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NCCPA Newsletter
National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)6/29/2016
June 2016 Newsletter


NCCPA Seeking Two Certified PAs to Join Board of Directors

The Buzz about PI-CME and Self-Assessment CME

In Case You Missed It

Multiple CAQ Exam Dates in Aug. and Sept.

PAHx Fundraiser to Upgrade the Veterans Memorial Garden

Get Engaged with the nccPA Health Foundation

NCCPA Seeking Two Certified PAs to Join the Board of Directors in 2017:

Application Deadline August 8

NCCPA is recruiting two new PA Board members to join for a four-year term beginning in January 2017. Applications will be accepted through August 8.

These two new directors will join a Board that includes nine other certified PAs, five physicians and two public representatives.

If you are interested in getting more involved in the work of NCCPA, we encourage you to read more about the role and qualifications of NCCPA Board members and consider applying.

The NCCPA Board meets in person four times a year and provides strategic direction and oversight for the organization in fulfillment of directors’ fiduciary obligations to NCCPA, working closely with the president/CEO. Board members typically also serve on two or three committees or task forces in any given year, which generally conduct their work via conference call, email and/or at committee meetings scheduled during weekends when the Board is already convened.

While members of our volunteer Board of Directors do not receive any remuneration for their service, NCCPA does cover all travel expenses, lodging and meals for meetings of the Board and committees.

All qualified applicants will be considered. To balance the perspectives represented within the Board and to advance our work most effectively, we are especially seeking those who are clinically practicing (preferably full time), residents of the Midwestern United States, relatively recent entrants to the PA profession (in the early stage of the PA career) and those with experience serving on other boards.

Interested? Please read more online.

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The Buzz about PI-CME and Self-Assessment CME

As we solicited PA feedback on potential changes to PANRE, many voiced questions and concerns about the CME required of those in the 10-year certification maintenance process. PI-CME was also the hottest topic among those visiting NCCPA’s information booth at the AAPA conference last month.

While we continue to receive and consider that feedback, we wanted to share these FAQs on the topic, particularly for those who must log PI-CME or self-assessment CME activities this year.

Q. I am having trouble finding PI-CME activities related to my area of practice. What are my options?

A. The last thing we would want any PA to do is to invest time in a PI-CME activity that is not practice-related just to check that requirement off a list. Instead, we suggest that you wait for more options to become available, and pursue self-assessment CME activities for now. Remember that you could put off PI-CME until the third two-year CME logging period if need be. While we have had the expectation that there eventually would be relevant PI-CME activities for all certified PAs, we are considering possible remedies for those for whom this remains a challenge.

Q. I have found some self-assessment CME that does not seem to be approved for AAPA self-assessment CME credit. Do those still count?

A. Not currently. However, we understand that AAPA is actively working to expand the range of self-assessment activities approved by them for credit, and we encourage you to contact them when you find self-assessment activities you are interested in pursuing that have not been AAPA-approved. In many cases, they have been able to work with other CME providers to expedite that approval process. That said, there is a wide array of approved self-assessment activities, some of which are available for free. 

Please note that NCCPA does not provide, approve, sponsor or endorse CME programs. You can find a list of AAPA-approved self-assessment and PI-CME activities by specialty area online at

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In Case You Missed It: Next Steps for the Consideration of Potential Changes to the PA Recertification Model 

As the formal PA comment period closed last week, NCCPA President/CEO Dawn Morton-Rias, Ed.D, PA-C issued a message about the next phase of the work on considering changes to the recertification exam process. You can read that message here if you missed it.

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Multiple CAQ Exam Dates in Aug. and Sept.

If you want to document your experience and expertise in a CAQ specialty, 2016 is the year to do it. For the first time, PAs in all seven CAQ specialties can choose from multiple exam dates to take the CAQ exam. This year, exams in emergency medicine, cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, orthopaedic surgery, pediatrics, hospital medicine, psychiatry and nephrology are offered nationwide between Aug. 1-5 and Sept. 12-16.

The Psychiatry Specialty Exam is also being offered on Oct. 24-25 in San Antonio, Texas in conjunction with the  U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress.

Read more about the requirements to earn a CAQ. To sign up for the program or schedule an exam, sign in to your record.

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  PA History Society Fundraiser to Upgrade the Veterans Memorial Garden Located at the Stead Center

 The PAHx is raising funds for improvements to the John McElligott Veterans Memorial Garden, a site that honors the contributions of former military corpsmen as pioneers of the PA profession.  

The Stead Center and gardens are regularly visited by PAs, veterans and PA students.  

Funds raised will update the overgrown landscaping and add a sitting area near the garden’s statue, spotlights for the flag pole, and a fence to enclose the garden area. The Society needs to raise $30,000 more to complete this project.

Engraved named pavers will be embedded in the walkway and surrounding patio to honor veteran PAs and their service to our country. The engraved 9x9 brick pavers are available for $100 each. For those interested in purchasing more than one paver we offer a sliding scale: 1 for $100, 2 for $175, 3 for $250, 4 for $325 and 5 for $400. The engraved paver will include the appropriate uniformed service logo and 3 lines for name, branch and years of service. To order your tax deductible brick paver(s) please click here and you will be directed to our PAHx Veterans Garden Paver site at Bricks R Us.

General tax deductible donations (non-brick pavers) can be mailed to: PA History Society, 12000 Findley Road, Suite 160, Johns Creek, Georgia 30097. Please mark “Garden” on the memo line of your check.  

Credit card payments are accepted via the PAHx website at: Please mark “Garden” next to your name.

For more information about this project, please visit our website, or write to us at  

    If you haven't already done so, be sure to "like" PA History Society on Facebook to receive updates and follow us on Twitter.

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 Get Engages with the

                                  Serve. Share. Connect.

The nccPA Health Foundation needs YOU! Apply to receive a Foundation grant or to serve on the Foundation’s Board of Directors.  

“I’m proud to be part of a passionate, engaged profession,” said Dawn Morton-Rias, Ed. D, PA-C, NCCPA and Foundation President/CEO. “The Foundation offers PAs and students many opportunities to get engaged through our community outreach grants and our call for new Board members. We look forward to working with you to improve health.”

Serve others with outreach grants:

Since 2012, the Foundation has issued more than 20 grants in 17 states to equip PAs to promote health. Four grant programs are available for PAs leading change for healthier communities.

The new Kathy J. Pedersen Grant to Promote Equitable Care provides up to $5,000 for PA-led projects that include innovative, actionable strategies that directly and sustainability impact public health needs.  

“This grant exemplifies our profession’s commitment to bridging system gaps, advocating for those most in need, and creatively developing resources to support health,” said Cynthia Booth Lord, MHS, PA-C, chair of the nccPA Health Foundation Board. “We’re excited to support PAs with the launch of this new program that honors a certified PA who has dedicated her career to promoting equitable health care.”

If you haven't already done so, submit your application for the Kathy Pedersen Grant by our extended deadline of Wednesday, July 6, 2016.  

Not ready to apply? Consider the Foundation’s Be the CHANGE ($1,000) and oral health community outreach ($500) grants, which are available year-round. Use these grants to help showcase the PA profession during national PA week in October!

Share your experience and passion:

PAs, students, and interprofessional champions are encouraged to apply for the three seats being filled on the Foundation’s Board of Directors.  

Successful new Board members will support the Foundation’s work by offering diverse perspectives and expertise; and the Board is seeking individuals with experience in mental and behavioral health, public and community health, marketing/public relations, clear understanding of and/or work with PAs.

Learn more about the Foundation Board in our Information for Prospective Candidates or Information for Prospective PA Student Candidates and submit requested materials by Friday, July 22, 2016. Questions? Email Tiffany Flick at

Board members serve three-year terms (2017-2019) with the possibility of reelection for a second three-year term. Board member will be elected by the NCCPA in November 2016 and begin their service to the Foundation on January 1, 2017.

Connect to Be the Change:

The Foundation knows PAs are making important changes to improve health and invites you to share in a Twitter dialogue about how to be the change by following the Foundation @nccPAHealthFdn. 

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At NCCPA, we work to promote the role, impact and qualifications of PAs in many ways including through the media. Recent publicity includes:


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


PA Health Foundation


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Feedback and questions are always welcome. Send general inquiries and comments to and messages about the new recertification exam model 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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