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 | September 2015

In this issue:


President’s Message


Congratulations and Thank You!


Register Now: Joint Injection Workshop


Vote in NCAPA’s Election


Legislators Remain Hopeful That Agreements Come Soon


We Love PAs!


PA Week Events


PA Stories Wanted


NCAPA Joins the Race to Quit, NC


NCAPA Regional Chapter Updates


NCAPA Leader Introduction:Jane Girskis


Summit for North Carolina School-Based Health


NC PHP&R Quarterly Webinar


Number One Job for Millennials: Physician Assistant


Welcome Members!


 Marc_pres letter photo

President’s Message

 by Marc Katz, PA-C

What an amazing year our Academy is having!

HB724, as most of you know, is now a reality. We now have a dedicated PA seat on our regulatory board. Many thanks to those of you who supported our legislative campaign by contacting your elected representatives. I hope you all will continue to visit our Legislative Action Center and see what issues are affecting your practice.

A comprehensive Public Relations plan encompassing all areas of the NCAPA was presented at the August Board of Directors meeting. Volunteers and staff are working together to prioritize the tactics laid out in the plan and will present their suggestions at the November meeting. We want to continue to educate on the importance of PAs and the PA profession to our patients, regulatory agencies, elected officials, and other health care professionals.

Our Annual Summer Conference was a great success. We had a record number of attendees who took part in the education, social activities, and networking opportunities.  I had the privilege to speak to a number of you and appreciated the opportunity to hear about your practice challenges.

Our Nominating Committing did a great job in securing candidates for our current election. Eight PAs stepped forward as nominees for our three Board seats (a record number of candidates), demonstrating that many of you are seeing what our Academy is accomplishing and would like to be involved. We are grateful for your willingness to serve and be a part of the continuing success of PAs in North Carolina.

Your Central Office staff continues to evaluate ways to upgrade the technology in the Stead Center. By the end of the year, a plan will be implemented to bring our IT to current standards and beyond.

NCAPA is sponsoring two networking events in conjunction with CME events hosted by two of our Regional Chapters. There will be good food, beverages, and great conversation. The first will be held on September 26th following the Far West NC Physician Extender’s meeting in Balsam, NC. They are holding their 2nd (Free!) Fall Conference offering 6 hours of CME in Western North Carolina. The second event will occur in Winston Salem on Friday, October 16th prior to the Piedmont Association of PAs Fall Seminar. The Fall Seminar will be on Saturday, October 17th and will also be offering 6 hours of free CME.

Looking to the future, your President-Elect, Wanda Hancock, is busy planning for 2016. A strategic planning session will be incorporated into our November Board meeting, along with an orientation for new Board members and committee chairs. Two new PA programs are scheduled to begin educating students in 2016, Lenoir-Rhyne and UNC. ICD-10, DMA, ACOs and other initials will continue to play a big part in our clinical practice.

How can your Academy help?  What challenges will we need to overcome? What can your Academy do to educate you, your patients and your colleagues? Let me know where we need to be more vigilant.

Thank you,

Marc Katz, PA-C


Congratulations and Thank You!

from Marc Katz, NCAPA President, and Detra Chambers and Audrey Tuttle, Government Affairs Committee Co-Chairs

The bill to add a designated PA seat to the NC Medical Board has now become law! NCAPA proposed this bill and worked to obtain sponsorship from our state legislators. Thank you to everyone who contacted their state legislators to encourage their support of HB 724, Amend Composition of the NC Medical Board! During our two email campaigns, 537 of you wrote to your House members and 232 wrote to your Senators. 110 of 120 House members received the email and 44 of 50 Senate members received the email. This would not have happened without widespread support from PAs across the state – there is truly strength in numbers!

There will now be a seat for both a PA and an NP on the Medical Board, ensuring that PAs are always represented in matters involving the licensing and regulation of our profession. The Medical Board is comprised of 8 physicians, 1 PA, 1 NP, and 3 members of the public. Seven of the physicians, the PA member, and the NP member are nominated to the Governor by an independent Review Panel. You can learn more about the Review Panel here and more about the Medical Board here.

Thanks again for your participation in this successful campaign! We could not have done it without you.


NCAPA’s Joint Injection Workshop

Edison Square Family Medicine
Concord, NC
Saturday, October 10, 2015

Register now for a hands-on Joint Injection Workshop to be held at Edison Square Family Medicine in Concord, NC.  This workshop will appeal to a broad range of practitioners who are developing joint and soft tissue injection techniques.

Participants will be required to identify anatomical landmarks through a unique teaching style.  They 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


Vote in NCAPA’s Election

All NCAPA Fellow and Associate members whose membership was current as of August 23, 2015 should have received an email with an individual password and a link to an electronic voting site on September 1st.  If you did not receive your electronic ballot, please check your spam filter.  If you cannot find this email, please contact Kat Nicholas at so that she can check your membership status and send you your password and the link to the ballot.

Open positions in this election are President-Elect, Treasurer, three (3) Directors-at-Large, and one At-Large member of the Nominating Committee.  There are eight candidates running for the three Director-at-Large positions and two candidates running for the Nominating Committee Member-at-Large, so every vote counts.  Some positions may be decided by a handful of votes, so if you have not done so already, please vote!

You can read about the candidates on NCAPA’s website and you may also read their platform statements by clicking on their names on the electronic ballot.  Voting closes on October 1, 2015.


Legislators Remain Hopeful That Agreements Come Soon

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

The new state fiscal year (FY) began on July 1, 2015, but it started without a budget. Due to disagreements on several parts of the budget, including the funding of driver education, teacher assistants, and economic development tools, a conference committee was appointed in mid-July to work out the differences between the House and Senate chambers. The last time it took this long for the North Carolina legislature to pass a budget was in 2002, when the budget deal came 92 days late. The longest ever delay was in 1998, when the budget was 122 days late.

Since the July 1 deadline passed, the legislature has passed three separate continuing resolutions (CR) in order to prevent the state government from shutting down. The CR essentially continues the funding levels from the previous FY, which ended June 30, 2015. The third CR, which the state is currently operating under, expires September 18, 2015.

In an attempt to help move the process along, the Senate agreed to take tax reform and Medicaid reform provisions out of their version of the budget, in exchange for the House agreeing to a lower spending number. The two chambers agreed on an overall budget number of $21.735 billion, which is approximately $420 million lower than what the House wanted to spend, and approximately $265 million higher than what the Senate wanted to spend. Since this overall spending agreement was made, House and Senate budget negotiators have been working on a daily basis, working to find compromise on the budget items that are in contention.

Chamber leaders, Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) and President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham), have stated that there are just a few outstanding budget provisions left to be worked out between the two chambers. Once an agreement on the entire budget is made, the budget will be released for public inspection for 72 hours before either chamber takes a vote on the budget. Once the budget is passed by both chambers, and is signed into law by the Governor, it will take effect immediately. Speaker Moore and Sen. Berger have both stated that they expect the budget to be passed before the September 18th deadline, preventing the need for another CR.

Medicaid Reform

In mid-August, Medicaid reform negotiators from both chambers announced that they had reached a deal on reform. The House, which originally put forth a plan that would rely on provider-led entities (PLEs), has now agreed to adopt a hybrid model. The hybrid model will include both PLEs and managed care organizations (MCOs), closely resembling what the Senate proposed earlier this summer.

While the two chambers have agreed on the fully capitated system, with both PLEs and MCOs carrying out the services, there are still several significant details to be worked out. The conference committee that is responsible for hashing out those details is led by Reps. Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth) and Nelson Dollar (R-Wake) in the House, and Sens. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell), Louis Pate (R-Wayne), and Tommy Tucker (R-Union).

Negotiators are working on the timeline for the transition to capitation from fee-for-service; the House proposed a five-year timeline in their original Medicaid reform plan, while the Senate put forth a three-year timeline. Additionally, in the Senate’s version of the plan, they called for Medicaid to be taken out of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and placed into a newly-created department, the Department of Medicaid. The House has argued that the Medicaid program should continue to be housed in DHHS.

Bills signed into law in August

H13: Amend School Health Assessment Requirement: An act to require each child presented for admission into the public schools for the first time to submit proof of a health assessment.

H724: Amend Composition of NC Medical Board: An act to revise the membership of the North Carolina Medical Board to ensure that at least one physician assistant and at least one nurse practitioner serve as members of the Board.

H774: Restoring Proper Justice Act: An act to amend the law requiring the presence of a licensed physician at the execution of a death sentence.

H823: Establish Advisory Council on Rare Diseases: An act establishing the Advisory Council on Rare Diseases within the School of Medicine of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

H814: The William C. Lindley, Jr. SUDEP Law: An act requiring the Chief Medical Examiner to establish a medical examiner training program that includes training regarding sudden unexpected death in epilepsy during medicolegal death investigations.

For the latest updates on the legislation discussed above, check out the “Legislative Action Center” under the advocacy tab on


We Love PAs!

PA Week, which takes place October 6-12 every year, is dedicated to celebrating PAs and the PA profession. NCAPA has created a car magnet that says “PAs are there for you” and has a new web address linked to information about PAs for the public,  Look for your magnet to arrive in your mail soon.

We also encourage you to share this video about NCAPA with friends and colleagues.

Show your pride about how PAs have transformed the practice of medicine in North Carolina!

In addition, AAPA has many resources to make this PA Week the biggest yet! There is a short video clip here that you can share on social media. Download PA Week posters and brochures about PAs and distribute to your family, friends, and employers. Use a PA Week profile icon on social media and so much more!  Find all the resources here.

Please know how grateful all of us at NCAPA are for your continued dedication to the health and well being of the citizens of North Carolina. We love PAs!!


PA Week Events 

  • PA students from Wingate University will be hosting a fun field day for children in the residential program at the Alexander Youth Network (AYN) during PA Week. AYN offers an array of children’s behavioral healthcare services to over 7,000 children a year.  Their various programs include outpatient services, in-home services, and a residential program.
  • Fayetteville Association of PAs will be hosting a PA Reception on October 9th from 6:30-9:30 pm at a local buisiness owned by a military veteran in Fayetteville, NC. The cost is $25, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Care Clinic. You are also invited to bring a coat or canned good, all of which will be donated to the Fayetteville Urban Ministries.  If interested, please contact Denise Locklear at

If you, your practice, chapter, or program is hosting an event to celebrate PAs during PA week, please let us know and we will post it on our Events page on the NCAPA website.  Please email your event information to Kat Nicholas at


PA Stories Wanted

NCAPA would love to hear about your appreciation for a particular PA or your love of being a PA.  We are accepting submissions to post on our Facebook page and website throughout PA Week, October 6-12th. Please email your submissions and event information to Kat Nicholas at by October 2nd.


NCAPA Joins the Race to Quit, NC

Help North Carolinians Win Their Race to be Smoke-Free

North Carolina has made great strides to curb tobacco addiction, but one out of every five North Carolinians is still smoking. According to new data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of smokers nationwide has fallen to 15 percent, yet in North Carolina, it is more than 20 percent. We still have work to do.

NCAPA is joining together with more than 50 other organizations – including leading patient groups, health care delivery systems, nonprofits, and state and local agencies – to launch “Race to Quit, NC.”  This groundbreaking campaign represents the first time that the state’s leading health care advocates have come together to offer North Carolinians help they need to win their battles with smoking and tobacco use. We know the vast majority of tobacco users know of these dangers and have tried unsuccessfully to quit, but they might not be aware of the support that exists to help them in the fight.

The Race to Quit, NC launch week is October 5-9.  To find out about campaign events being held to raise awareness or educational materials and resources to help tobacco users quit, please go to the campaign website.  You can also follow the campaign on social media via the hashtag #RacetoQuitNC and/or download a printable flyer to promote the campaign.

Together, we can help North Carolinians break the cycle of tobacco use and cross the finish line to a tobacco-free life.


NCAPA Regional Chapter Updates

Don’t forget that there are two FREE upcoming events to earn CME!

  • The Piedmont Association of Physician Assistants will be hosting its 2015 Fall Seminar on Saturday, October 17th.

Also, NCAPA is hosting networking events in conjunction with each of these events.  On the evening of Saturday, September 26th in Balsam, NC and another on the evening of Friday, October 16th in Winston Salem.  You do not have to be a registrant at either CME event to attend the social networking events. Come out for food and drink and meet with fellow PAs and PA students!

NCAPA Leader Introduction: Jane Girskis

Jane Girskis is the current President of the Far West NC Physician Extender Associates, a regional chapter of NCAPA.  She is also a member of the 2015 Membership and Nominating Committees.  Jane hails from Michigan, Florida, and Oregon, and currently resides in Sylva, NC.  She graduated from Pacific University, School of Physician Assistant Studies in Oregon, in 2005 and specializes in Urology.

What do you like best about being a PA?
The autonomy and the ability to work in any specialty. I like helping people!

How did you get involved with NCAPA?
The wonderful summer conference, and being the president and founder of a local regional chapter.

Why do you think it is important to be involved in NCAPA?
Because the NCAPA is fighting for my rights as a PA and I believe in them. I also appreciate the support of the NCAPA for the FWNCPEA’s free fall conference.

Any personal information you would like to share?
My husband Ben and I have two wonderful monster boys, Sage and Cedar. I enjoy yoga, jogging/hiking, knitting and involvement in my wonderful community. Outdoor life in western North Carolina is amazing!


Summit for North Carolina School-Based Health

from the NC School-Based Health Alliance

Since the mid-1990s, School-Based and School-Linked Health Centers have provided exceptional access to primary and mental health care for our North Carolina students.  Children and adolescents at schools with health centers see improved academic outcomes and increased attendance and graduation rates, better health care outcomes, and decreased health care costs.  Approximately 90 schools throughout North Carolina are served by school-based health centers managed by 27 sponsoring organizations.

We need your expertise and participation to assess emerging lessons and innovations that continue to make School-Based and School-Linked Health Centers successful, and explore how to expand on that success to meet the complex social, emotional and health needs of North Carolina’s children and adolescents. Our kids are counting on us!

Seating is limited, so please register no later than October 9th.  For more information on the Summit for NC School-Based Health Centers, go here or contact Jean Pudlow, Project Manager, at for more information.


NC PHP&R Quarterly Webinar

from the NC Public Health Preparedness and Response

North Carolina Public Health Preparedness and Response is initiating a quarterly webinar series to provide timely information and resources related to relevant preparedness topics and emerging issues. Featured speakers will include a variety of subject-matter experts, multi-sectoral partners and public health colleagues from around the country. The inaugural webinar will be held on September 25, 2015 at 12:00 pm. NC PHP&R will be discussing Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) featuring Minnesota public health officials who have been directly involved with their state’s response to the outbreak.  

Active surveillance of migratory waterfowl suggests that HPAI may reach our state by winter. Given that North Carolina is one of the country’s top five states for both turkey and broiler chicken production, our planning is essential. As our state prepares, this webinar offers participants the opportunity to learn about the specific public health roles, activities, planning, and lessons learned from Minnesota’s state and local health departments and to ask questions about their firsthand experience with HPAI.

Register at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Number One Job for Millennials: Physician Assistant

Physician Assistant is rated the number one job for new graduates based on median salary, share of occupation that is under age 35, and projected employment growth.  Read the Wall Street Journal article about the report 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!

Jim Bethune, Greensboro
William Cabaniss, Vale
Michael Carnaghi, Greensboro
Katherine Dancel, Chapel Hill
Jennifer Drovie, Gastonia
Edith Harris, Wilmington
Lawrence Herman, Boiling Springs
Robert Lackey, Mars Hill
Edward Lanear, Rocky Mount
Charity Martin, Pfafftown
Makisha Ramsey, Fayetteville
Ashley Ronk, Garner
Brandon Schoonover, Rolesville
Arezu Shekari, Raleigh
Elyse Watkins, Advance