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NCCPA Newsletter
National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)7/26/2018
July 2018

Are You In One of These 23 Specialties?

Meet NCCPA Board Member Jennifer Parker, PA-C

Apply to be A PA Ambassador by July 31

After Iraq, a Decorated Army Veteran Finds New Way to Serve

The Numbers Are In

NCCPA Awarded NCCA Accreditation

We Hope to See You!

Ever Get Asked, "What's a PA?" by your patients, friends or family?

The Society is Accepting Applications for the Position of Board Trustee

PArtners in Mental Health Steering Committee Shares Plans, Stakeholders Report


 Are You In One of These 23 Specialties?

 NCCPA just released the 2017 Statistical Profile of Certified PAs   by Specialty. The report highlights: demographics, services   rendered, number of patients seen weekly and salary range of PAs   in 23 specialties.

 The report aggregates data on over 90% of certified PAs and details the following information for PAs in each specialty:

  • Age, gender and race

  • Geographic distribution

  • Practice setting

  • Services provided

  • Patients seen weekly, including percent participating in telemedicine

  • Income range

  • Educational debt

See how you compare with others in your specialty here!

Meet NCCPA Board Member Jennifer Parker, PA-C

Jennifer Parker, PA-C, joined the Board of Directors of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) in 2017 as a PA Director-at-Large. She is co-chair of the Nominating Committee, and also serves on the Review Committee.

Parker is Clinical Director of the Barbour Community Health Association in West Virginia. She practices Family Medicine and also serves the organization as the Director of Quality & Risk Management and Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Transformation Manager. 

She is a member of the American Academy of PAs, West Virginia Association of Physician Assistants, National Association of Community Health Centers and National Rural Health Association.

Parker graduated from the Alderson-Broaddus College Physician Assistant Studies Program and has maintained certification since her graduation in 1997. She is currently pursuing the Master of Health Administration degree from George Washington University. 

Apply to be A PA Ambassador by July 31

NCCPA is accepting applications to join the PA Promotion Advisory Council, a group of certified PAs who will partner with us to share our social media content and contribute ideas and sources to media articles.

We meet on a one-hour conference call every other month, and ask that you:

  1. Follow us and be active on at least one of the following social media sites:


  1. Publicly share at least two NCCPA social media posts weekly

  2. Attend four of the six conference calls annually

In return, you will be invited to attend a day at NCCPA in 2019, receive a volunteer recognition letter, an invitation to an exclusive luncheon during the 2019 AAPA Conference, exclusive PA swag, and have the opportunity to be quoted or featured in a published article.

We are looking for different PA demographics and specialties. All applicants must be certified, and should also maintain certification for the duration of their participation.

Applications will be accepted through July 31, and selections will be communicated during the first week of August, in advance of the first call to be held later in the month.

To apply, please email us at with your specialty and state, which social media channels you follow, and links to your social media profiles. 


After Iraq, a Decorated Army Veteran Finds New Way to Serve

There’s no grand story of heroism behind the Purple Heart former Army Capt. Chris Montoya, PA-C, earned after serving four tours supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, he said.

"There’s no exceptional number of lives we saved,” Montoya said. “It’s more affirmation that the guys I trained knew what they were doing and trusted me as a leader. Having their trust was one of the most humbling feelings I’ve ever felt.”

The retired Army officer began his two-decade career as an Army medic and later as a PA, treating soldiers with significant combat injuries, and Army wives and their children with minor bone fractures. He credits much of what he learned in combat and in Army systems to how he treats patients today.

“We have to make sober, real-time decisions anywhere we are no matter if we’re under the duress of enemy fire or the safeguard of an Army aid station,” he said. “The circumstances command how we take care of patients.”

While still serving actively, he worked part-time in a high-volume emergency medicine clinic treating civilians. He quickly realized that while the delivery of care is unchanging, patient perceptions and acceptance of recommended treatment plans are – obstacles that he seldom encountered in the Army.

“Military patients must see a military provider and typically accept recommendations and follow treatment plans without much question,” he said. “Civilians have more provider options and if they have barriers to care, they don’t see a provider at all. Sometimes you have to ‘sell’ a medical plan to a patient so they understand it and accept it.”

After retiring in 2011, Montoya worked in concierge medicine treating NBA athletes and executives throughout metro San Antonio, Texas. Eventually, a local home health organization started referring patients and he quickly amassed a loyal patient portfolio.

In 2011, he founded the TPC Family Medicine and Urgent Care Clinic in San Antonio and opened a second location in 2012. Additionally, Montoya and staff perform about 2,000 school physicals annually for students throughout the San Antonio region.

The cornerstone of his practice is the “mobile medicine” he brings to patients throughout Southwest Texas. He’s able to conference, counsel and write prescriptions remotely through the Medici App, a mobile application that connects doctors and patients. Telemedicine allows him to take care of patients beyond the boundaries of his normal travel radius, load his schedule with complex patients on-site and use the app for less complicated visits. It’s a form of medicine he’s been practicing since his early days in the Army.

“The concept of telemedicine has been around for decades,” he said. “In the military, we were using it without realizing it. The days of solely relying on patients to visit a clinic are over. You have to meet them where they are, especially for those patients who have social or economic barriers to care.”

This keeps him on the road three to four days a week making house calls to patients who may be aging, disabled or economically-disadvantaged. While he’s able to assess social or logistical barriers to care, most importantly, he’s able to strengthen trust and deepen bonds with patients.

The mobility of medicine propels him to keep traversing every corner of southwest Texas.

“Patients have pictures of me with them on their walls,” he said. “Some of them are living on $500 a month and cooking dinner for me. That is truly humbling, and the most rewarding part of what I do. This is a way to continue serving my community.”


The Numbers Are In

Registration for the Pilot Alternative to PANRE program closed June 30, and more than 18,500 PAs registered to take it! 

“We are pleased with the positive feedback we have gotten so far and that so many PAs are willing to undertake this important initiative with us,” says Sheila Mauldin, Vice President of Exam Programs and Research.

We hope this alternative to PANRE will provide another avenue for PAs to recertify who do not want to take a one-day, proctored exam. If the Pilot is successful, PAs will have options when choosing a recertification exam - one that best suits their lifestyle and testing preference.

Analyses will be performed after each quarter starting in March 2019. Some of the things we will be evaluating will be PA performance, how much time is needed to respond to test questions, and which aspects of the feedback provided after each question is most useful.   

“We feel that with this longitudinal assessment - ongoing testing coupled with immediate feedback - PAs will keep their knowledge base current, which is valuable in light of how quickly medicine is always evolving,” says Joshua Goodman, Ph.D., Senior Director, Psychometrics & Exam Development.

If you are registered to take the Pilot, you can find more information about what to expect next at


NCCPA Awarded NCCA Accreditation

NCCPA was awarded accreditation by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) for the ninth year in a row.  The NCCA accreditation has rigorous standards which consist of comprehensive criteria for the core elements of certification programs, including governance, psychometrics, and recertification and was developed to help ensure the health, welfare and safety of the public.

“This accreditation demonstrates our commitment to excellence and the high standards we place on our credentialing processes,” says NCCPA Senior Assessment Advisor Grady Barnhill, MEd.

For more information on the accreditation process, go to


We Hope to See You!

PA History Society Logo

 NCCPA regularly speaks at state academy conferences and   PA programs. Here’s where you will find us next month:

State & National Academies and Specialty Societies:        

August 1:             Florida 2018 Summer Conference (FAPA), Marco Island, FL

August 23:           North Carolina Academy of PAs (NCAPA), Myrtle Beach, SC

August 25:           Texas Academy of PAs (TAPA), Ft. Worth, TX


PA Programs:

August 24:           St. Ambrose University, Davenport, IA


Ever get asked, “What’s a PA?” by your patients, friends or family?

PA History Society Logo

This short video answered that question for more than 45,000 people on social media last month! To see more shareable content, be sure to follow us on social media.


The Society is Accepting Applications for the Position of   Board Trustee

The History Society is recruiting to fill one Trustee position to serve a three-year term (2019 – 2021), with a second three-year term optional after completing a successful first term. The PAHx Nominating Committee will review all applications and conduct telephone interviews with the finalists by early October. Per the PAHx Bylaws, the NCCPA Board of Directors will vote to approve the PAHx Nominating Committee’s recommendation during their annual board meeting in November, and candidates will be notified of the results by December.

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 history of the PA profession and the mission of the organization. It is highly recommended that Board members have previous experience or expertise with PAs and the profession. The Society’s Board is considered a ‘working board.’ As such, Trustees are asked to contribute content to the PAHx website; write short articles for the quarterly newsletter; participate and contribute on 1–2 PAHx Committees; participate on a New Board Member Conference Call; and actively participate during the Society’s two Board meetings and one summer Board Conference Call.

Applications will be accepted through August 31, 2018. Interested candidates should email a Letter of Interest and a CV or resume to Lori Konopka-Sauer at

For more information on this voluntary board position please visit the PAHx website.


Travel through the history of the PA Profession by visiting the Society’s PA Timeline. Listen to the fascinating stories from young and old, featured on the Society’s Oral Histories page. Don’t forget to test your PA history knowledge on our Trivia page.

Read the latest edition of the Society’s newsletter, Historical HappeningsAlso, stay up-to-date on "all things PA history" by connecting with us on social media.    


PA History Society Logo
PArtners in Mental Health Steering Committee Shares Plans, Stakeholders Report


The newly-released PArtners in Mental Health Initiative: Stakeholders Report 2018 highlighted the initiative’s first-year successes, assessed the environment, and identified opportunities to advance PA roles and strengthen partnerships that address mental health needs and substance use disorders. 

The nccPA Health Foundation convened the PArtners in Mental Health Steering Committee in June, and the stakeholders report grew out of that ongoing dialogue.

“Mental and behavioral health needs represent complex, national problems facing our health systems and our society,” said Ted Wendel, Ph.D., nccPA Health Foundation Board Chair. “This report showcases the shared goal and sustained momentum for a movement to further engage and integrate the more than 123,000 certified PAs in the delivery of mental health services.”

The stakeholders report is timely.  New data as of June 30, 2018, from the Bureau of Health Workforce, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), shows that the number of people living in the U.S. where it is difficult to access mental health services has grown to more than 126 million.

Along with the Health Foundation, the PArtners in Mental Health Steering Committee is composed of leaders from the largest PA organizations – including AAPA, ARC-PA, NCCPA, PAEA and the PAF – as well as PA and interprofessional champions passionate about addressing mental health.  The report briefly highlights each organizations’ efforts.

The June steering committee meeting was held on the one-year anniversary of a kick-off Summit that brought together more than 30 health care leaders for dialogue about how PAs can address mental health needs.

The Summit’s Proceedings and Recommendations identified four strategies to catalyze activity.  The recommendations included enhancing PA educational approaches; strengthening the PA practice environment; raising awareness; and supporting this movement.

In support of this effort, the Health Foundation released a $1,000 funding opportunity for certified PAs and PA students who are raising awareness in local and provider communities, promoting prevention, and fostering education and treatment in their communities.  Outreach grant applications are accepted year-round.  Interested parties can learn more about this grant opportunity.

To stay apprised of the PArtners in Mental Health Initiative’s efforts and activities, please share your name and contact information with us at 

At NCCPA, we work to promote the role, impact and qualifications of certified PAs. Here are some articles that we contributed to the media as well as other news you may find insightful: news includes:

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

What’s Happening at NCCPA? Check out our latest video “June 2018: NCCPA in 60ish Seconds!

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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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