by taking a few minutes to respond. The survey will be summarized and results will be reported next month. In addition to this, several of us participated in an AAPA teleconference about the proposed changes. Two of our members, Dr. Reamer Bushardt and Suzanne Reich, developed a resolution on behalf of NCAPA to present at the HOD this year. These are truly exciting times as NCAPA continues to be a leader to our profession.

The input of our members is essential. Our largest value to you as members is to serve as your advocate to AAPA, the NC Medical Board, NCMS, NC Legislature, and other groups of interest.  We need to be sure that we are on the right track because no one has all of the answers. For this reason, you will get yet another survey in coming weeks. This one will address two other issues that we know will be discussed at length in the AAPA HOD. We know that there is strong support on both sides of the aisle but we have yet to hear from our membership and wish to know your position.  The first issue is concerning the changing of our professional designated title, the second is with regards to moving toward the doctorate for our educational programs. While I think I have my finger on the pulse of our members, I have to be certain that we are indeed advocating for what you want and where you think NCAPA should be.

The NCAPA Executive Committee has met to discuss many issues since February via video conferencing.  NCAPA is moving forward with electronic meetings so that the time and effectiveness are both improved.  We were able to bring two issues to our Board of Directors for electronic vote thanks to the vigilance of our staff in making updates to our existing technology. We look forward to continuing this trend which will allow us to move forward in a timely fashion, becoming a greater benefit not only to our board and committee members, but to you, our members, as well.

Thank you,

Wanda Hancock, MHSA, PA-C


Save the Date: PA Day at the North Carolina General Assembly is Confirmed!

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

Last week, the Government Affairs Committee confirmed the date for the 2015 legislative advocacy day – Wednesday, June 15, 2016! We will send out more details to as we get closer to the date, but go ahead and mark June 15 on your calendars. Everyone is welcome to attend!

As the people who are the boots on the ground, PAs advocating for the PA profession on the state level is extremely important. In this ever-changing health care environment, it is essential for PAs to educate the decision makers about what PAs do, as well as why fair reimbursement and the ability to practice to the fullest extent of our license is crucial.

On June 15, we will begin the day by receiving a crash course on lobbying from our government affairs consultant, Sarah Wolfe. She will give us all of the information we need in order to be successful advocates for the PA profession while we are down at the legislature. This advocacy day will allow NCAPA members to meet face-to-face with their legislators and the leadership of the health care committees in order to educate them about the high quality care that PAs provide in communities across North Carolina.

Continue to stay tuned for additional details on the 2016 legislative day. If you are interested in attending, or have any ideas, comments or questions, please contact Sarah Wolfe at


10 Year Anniversary of the Stead Center | Veteran’s Memorial Garden Update

stead center

Ten Years ago, on February 25, 2006, the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants opened the doors of the Stead Center in Durham, NC, and became the first state PA association to own and operate its own headquarters. The building is named in honor of Eugene Stead, the father of the PA profession, and houses the NCAPA central office while also hosting CME workshops, Board of Directors meetings, PA student events, and various other functions relevant to the PA profession. From 2006 to 2008, the PA History (PAHx) Society maintained an office at the Stead Center and continues to provide historical documents and items to showcase the history of the PA profession to visitors of the building.

The building features a replica of Dr. Stead’s home office, complete with furniture, decorations, pictures, and awards that he donated before his death. A formal garden behind the building is decorated with statuary also donated from Dr. Stead’s estate.

A Veteran’s Memorial Garden was established in 2007 by the PAHx Society. The NCAPA provided the space and a bronze statue of a medic bandaging the wounds of a fallen soldier was gifted to the Society to remember the contributions of former military corpsmen as pioneers of the PA profession. The garden was dedicated in honor of Dr. John McElligott on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2008, in gratitude for his support to preserve the history and legacy of the profession.


Currently, the PAHx Society and the NCAPA are working to expand and upgrade the Veteran’s Memorial Garden. Unlike the formal garden behind the Stead Center, the veterans memorial garden is not enclosed within a gated fence (see above photograph). The flag pole is not lighted at night preventing the flying of the flag 24 hours a day. The garden plot needs to be landscaped to remove overgrown shrubs and trees that block visitors view of the statue and flag pole and to make room for additions to the garden, such as, a bench and area to display the names of veterans who have become physician assistants, especially, the former military corpsmen who helped pioneer the PA profession.

A design planning team, with representation from the PAHx Society, the NCAPA and the AAPA Veterans Caucus, has worked closely with Julie Sherk, a professor at NC State University, and her students to develop landscape designs for consideration. The design project was completed in February and March and has been submitted to the landscape firm to determine cost of construction.


Landscape Design Concept by Julieta T. sherk, RLA, ASLA, Associate Professor Department of Horticultural Science College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, NC State University

Preliminary estimates indicate that the project will cost $35,000 to landscape and fence in and light the statue and flag pole in the veteran’s garden; an additional $30,000 will be needed to add a “place of remembrance” to the garden with additional brick walls, walkways and lighting.  Total cost of the project is estimated to be $67,000 including landscaping design plans.

So far, the fundraising team has raised $35,000 in donation and pledges through personal contacts.  A public fundraising campaign begins in April to raise the remaining $32,000 needed to complete work.  Plans are to begin construction in late summer and fall of 2016. This will allow completion of the Veteran’s Garden project in time for the PA History Society’s meeting at the Stead Center in April 2017 to celebrate its 15th anniversary and to “kick off” the 50th Anniversary of the PA Profession. The garden will be rededicated at that time and the focus will be on honoring the pioneering PAs who were mostly former military corpsmen or veterans.

The PAHx Society will begin selling engraved “pavers” to PA veterans to be placed on the walkway and the patio surrounding the statue and flagpole.  The brick wall behind the bench will contain bronze plaques of the uniformed service seals and lettering denoting the garden as a “Place of Remembrance.”


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!

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.


PA Student Medical Challenge Bowl

Remember the game show “Jeopardy”? If you’re a current student member of NCAPA, now it’s your turn to play! The 2016 Student Medical Challenge Bowl is set for Saturday, April 16th, 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 1s. Students should contact their NCAPA Student Representative to register.


Interested in Serving on the Board? NCAPA Seeking Nominations

by NCAPA Nominating Committee

The NCAPA Nominating Committee is soliciting candidates for open positions on the Board of Directors and Nominating Committee in 2017. Serving on the NCAPA Board is an important way to contribute to your profession and a wonderful leadership experience. North Carolina is often cited as a great state in which to practice as a PA. It got that way through the vision, leadership, and volunteer work of PAs just like you!

If you know a PA who cares deeply about the profession, who wants to contribute to the future of the profession, who is a good listener, collaborator, and decision maker—or if you are that person—please nominate her/him for a position on the NCAPA Board of Directors.

The following positions for elected offices are open for nominees: President-Elect, Vice-President, Secretary, Director-At-Large (two positions), and Nominating Committee Member. To read more about these positions and to nominate yourself or a colleague, click here. The deadline for nominating a colleague is May 31, 2016.  The deadline for nominating yourself is August 1, 2016.

All terms begin January 1, 2017. Nominees for officer positions (President-Elect, Vice-President, and Secretary) must have been an NCAPA Fellow member in good standing for the calendar year prior to election. All other nominees must have been a Fellow or Associate member.


NCAPA Endowment: Leading the Way to the AAPA 2106 Leadership and Advocacy Summit


From Amanda Chaffo PA-S, Elon University:

Thanks to the generosity of the NCAPA Endowment Lanny Parker Memorial Grant, I had the privilege of attending the AAPA Leadership and Advocacy Summit in Arlington, VA this past February. While I anticipated that I would learn a lot and have the opportunity to network with other students and PAs from across the country, those things were only part of this exceptional weekend. I not only left with pages of notes and numerous business cards, but more importantly, I took home a strengthened sense of commitment to the profession and excitement for what the future holds!

The conference ran from Thursday to Saturday and was filled with exciting events from start to finish. The first day was Capitol Hill Day, probably my favorite part of the weekend. We were placed into groups based on our home state and traveled to the Hill to meet with our local legislators and their aides to discuss current issues surrounding the PA community. This year’s discussions were based on two different topics: the ability to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid-addicted patients and including PAs in legislation relating to mental health. It was incredible to meet with such accomplished professionals and to advocate for the profession at-large. The day concluded with a reception and was when I was really able to meet fellow students and future colleagues. Friday and Saturday were organized similarly and began with breakfast and a presentation to the entire group, followed by a series of break-out sessions from which you could choose. I attended sessions on topics such as telemedicine and retail medicine and leadership development for students, and even met with a PA who is now part of the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellows program.

I really can’t recommend this event enough and hope more students from North Carolina will choose to attend next year! Without the Lanny Parker Memorial Grant, I do not believe I would have been able to afford the travel and registration expenses incurred by attending such an event as a student. I am forever grateful for being awarded the money to cover my conference registration and hotel expenses, and I could not be happier that I chose to attend. This weekend has far exceeded my expectations, taught and inspired me greatly, and it is something I hope to attend for many years to come.


From Christen MacKorell, PA-S, Gardner-Webb University:

Christen MacKorell

Pictured left to right: Callie Averette, PA-S, Christen MacKorell, PA-S, Craigin Greene, MHS, PA-C, PA Fellowship Director at Carolina Health Systems, Congressman McHenry, Sarah McManus, PA-S, Emily Cole, PA-S, and Larry Herman, MPA, PA-C, Dean, College of Health Sciences, Physician Assistant Program, Gardner-Webb University.

Christen MacKorell, a student and current class president from Gardner-Webb University Physician Assistant Program, was one of this year’s recipients of the NCAPA Endowment Lanny Parker Memorial Grant. She attended the AAPA Leadership and Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC. and applied for the grant with the hopes of assisting others in her class to develop their leadership potential while having the opportunity to advocate for their profession. With the help from the NCAPA Endowment and the program director, Christen MacKorell, Emily Cole, Sarah McManus, and Callie Averette were all able to attend the three day conference.  During the conference, Mrs. MacKorell was asked to speak as a member of a panel discussion entitled “Developing and Engaging Student and Early Career PA Leaders”. In addition, the students, along with their Dean and other North Carolina PAs, were able to meet with House Majority Chief Deputy Whip Congressman Patrick McHenry. The group lobbied Representative McHenry of the North Carolina 10th District to support legislation to include PAs as prescribers at the federal level of buprenorphine (Suboxone) as indicated for treatment of opioid-addicted patients, along with the expansion of Medicaid to reimburse all physicians and PAs for rendered behavioral health services.


NCAPA Regional Chapters Committee Chair Alisha DeTroye, MMS, PA-C had the opportunity to gain bipartisan support from Congresswoman Virginia Foxx for PA inclusion in mental health legislation.


NCAPA Leader Introduction: Detra Chambers

Detra Chambers, PA-C, is a past Director-at-Large of NCAPA and currently serves as a Co-Chair of the Government Affairs Committee. She is from Charlotte, NC and continues to live there today.  Detra graduated from the Duke University PA program in 2011 and currently works at Ballantyne Pediatrics. She enjoys running, rollerblading, personal training, coaching track, eating anything with sugar, and avoiding anything that tastes or smells like a banana.​

What do you like best about being a PA?

​I like that being a PA combines my two passions of medicine and helping others. I am most satisfied at the end of the day when I feel like I’ve made a difference, even a small one, in someone’s life.​

How did you get involved with NCAPA?

​At Duke, we are automatically registered as student members of NCAPA. However, I really got involved after attending the AAPA Capitol Connection event in Washington, D.C. during my first year of school. Senior members of NCAPA were so warm and inviting and were genuinely thrilled with students being there. I’ve pretty much been hooked ever since!

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

​Being a part of NCAPA as a member is essential because we are the only organization in North Carolina that advocates exclusively for PA practice. But being involved in NCAPA is even more important because our profession is constantly changing. Being involved allows me to be a part of the change rather than simply letting the change happen to me or to the way that I practice medicine.


Methodist University PA Program hosting 7th Annual Golf Tournament

The Methodist University Physician Assistant Program is holding their 7th Annual Golf Tournament on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at Kings Grant Golf and Country Club in Fayetteville. The format will be 4-Man Captain’s Choice with proceeds benefiting the MUPAP and the Fayetteville Urban Ministry.

Registration can be completed online or you can find a printable brochure and registrtion form here. For additional questions please feel free to contact Brian P. Rose, PA-S, MPH at


Nominate a PA of the Year!

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 or Associate Member of NCAPA and have been a practicing PA for at least five years.

May 1 is the deadline for 2016 nominations. Any NCAPA member may submit a nomination, including self-nomination. The 2016 PA of the Year award recipient will be honored at the 40th Annual NCAPA 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 also be added to a permanent PA of the Year recognition plaque at the Stead Center.

Visit the NCAPA website to find out more about the PA of the Year and submit your nomination.


NCAPA Endowment Student Scholarship: A Thank-You

from Maura Carter, PA-S, Campbell University

Maura Carter

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


States Removes Barriers to PAs

from Forbes

An increasing number of states are granting physician assistants more autonomy to increase access to patients amid a shortage of doctors and an influx of patients with health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

In some cases, states are removing bureaucratic barriers that in the past led to redundant tasks or slowed the ability of patients to get the care they needed. In New Jersey, for example, Gov. Chris Christie in January signed into law legislation that removed the so-called “countersignature requirement,” which previously required the PAs’ collaborating physician to countersign all medical orders. Read the full story here.


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!

Michael Albright, Clayton
Whitney Andrew, Hillsborough
Meg Beal, Chapel Hill
Kareen Binion-Brown, Windsor
Brandon Blank, Winston-Salem
Rebecca Boeschel, Charlotte
Ray Brown, Waxhaw
Orville Campbell, Matthews
Monica Cheesman, Middlesboro, KY
Darrin Cutrell, West End
Rebecca Dawson, Greensboro
Robert Deckert, Hope Mills
Aimee Dickey, Raleigh
Sarah Dusel, Raleigh
Thomas Esther, Durham
Mike Forrest, Atlanta, GA
Chad Frazer, Pinehurst
Alexis Goss, Raleigh
Meghan Hall, Asheboro
Crystal Hamrick, Gardner-Webb University
Lorne Hartsock, Kingsport, TN
Danielle Hayes, Hampstead
Sarah Hendrickson, Raleigh
Phebe Idol, Rocky Mount
Kristen Kaplan, Summerfield
Brittney Kelly, Greensboro
Melissa King, Asheville
Robert Lackey, Mars Hill
Gwen Langford, Griffin, GA
Kevin Lavery, Durham
Jonathan Lehman, Lititz, PA
Malia Lonergan, Greensboro
Katherine Mackin, Raleigh
Rebecca McClough, Monroe
David McGuire, New Bern
Ashley Medina, Concord
Elaine Mejia, Winston Salem
Esther Murray, Hampstead
Brian Nordgren, St Petersburg, FL
Abigail North, Raleigh
Ashley Nursey, Wilmington
Chiara Oxendine, Maxton
Diann Pace, Winterville
David Paulson, Benson
MacArthur Payne, Winchester, VA
Rosemarie Polinsky, Durham
Allison Radford, Goldsboro
William Roemer, Alamance
Gregory Sanders, Charlotte
Pamela Schafer
Jerry Shipman, Kinston
Mariaeugenia Sierra-Donovan, Fayetteville
Paul Silvi, Cary
Albert Simeone, Raleigh
Shannon Smith, Garnder-Webb University
Kim Stokes, Grimesland
Katie Stovall, Durham
Lori Sumner, Mooresville
Joan Swanson, Durham
Elizabeth Tisdale, Asheville
Scott Weaver, Greensboro
Zachary Weik, Ambler, PA
Joseph Williams, Rocky Mount
Mary Diane Williams Garber, Rougemont
Darleane Wilson, Henderson
Nancy Winebarger, Weaverville
Marianne York, Greensboro
Delphine Zelaski, Stokes