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NCCPA Newsletter
National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)3/18/2016
March Newsletter

Update on NCCPA's Consideration of a Proposed Recertification Model

Video and Grant Funding from the nccPA Foundation

PA History Society


Update on NCCPA's Consideration of a Proposed Recertification Model

In the last month, more than 25,000 certified PAs participated in NCCPA’s profession-wide survey to gather input on the proposed recertification exam model under consideration this year by NCCPA’s Board of Directors. Results are being analyzed now and will be published in the coming months.


In the meantime, in support of ongoing efforts to address misstatements and mischaracterizations of the model under consideration, NCCPA’s Board chair has responded to an editorial printed in the March issue of the Journal of the AAPA. That response – and other information about the model – is available on our website.

Though the formal survey is now closed, comments can still be submitted to NCCPA at through the end of the public comment period on June 15.


Video and Grant Funding Equip PAs to Make an Impact for More Equitable Health Care

In its new video, Joining the Fight for Oral Health: Promoting Health Equity, the nccPA Health Foundation calls on PAs, students, and others to get engaged with volunteer and outreach efforts that foster more equitable health care. Stream the video online.

Featuring five certified PAs and two PA students with interprofessional colleagues and a patient, the video underscores a clarion call to do more to improve the oral health and the overall health of all and especially those most in need.  


“Poor oral health disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable and underserved in our communities,” said Dawn Morton Rias, Ed.D, PA-C, NCCPA and Foundation President and CEO. “Through the Foundation, we want to place a spotlight on this and other health disparities where we believe PAs are leaders in creating opportunities for everyone to reach optimal health.”  


Video participant and certified PA Tiffany Haynie knows the goal of greater equity in the health care system is a huge undertaking, but she encourages PAs: “All it takes is a little effort every day to try to be a little bit better, and you’ll be able to make a big difference in this world.”


To address oral health disparities, the nccPA Health Foundation invites applicants for two PA grant opportunities:


  • Community Outreach Grant: Work with PA colleagues in your state or specialty society, your clinical practice or health system, your student society, or your PA program to design a project to reduce oral health disparities in your community. Grants up to $500 available.
  • Research Integration Grant:  Evaluate strategies to seamlessly integrate oral health in your PA program curriculum or – for the first time – in your clinical practice. Grants up to $3,000 available.


Looking at other health disparities in your community? Apply for the Foundation’s Be the CHANGE grant, announced in February, to create health access now for greater equity through patient education, screenings, or other outreach to deliver care.


“The Foundation is committed to advancing the role of certified PAs to improve health,” said video participant and Foundation Board Chair Cynthia B. Lord, MHS, PA-C. “The new video and our grants program are our invitation to PAs to join us in improving health; with more than 100,000 certified PAs, we can make a big impact.”


The nccPA Health Foundation extends a special thanks to all those participating in the video. In addition to Haynie and Lord, participants included Michelle DiBaise, PA-C; Ralph Fuccillo, MA; Brenda Hansen; Suzanne Lagarde, MD; Matthew Mancini, PA student; Pnina Levine, DDS; Josanne K. Pagel, PA-C; Karen Roane, PA-C; and Marsha M. Thomas, PA student.  


The video and oral health grants are made possible as part of the PA Leadership Initiative in Oral Health with support from the National Interprofessional Initiative in Oral Health (NIIOH) and funding from the DentaQuest Foundation and Washington Dental Service Foundation. 


Keeping up with the PA History Society!


History is being made every day in the PA profession as PAs reach out to make a difference in urban, rural and international communities. The Society’s quarterly newsletter, Historical Happenings, periodically includes a series on “Living Legacies” highlighting the important work PAs do from the heart.  PAs featured in the past include Liberian PA and Ebola survivor, Alvin P. Davis, as well as certified PAs Don and Kathy Pedersen and their Global Partners program.  If you have a special story to share, or know of a PA making a unique contribution, please email our PAHx Newsletter Editor Marilyn Fitzgerald at: for consideration as part of our “Living Legacies” series.  You can also check out all of the Historical Happenings issues online.   


 The Society’s illustrated history book is an excellent way to learn about incredible PA profession, along with some of the people, places and events that have shaped the history of this growing profession. Order forms are available online.


If you haven't already done so, be sure to "like" PA History on Facebook to receive updates. Please visit the illustrated PA History Society's website for the latest in PA history!

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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