Back to Newsletters
NCCPA Newsletter
National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)7/20/2015
July Newsletter

NCCPA, PAEA Address AMA House of Delegates

NCCPA PA Volunteers Making a Difference

Celebrating 40 years of Certified PAs!

Practice Analysis Prize Winners

CAQ Exam Fast Approaching

PA History Society

nccPA Health Foundation

NCCPA, PAEA Address AMA House of Delegates

Last month, NCCPA and PAEA leaders addressed the AMA House of Delegates on “Education and Assessment of Physician Assistants: A Medical Model.”

The session was well received and well attended, providing a platform to better inform many physician thought leaders about the nature and rigor of PA education and certification processes. Supplementary materials published to all House of Delegates members included an introduction to PAs and PA education “fast facts” produced by PAEA and from NCCPA an overview of PA certification, our 2014 Statistical Profile of Certified PAs and information about integrating PAs into practice.

The session was orchestrated largely thanks to the efforts of Claudette Dalton, MD, a member of the NCCPA Board of Directors who was nominated to that role by the AMA.

“I know – and survey data tells us – that many of my physician colleagues have only a vague understanding of or appreciation for the impressive education and ongoing certification maintenance processes that PAs fulfill,” said Dr. Dalton. “I want to help change that, and this presentation was a step in that direction.”

She also reported that two former AMA presidents stood up and related their positive experiences with PAs during the session's Q&A period, which she characterized as "a great endorsement of the profession that showed they really 'get it.'"

Dr. Dalton was recently elected to the board of the Federation of State Medical Boards and has said she looks forward to championing the PA profession in that role, as well.

“In addition to the work we do to develop and administer the certification process and its exams, NCCPA also works to educate a host of stakeholders about the role and qualifications of certified PAs,” said Dawn Morton-Rias, Ed.D, PA-C, NCCPA president/CEO, who presented for NCCPA at this session with Board Chair Victoria Kaprielian, MD, FAAFP. “We know that our colleagues at PAEA, AAPA and other state and specialty PA organizations are working right along with us. It’s rewarding, too, to have physician champions among us who are willing to add their voices to ours and amplify our messages to celebrate and expand the impact of our profession.”

Back to Top


NCCPA PA Volunteers Making a Difference

Thanks to the 61 certified PAs who applied for the PA director at large position opening up on the NCCPA Board at the beginning of next year. Over the next few months, our Nominating Committee will evaluate all of those applications and conduct interviews; then the Board will elect one of those candidates in November.

That PA will join nine others serving on the NCCPA Board of Directors.

There are many other PA volunteers who work behind the scenes to help NCCPA produce valid and reliable exams and help educate others about the role and qualifications of certified PAs. Already this year:

  • 72 PAs served on 2015 Practice Analysis workgroups, helping identify the knowledge, skills and abilities that were included on that survey

  • 77 PA item writers serve on item writing committees, writing the questions that appear on PANCE, PANRE and the CAQ exams

  • 15 PAs serve on promotion and publicity councils, supporting our efforts to generate story ideas and press coverage for the profession

Their contributions are crucial to the work we do. We want to thank each and every one for their dedicated service to their profession and their support of NCCPA. Thank you!

Want to volunteer with NCCPA? Contact nccpa@nccpa.netfor more information.  

Back to Top


Celebrating 40 years of Certified PAs!

We at NCCPA appreciate all that certified PAs bring to health care as you make a difference in practices in all settings and specialties and change patient lives each day. As we mark the 40th year of PA certification – your mark of excellence – we wanted to recognize those first certified PAs who have maintained certification even to this day.

Those 223 PAs will soon receive a special certificate from NCCPA commemorating this achievement, and NCCPA staff will work with them on announcements to their local newspapers. You can see a list of their names here.

Back to Top


Practice Analysis Prize Winners

Thanks so much to the thousands of you who completed our Practice Analysis Survey over the last few months! Congratulations to the five winners of the $1,000 prizes:

  • Ashley N. Ahring, PA-C

  • Timothy M. Byker, PA-C

  • Jessica Difo, PA-C

  • Elizabeth R. Otten, PA-C

  • Darin S. Wiegers, PA-C

All participants will receive an email next week with more details about logging the CME credits earned through the survey.

Back to Top


CAQ Exam Fast Approaching

If you are considering taking a CAQ specialty exam this year, act now to sign up for the August 24 exam – your only opportunity this year.

You can apply for the exam up until Aug. 19, but apply as soon as you can to maximize your opportunity to get an appointment at your closest testing center.

CAQ practice exams are available for cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, emergency medicine, hospital medicine, nephrology, orthopaedic surgery and pediatrics.

Undecided? Read moreabout the benefits of and requirements for the CAQ program on our website.

Ready now? Sign in to your recordto order a practice exam, register for the program or apply for the Aug. 24 exam.

Back to Top


PA History Society Seeks to fill Board Positions for 2016

The PA History Society is accepting applications for the position of PAHx Trustee. This voluntary board position is a three-year term beginning January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2018; a second three term is optional after completing a successful first term.  

Interested candidates should email a Letter of Interest and a CV or résumé to:  PAHx Nominating Committee, c/o Lori Konopka-Sauer at

Applications will be accepted through August 21, 2015. The PAHx Nominating Committee will review all applications and conduct telephone interviews with the finalists by early September. The new director will be elected in November.

PAHx Board members are expected to provide leadership and vision for the organization, and have a fiduciary responsibility to the organization. The Trustees should have a genuine interest in the work and mission of the organization. The Society’s Board is a “working board.” As such, Trustees are expected to complete a variety of tasks annually such as:  write 3 – 5 biographies; write short articles for the quarterly newsletter; participate on 1 – 2 committees; participate on a New Board Member Conference Call; and actively participate during the Society’s two Board meetings (generally held in the Atlanta area). The Society covers the hotel and travel expenses for Trustees to attend the bi-annual board meetings.

For additional information, please email, and your questions and/or applications will be forwarded to the PAHx Nominating Committee Chair, Gloria Stewart, Ed.D, PA.

For all things PA History, check out the 2015 Summer edition of Historical Happenings, and visit the PA History Society’s website!

Back to Top


Promote Your Profession through Community Outreach for PA Week

Have you made your plans for PA Week 2015 yet? If not, let the nccPA Health Foundation help you promote your profession by equipping you with funding for a community outreach project.

University of Texas Medical Branch PA student Kelsey Berg received an outreach grant this spring to launch Teaching Others Oral Treatments and Health (TOOTH) program where she and fellow UTMB students, faculty, and others taught elementary school children about brushing, flossing, and making healthy food choices.

“The outreach allowed PAs to be highlighted as community leaders to address and improve oral health of students while building positive relationships with families,” said Berg.  “Moreover, the project connected our PA program with the local school district such that the PA profession and our health care community were seen as partners.”

Constituent organizations, student societies, and PA programs are encouraged to learn more about this grant opportunity that uses oral health as an exemplar for promoting health by viewing the community outreach grant guidelines and application here.

Grants will be reviewed on a first-come, first served basis until all funds are expended; and applicants interested in scheduling their outreach event for PA Week are encouraged to apply for funding no later than August 10, 2015.

These grant activities are made possible through the PA Leadership Initiative in Oral Health with support from the NIIOH and its funders.

Back to Top

In The News

At NCCPA, we work to promote the role, impact and qualifications of PAs in many ways including through the media. Here are some recent results. 

Many physicians still don't fully understand how PAs work in today's evolving healthcare landscape. Read James Cannon’s blog: Certified Physician Assistants: 10 Myths vs. Factsin Physicians Practice.

Medical Economics recently published “Improving Continuity of Care” quoting NCCPA President & CEO Dawn Morton-Rias and Dr. Thomas Bat, a primary care physician who employs 15 PAs.

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

Don't forget to check out the free NCCPA app for iPhone and iPad users. You will be able keep track of the status of certification maintenance requirements, log CME activities and photograph and upload copies of CME certificates - all from your mobile device!

Feedback and questions are always welcome. Email us at 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.

Delivered by NCCPA 12000 Findley Road Suite 100 Johns Creek, GA 30097
Website | P: 678.417.8100 | F: 678.417.8135

To ensure you always receive these emails please add to your address book.

© NCCPA, All Rights Reserved.
Back to Newsletters