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NCCPA Newsletter
National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)6/5/2017
June 2017 Newsletter


Celebrating and Representing at the AAPA Annual Conference

First PAs Spotlighted in the "50 PAs Making a Difference" Campaign

Connect with the nccPA Health Foundation

PArtners in Mental Health Summit

Thanks to All Who Visited With Us at the PAHx Booth Last Month During the AAPA Conference!



Celebrating the Profession's Gold Anniversary, Representing the Gold Standard in Health Care at the AAPA Annual Conference

NCCPA Board and staff members interacted with thousands of PAs at AAPA’s annual conference in Las Vegas last month, enjoying the opportunity to celebrate the profession’s gold anniversary by highlighting Certified PAs as the gold standard in health care.

Those staffing the NCCPA information booth gave away more than 3,000 t-shirts, insulated bags and other items in celebration of the occasion. NCCPA representatives also delivered CME sessions, poster presentations and addressed PA students as a sponsor of the National PA Challenge Bowl. We congratulate Southern Illinois, the winners of this event.

Important conversations took place throughout the week during which NCCPA leaders and staff had the opportunity to address questions, listen to concerns and correct misinformation about recent legislative activities, listening and engaging in productive dialogue with national and state PA leaders. NCCPA leaders affirmed our commitment to reach out to the state PA organizations whenever NCCPA work places us before a stakeholder group at the state level.

We also welcomed the opportunity to clarify the purpose of the informational updates provided to state licensing boards. NCCPA president/CEO, Dawn Morton-Rias, EdD, PA-C stated: “PAs, employers and other stakeholders rely on the PA-C credential, and we work to keep them all informed about the credible, externally accredited certification and recertification processes in which more than 97% of PAs engage year over year.” She added: “The high recertification rates suggest that the PA-C credential is valuable. While testing continues to be a point of disagreement among some PAs, our work to modernize PANRE continues. We share the same passionate belief in the value and positive impact of Certified PAs, and a deep commitment to the patients we serve. We hope that translates into closer collaboration and even greater shared successes in the profession’s next 50 years.” 

These vibrant young professionals were among the thousands of PAs and PA students we had the chance to meet at the NCCPA booth in Las Vegas.

Special Thanks

NCCPA wants to publicly thank the many past presidents of AAPA who spoke eloquently in the House of Delegates (HOD) in favor of resolving current conflicts. These leaders called for a de-escalation of negative rhetoric; noted that PAs have been served well by the four pillars of the profession (AAPA, ARC-PA, NCCPA and PAEA), expressed strong opposition to the creation of a new certifying organization and proposed a meeting of those four national PA organizations to restore respectful relations among them and chart a positive path forward.  

Thanks in part to the testimony of those leaders, the HOD ultimately voted to postpone until its 2018 convening action on a resolution that would pave the way for AAPA to officially recognize new PA certifying agencies.  

NCCPA leaders have expressed desire to resolve the issues that have divided NCCPA and AAPA over the last 18 months and new optimism for positive outcomes that will benefit the public and the profession. “Having incorporated feedback from the PA profession and other stakeholders, we hope we have demonstrated our genuine desire to continue to improve the certification maintenance process and PANRE,” said Dawn Morton-Rias, EdD, PA-C, NCCPA president/CEO. NCCPA:

  • Incorporated feedback on the PROPOSED changes to PANRE, received during the public comment period (November 2015 through June 2016) and has abandoned that proposal;

  • Assessed availability of PI-CME and self-assessment CME activities and eliminated the requirement;

  • Committed to narrowing the content of PANRE from a broad-based, generalist exam encompassing the breadth of PA practice to the core medical knowledge all PAs should maintain regardless of the discipline in which they practice; and

  • Committed to pilot alternatives to the current high-stakes PANRE no later than 2020.

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First PAs Spotlighted in the "50 PAs Making a Difference" Campaign

We are proud to champion Certified PAs and to celebrate the achievements of the collective profession and the individuals who exemplify the many ways Certified PAs have a positive impact on patients’ lives every day.

In January, NCCPA began showcasing Certified PAs who were nominated and selected for the “50 PAs Making a Difference” campaign from NCCPA and the nccPA Health Foundation in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the PA profession. These PAs embody what it means to be a Certified PA, demonstrating that when it comes to providing high quality health care, promoting wellness, saving and changing lives…#PAsDoThat!

So far we have featured Johanna Berrigan, PA-C; Scott Gordon, PA-C; Bonnie Mueller-Waigand, PA-C; Danny Milano, PA-C; Kim Baker, PA-C; Ambreen Nadeem, PA-C; Patricia Castillo, PA-C; Nicolette McDermott-Ketchum, PA-C;  David Hieber, PA-C; Marian Peters, PA-C; Linda O’Keeffe, PA-C; COL. Terry Mathews, USAF, BSC, MPAS, OEM/FPA, PA-C; Amy Gouley, PA-C; Barbara Lewis, PA-C; Martin Morales, MHA, PA-C; Maritha Trass, PA-C; Erin Poston, PA-C; Ryan Young, PA-C; Amy Davisson, PA-C; Lisa Fields, PhD, PA-C; Amy Klingler, PA-C; Bob McMullen, EdD, PA-C and Abby Jacobson, PA-C. If you know any of these PAs, reach out and congratulate them!

Go to each week to see a new spotlighted PA and to read about the past recipients above.

NCCPA and the nccPA Health Foundation celebrate these and all Certified PAs who are making a difference in your communities and beyond!

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Connect with nccPA Health Foundation

The nccPA Health Foundation launched a new website ( and expanded its social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.  

The new site showcases the work of the Foundation’s more than 40 grantees, and it invites PAs and students to consider the Foundation’s four grant programs to support work in their own communities. Check out the grant programs and consider planning an event to coincide with PA Week coming in October.  

Additionally, the site highlights areas of health that the Foundation believes PAs have an important role in addressing, including oral health and mental health. Find videos, resources, and other tools online to learn more about these opportunities to impact health.  

Connect with us today to learn more about our efforts to advance the role of certified PAs to improve health and to share your efforts!

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     Foundation logo  PArtners in Mental Health Summit

On the heels of Mental Health Awareness Month, the nccPA Health Foundation is hosting its first PArtners in Mental Health Summit this week.  

“Our hope is that the summit will foster an important dialogue about the opportunity all PAs have to embrace mental health as part of overall health,” said Ted Wendel, PhD, nccPA Health Foundation Board Chair. “Our goal is to create the framework for an initiative that will position PAs as partners in addressing key mental and behavioral health needs in our nation.”  

More than 30 stakeholders, including PAs in clinical practice and education as well as interprofessional champions, are participating in the summit. Representatives from AAPA, ARC-PA, NCCPA, PAEA, and the PA Foundation have worked collaboratively with the nccPA Health Foundation as a steering committee to develop the summit’s agenda.  

Check out mental health resources available on the Foundation’s website, and watch future issues of NCCPA News for more information about outcomes from the PArtners in Mental Health Summit. 

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PA History Society Logo  Thanks to All Who Visited with Us at the PAHx Booth Last Month During the AAPA Conference!

If you didn’t have a chance to pick up a commemorative 50th Anniversary Poster, 50th Anniversary Lapel pin, or special edition Chipper Wallet Comic book at the conference, you can still do so by emailing the PAHx staff at


Also, check out the latest edition of the Society’s newsletter, Historical Happenings.

Stay up-to-date on “all things PA history” 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. 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

Career Center

PA Health Foundation


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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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