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NCCPA Newsletter
National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)8/24/2017
August 2017 Newsletter

Value-Added: New Feature Available When Logging CME

New Board Members Elected

Last Chance for CAQ in 2017 - Test Dates Just Expanded!

Behind the Scenes at NCCPA

NCCPA Endowed Scholarships Awarded

Congratulations to 2017 Kathy J. Pedersen Grant to Promote Equitable Care Recipient

Your Name Belongs Here: At the only PA Veterans Garden!



Update on Efforts to Improve Recertification

NCCPA continues to work diligently to design the pilot alternative to the current PANRE model: efforts that draw on NCCPA’s 40 years of experience in PA certification, integrates the strong work being done in other health professions and that represents the state of the art in assessment. Details of the pilot are expected to be announced next month.

In the meantime, Your Participation Will Be Needed! All Certified PAs will soon receive a request to participate in a critically important survey designed to help identify content areas that represent “core medical knowledge.”

Since June 2016, NCCPA has solicited input from a variety of sources and has hosted 12 meeting days in which over 100 Certified PAs from around the US and representing diverse practice areas and settings have contributed to a process to identify content that represents “core medical knowledge.” You may recall that “core medical knowledge” represents content that all PAs should be expected to maintain regardless of their area of practice. The next step will be the launch of a survey that gives all certified PAs an opportunity to participate in further refinement of that work. We will rely on YOUR input to help ensure that the content covered on the recertification assessments (PANRE and the PILOT ALTERNATIVE) is “core medical knowledge” that is relevant across practice areas. Please watch for the survey notice from

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Value-Added: New Feature Available When Logging CME

The next time you log CME activities, you will find a new option – the ability to tag your CME activity to identify it with one or more practice or specialty areas. Use the new “Apply Towards Specialty or CAQ” feature to document your practice-related and generalist CME activities within your professional portfolio. This feature enables ALL PAs, not just those interested in pursuing a CAQ, to create a more detailed profile of your continued learning activities. You will be able to sort and print your CME activities by specialty selection(s) when you need to provide CME documentation to others. We hope this will prove useful when applying for a job or promotion, preparing to change specialties, documenting continued learning in your practice area and renewing a PA license. 

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New Board Members Elected


Congratulations to those recently elected to serve on the NCCPA Board of Directors!

  • Beverly Black, CAE, MHSA – Ms. Black of Maryland joins the Board as a public member at large, bringing deep appreciation for the PA profession and decades of experience in non-profit management and organizational governance to this role.

  • John Bradford, MPAS, PA-C – Mr. Bradford is a full-time clinician who works in emergency care, occupational health and general practice in remote and rural settings in Montana,yoming and Alaska. He has considerable international experience as well in Scotland, Africa, Afghanistan and the South Pacific.

  • Linda Delaney, MPAS, PA-C– Ms. Delaney practices full-time in internal medicine and coagulopathies at Parkland Health and Hospital Systems in Dallas, Texas. She has served as a gubernatorial appointee on the Texas State Medical/PA Board and has held several leadership roles in AAPA, including a term as a member of the AAPA Board of Directors.

  • Linda Lawrence, MD, CPE, FACEP – A retired emergency medicine physician, Dr. Lawrence has been a passionate advocate for PAs for decades in both the military and civilian sectors. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and of the Board of Advisors for the Society of Emergency Medicine PAs (SEMPA). She now holds a leadership position with US Acute Care Solutions in Canton, Ohio.

  • James Gehring, MD – Dr. Gehring is the medical director of the PA program at George Washington University in Washington, DC. He also serves as the division director of hospital medicine at the GWU Hospital where he helped develop the PA hospitalist service.  

  • Zeno St. Cyr, II, MPH retired from federal civil service in 2015 after nearly 40 years in the public and private sectors of health care. He spent much of his career in the Department of Health and Human Services. Mr. St. Cyr has served as a public member on several other state and national health-related boards and joins NCCPA in that same capacity.

Mr. St. Cyr joined the Board at mid-year; the other newly-elected directors will begin Board service in January.


The 2018 NCCPA Board of Directors will include 10 Certified PAs, five physicians and two public members.

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Last Chance for CAQ in 2017 – Test Dates Just Expanded!

If you’ve ever considered earning a CAQ in your specialty area to earn special recognition for your experience and expertise, visit our website to read more and then sign in to register for the CAQ program.


NCCPA offers CAQs in:

Cardiovascular and thoracic surgery

Emergency medicine

Hospital medicine


Orthopaedic surgery



Did your 2017 goals include earning a CAQ in your specialty area? Your last chance for 2017 is coming soon; specialty exams will be offered on
Sept. 18th and 19th - and starting next week registration will be open for Sept. 20th and 21st as well - at Pearson VUE centers across the country. The deadline to apply for these exams is Sept. 14, but seats are limited so it is best to apply early.  

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Behind the Scenes at NCCPA


We work hard to keep PAs informed about all that we do. Please visit us on social media. (If you’re not already following us, please do! Our links are at the bottom of our website.) 


Last month on our social media channels, we launched a new “NCCPA in 60 Seconds!” video series to share just some of the things we are doing at NCCPA every month. You can see the July video here


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NCCPA Endowed Scholarships Awarded

Congratulations to the 2017 recipients of the NCCPA Endowed Scholarships:

  • Farihah Khan of Florida International University

  • Nicole Perez of Case Western Reserve University


These NCCPA-funded scholarships are awarded by the PA Foundation, whose selection committee chooses recipients based on their understanding of the PA role, what they expect to accomplish as a PA, and relevant volunteer/community service activities.


Proceeds from NCCPA PA-C Emeritus program will be used to expand the endowment.


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    Foundation logo  Congratulations to 2017 Kathy J. Pedersen Grant to Promote Equitable Care Recipient

At its Board meeting, the nccPA Health Foundation selected the Marquette University PA Program as the recipient of this year’s Kathy J. Pedersen Grant to Promote Equitable Care.


The project, “Healing Health Literacy at Two Urban Low-Income Clinics,” proposes to increase health knowledge and self-efficacy among low-income or homeless adults in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Using a validated curriculum, PA faculty will provide instruction and counseling to community members about how to communicate about symptoms, diagnoses and treatment with a health care provider; how to interpret medical terminology and medical forms; and when to seek care at an emergency room.


“Low health literacy can have a tremendous adverse impact on health outcomes,” said Ted Wendel, PhD, nccPA Health Foundation Board Chair. “In keeping with the grant’s goal of social accountability, this project recognizes the value of empowering patients to make informed decisions about their health as a strategy for more equitable care.”


In addition to directly impacting patients, Marquette’s PA students and the clinics’ medical staff will also participate thereby further raising awareness about this modifiable barrier to high quality care.


The Foundation thanks all of the applicants for this year’s grant, and the next grant funding cycle will open in the Spring of 2018.  


Don’t want to wait? The Foundation has issued more than 50 small grants and encourages all certified PAs and PA students to design projects that positively impact health. Three grant programs are available year-round and provide funding for those seeking to Be the CHANGE in their communities ($1,000 awards) and to foster oral health integration in education, clinical practice or outreach ($500 to $3,000 awards).  


Find grant guidelines here and tips for preparing the proposal here. Curious about what others have done? Visit the Foundation’s PA spotlight and spotlight archive.


The Kathy J. Pedersen Grant to Promote Equitable Care is made possible by a generous donation to the nccPA Health Foundation from PAs Don and Kathy Pedersen. 

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PA History Society Logo  Celebrate 50 Years of PA History While Supporting the PAHx Too!

Veterans Garden image 3   Act now to have your engraved    paver installed in the PA Veterans Garden located at the Stead Center in Durham, NC. The Garden honors PAs who have served, or are currently serving, in the uniformed services of our country. Orders placed by September 15, 2017 will be installed by this Veterans Day. Visit the “PAHx Veteran Garden” Bricks R Us site to place your order. Cost is $100, and the following information is required: the PA’s name as it should appear on the brick, the military branch, and the dates of military service. Thinking of honoring someone else with a paver? For a list of those who already have pavers, please visit the PAHx website.


Ready or Not! The 50th Anniversary Celebration is Coming Soon

Show your PA pride and help preserve the legacy of the PA profession!  Celebrate the PA Profession’s golden anniversary with a commemorative 50th Anniversary Poster or 50th Anniversary Lapel pin. Each can be ordered through the PAHx website for a $5 tax-deductible donation (plus S & H).


PAHx also has produced "The Adventures of Chipper Wallet, PA-C," a special-edition comic book in honor of the profession’s 50th anniversary. Chipper’s character introduced the PA concept to the American public in the early ‘70s. Don’t miss out on this slice of pop-culture as you follow Chipper’s exciting adventures as a PA! The special edition comic book is available for $10 (plus S&H).





For more information on our special commemorative gifts, please visit the PAHx website, or email us at:


Stay up-to-date on “all things PA history” by reading the latest edition of Historical Happenings and by connecting with us on social media. Please be sure to “like” PA History Society on Facebook to receive weekly updates and follow the Society on TwitterLinkedIn and our Blog.

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At NCCPA, we work to promote the role, impact and qualifications of Certified PAs in many ways including through the media. Below are some recently publicity articles.

Want to get involved? If you have a great article idea or a story to share, contact PR manager, Mary Rittle, at

Career Center

PA Health Foundation


Get the free NCCPA app!


Feedback and questions are always welcome. Send general inquiries and comments to, or contact our President/CEO.

The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants is dedicated to serving the interest of the public. We do so with a passionate belief that certified physician assistants are essential members of the health care delivery team who provide millions access to more affordable, high quality health care.

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