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Making a Difference...

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the PA profession this year, NCCPA and the nccPA Health Foundation are spotlighting 50 PAs who are making a difference today. These PAs exemplify the many ways the more than 115,500 Certified PAs demonstrate their passion for delivering high quality health care, promoting wellness, and saving and changing lives. 

Read about previous spotlighted PAs to the right.

Click here to read previously spotlighted PAs.

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Marian Peters, PA-C

March 6, 2017

Community Care Clinic
Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C)
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How Certified PA Marian Peters makes a difference…

Marian Peters, PA-C, established the Community Care Clinic (CCC), a free clinic that focuses on the working poor who fall through the cracks of the health-care system. People who once used the emergency room as their primary care now have a dependable medical facility.

Peters originally got her PhD in physics from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was tenured at Appalachian State University where she taught from 1994-2007. During this time, she took a leave of absence to attend PA school. After completing the PA program in 2005, she went back to teaching but left the university in 2007 to focus effort on the CCC as it grew from being open 3 hours a week in 2006 to its current schedule of more than 40 hours a week.

“Why start a free clinic? I was volunteering at a local agency where I noticed that members of our community were having to decide between food, shelter, and health care. Something needed to be done. But I was a physics professor—would I be comfortable enough to take part in patient care myself? I grew up around a hospital because of my dad who was a hospital administrator in India where I grew up, so I spent time just hanging around Watauga Medical Center. I sat in waiting rooms and walked the halls. That seemed okay, so then I began volunteering in the ER. I discovered that I could and wanted to be around sick people,” Peters says.

Peters is the clinic director at the CCC where she provides patient care and oversees the clinic’s other staff and volunteer providers. The CCC provides services in primary care, mental health, neurology, physical therapy, gynecology and dermatology. With as many as 80 volunteers at the clinic, Peters says she is part of a great team.

“Marian, who takes little credit for the tireless hours of dedicated patient care, has treated thousands of patients, most with low-paying jobs who cannot afford even minimal insurance,” says colleague Alice Diane Price, PA-C.

In addition to the CCC, she also co-founded Partnership Uganda, a non-profit organization benefiting women and children through education, economic development, and improved health care in the village of Bulumagi.

Impact

“There are many patient stories that stand out. Like the first cancer diagnosis we made through the CCC - I’ll never forget getting the call from radiology,” says Peters. She finds the most satisfying part of her job is “fitting so many pieces together to create good patient care. Our community in Boone has been very supportive of the Community Care Clinic. We have a skeletal, but terrific staff. The amount of volunteer time and in-kind funding we receive from our community is humbling.”

The CCC has seen several thousand patients since it opened.

For her service and commitment to those who “fall through the cracks of the health-care system,” NCCPA celebrates Marian Peters, PA-C!

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Linda O'Keeffe, PA-C

March 13, 2017

Santa Clara County Health and Hospital System
Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C)
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How Certified PA Linda O’Keeffe makes a difference…

A Certified PA for almost 30 years, Linda O’Keeffe, PA-C, doesn’t work in your typical clinical environment. O’Keeffe is one of six healthcare providers, and the only PA, to treat inmates at the county jail. She tries to show her patients every day that their health matters — that their well-being is important.

Seeing patients in this setting is challenging. As one of O’Keeffe’s colleagues, Karen Ketner, NP, director of advanced practice, explained, “this group is often inflicted with multiple chronic health conditions, a higher prevalence of infectious diseases, a history of inadequate medical care and behavioral health issues, including substance abuse.” O’Keeffe says in her clinical setting, “I have to rely heavily on my clinical examination and observation skills,” as it is often difficult to depend on the history her patients provide.

The environment in which she examines and treats her patients varies. It ranges from a fairly open setting, where inmates are free to walk down to a waiting room, to a much more restricted setting, where they are individually escorted in handcuffs and accompanied by an officer through the entire examination.

One of O’Keeffe’s supervising physicians recognizes her ability to look past the exterior and just see the inmates as people who need help. “Although you do have to be tough in our line of work, it is a much greater skill to remain compassionate in this environment,” says Alexander Chyorny, MD, FACP, CCHP, medical director of adult custody health services. “Linda has been a role model for tireless advocacy on behalf of our patients with serious needs.”

O’Keeffe has been the principal provider working in the latent TB infection clinic at the jail. She also co-authored and was responsible for all of the clinical work in a published study evaluating a shorter course of treatment for latent TB in the inmate population. What was a 9-month treatment is “now a revolutionary 3-month treatment regimen at our jail,” says Dr. Chyorny. “She was a driving force behind this implementation.” Ketner adds that “the results of the study are likely to change the way latent TB is managed across all populations.”

In addition to her clinical work, O’Keeffe is the first PA to serve on the Interdisciplinary Practice Committee, which is responsible for credentialing all advanced practice providers within the county clinic and hospital system. O’Keeffe developed the proper documentation for PA credentialing, and according to Ketner, “Linda has become the PA content expert for the committee in regards to anything involving background, education, certification, licensing, scope of practice and oversight requirements.”

Ketner adds, “I have learned a lot from Linda about the misconceptions around the PA role in health care and concrete statutory information about PA practice. She has taught us all that PAs can work anywhere within our system whether it is a primary care or specialty clinic.”

O’Keeffe is also co-chair of the Advanced Practice Council at Santa Clara County HHS, which, adds Ketner, “provides leadership, representation, consultation and collaboration for and among our advanced practice providers as well as to make recommendations regarding the role of advanced practice providers in policy and positions.”

Impact

Linda has made a significant impact on the PA community in the San Francisco Bay area. She is the founder and program coordinator of the local professional organization called Bay Area Non-Docs (BAND), which is made up of approximately 400 PAs and NPs. For the past 24 years, this group has been gathering at monthly educational dinner meetings — a great opportunity for networking and education.

Colleagues are continuously impressed with O’Keeffe’s knowledge, skills, and unwavering dedication, especially in this setting. “Linda has been my mentor since I began working with her 13 years ago,” says Dr. Chyorny. “Linda helped me, and numerous other physicians who worked in our practice, to orient and navigate the challenging world of correctional healthcare. Her contribution to the lives of thousands of patients who otherwise would have been left without essential medications and follow-up can hardly be overestimated,” says Dr. Chyorny.

NCCPA salutes Linda O’Keeffe, PA-C, for being a true role model for patient care and advocacy among PAs, NPs and physicians.

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Co. Terry Mathews, PA-C

March 20, 2017

US Air Force
Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C)
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How Certified PA Co. Terry Mathews makes a difference…

Colonel Terry Mathews, PA-C serves as chief PA consultant to the United States Air Force Surgeon General. In this role, he works with Air Force PAs at every point in their careers, from the time of their application to become an Air Force PA through their assignments, separations and retirements.

Col. Mathews is responsible for the Air Force portion of an $18 million joint graduate medical education program (through the Interservice PA Program, or IPAP), which trains 240 students annually. He is also the head of the board that’s in charge of selecting applicants to become PAs in the Air Force.

Col. Mathews selects the Air Force’s clinical and specialty program directors, working with them to assign PAs to the specialties in which they’ll be most effective, channeling them into 12- and 18-month certificate and doctoral training programs for Air Force PAs in specialties such as otorhinolaryngology, emergency medicine, general surgery and orthopaedic surgery.

He oversees the design of the Comprehensive Medical Readiness Program for Air Force PAs, which they must complete before they can deploy for wartime missions. The program teaches a series of skills they need to have to be deployed; advanced trauma skills, including Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS); and whatever specialized training they need for their assigned mission.

Once out of training, Col. Mathews assists with rotations of assignments and stations PAs, depending on the need, across the 78 Air Force clinics and hospitals around the world. When PAs are needed in a wartime area, he evaluates all the Air Force bases to see which ones have the PAs with experience to meet that need.

In 2016, Col. Mathews was put in charge of the PA refresher course providing essential trauma skills training for wartime readiness and providing continuing medical education (CME) for the attendees. Over 220 PAs in the armed forces attended the most recent meeting.

Impact

It’s important to Col. Mathews that PAs in the Air Force receive a top education, are clinically competent and fully qualified to serve their country whenever they’re needed. “It’s difficult sometimes, but it’s our duty to support the Air Force mission and care for the 1.2 million beneficiaries, including active duty, retirees, and family members,” he says.

“Terry Mathews has been a lifelong leader, compassionate medical provider, and well respected colleague,” said Timothy J. Bonjour, Lt. Col., USAF, BSC, DSc, PA-C. “In the U.S. military, with budgetary constraints and worldwide stressors, Terry has a very positive and optimistic view that empowers colleagues and represents the PA profession in a fantastic manner. We as an organization are proud to recognize him because he is truly making a difference.

Col. Mathews says that becoming a PA “was the best career move” he ever made, and he loves the “variability of the job from day to day.”

NCCPA salutes Col. Terry Mathews, USAF, BSC, MPAS, OEM/FPA, PA-C, for his service to the country and for his commitment to the next generation of Air Force PAs!

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Amy Gouley, PA-C

March 27, 2017

Project Happy Face
Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C)
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How Certified PA Amy Gouley makes a difference…

Amy Gouley, PA-C has made a name for herself in the dermatology field. She founded the non-profit 501c3 Project Happy Face in Los Angeles in 2009, which provides dermatologic treatments and products to disadvantaged junior and senior high school students. To receive her services students must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, be on track to attend a four-year college or university, display community involvement, and complete three essay questions. Project Happy Face beneficiaries also pay it forward; all recipients of these free dermatology services sign a contract stating they will smile at strangers and, once they have embarked on their own career, they must give back to their community.

Gouley's charitable contributions extend beyond Project Happy Face. She has volunteered for many years at the Los Angeles Care Harbor— an annual 3-day health care event when people who have little or no access to regular health care can be examined and treated at no cost. Gouley no longer lives in Los Angeles but flies back each year to be a part of this event.

Gouley also has traveled to the jungles of Haiti to provide dermatological services, seeing approximately 60-70 patients a day for 10 days, some of whom had walked over-night to see her. After handling the dermatology patients, she would then volunteer in the dental clinic addressing oral health issues. She also an active volunteer with the American Academy of Dermatology, doing melanoma screenings at least twice a year. She has done screenings at a fire station, the top of a ski mountain and in the San Juan Islands. She was named a Cosmopolitan Fun and Fearless Female in 2014.

Impact

Severe cases of acne chip away at the self-esteem and confidence of young teens and can cause permanent scars both inside and out. Project Happy Face has helped numerous young men and women by giving them access to care they would not otherwise be able to afford. She holds fundraisers to raise money to provide these services and many local boutiques host events where proceeds are donated to Project Happy Face. Gouley has also developed her own acne skin care line, and all the proceeds go to Project Happy Face.

Gouley’s dream is to grow her organization on a national level so that teens in every city will have access to the excellent care Gouley and her organization provide. “My hope is that by getting recognition for her hard work, Amy will continue to grow her wonderful organization,” says her friend, peer and previous classmate, Adam Mogil, PA-C. Gouley is currently in the process of opening two new chapters of the organization in Portland and Seattle later this year and is exploring opening one in Houston.

Gouley says: “I feel it’s extremely important to give back to your community in any way you can. I was raised in a small town that fostered and celebrated good community citizenship. During my first year as a PA, I was fortunate enough to quickly discover a passion for treating teenage acne. In addition to treating their acne, I develop a trusting relationship that mentors and excites teenagers for their college pathway. I also ignite their passion for community involvement, reminding them at each visit to be a kind person. And today more than ever, we all can benefit from an extra scoop of kindness.”

Gouley wants to give a shout out to other Certified PAs who are making a difference in their community. While we are spotlighting 50 PAs, she says “there are so many more incredible PAs out there making a difference.”

For her service and commitment to young adults and their well-being, NCCPA celebrates Amy Gouley, PA-C!

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Barbara Lewis, PA-C

April 3, 2017

Whitman Walker Health
Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C)
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How Certified PA Barbara Lewis makes a difference…

Barbara Lewis, PA-C, is a trailblazer.

After graduating from college with a history degree, Barbara Lewis traveled to Berkeley, California and became interested in women’s health through the Berkeley Women’s Health Collective during the time of the growth of feminism and the publication of “Our Bodies Ourselves.” When she returned to Washington, DC, Lewis was hired as an administrator at The Washington Free Clinic. There she created a women’s health night — the goal of which was to empower women to take charge of their health. Inspired by the women’s clinic, gay men started their own VD clinic, and this eventually became Whitman-Walker Health.

At the time, healthcare laws were loose or nonexistent, and the physicians she worked with taught her how to do pelvic exams. “Back then, if the physician delegated it, you could do it,” says Lewis. This was also when she learned about the new “PA profession.” Though she was an unconventional applicant, she was accepted and graduated from the PA program at Howard University.

She stayed at Howard and worked in emergency medicine for 12 years as a Certified PA. During that period, Lewis also co-founded a weekly lesbian health night at the request of the new Whitman-Walker Clinic.

Then when the AIDs epidemic hit in the 1980s, she went to work at George Washington University AIDS Clinical Trials Unit, when AZT was the only drug available. She was given the first studies for the investigational drug, DDI, at a time when patients were clamoring to get access to this new medication. She stayed there for 10 years, through the advent of triple combination therapy and major advances in the treatment of HIV. During that time, she was still volunteering at Whitman-Walker, in lesbian/women’s health and in HIV care.

In 2000, Lewis returned to her roots, going back to work at Whitman-Walker full-time. Today the full-service health center has 250 employees, and while it serves a diverse population of people from all over the city, it specializes in LGBTQ care. “I am one of the oldest people there, and I have been involved the longest,” she says.

As transgender care has emerged as a need, Lewis has become a specialist in that area as well. “What sets the care for all of these communities apart is that you have be culturally competent,” says Lewis. “You have to understand medicine, but you also have to understand the language and the patient’s need for care in a safe and comfortable environment.”

Says Megan Coleman, FNP, “Barbara provides a safe space for many people who have been abused or bullied their entire life. She allows them the opportunity to be themselves and to achieve their true self.”

Impact

Pioneer…Tireless Advocate… Inspiring Mentor…Fearless Leader… Amazing Preceptor.

These are some of the words nominees used to explain what sets Barbara Lewis apart in a career spanning women’s health, HIV research, primary care, emergency medicine, transgender health and HIV management.

“Since the 1970s, Barbara has been on the forefront of developing care for marginalized groups -- patients who couldn’t afford care and those experiencing discrimination from other healthcare providers, family members and government policies,” says Alice Eggleston, PA-C. “As a fellow PA-C, I admire her commitment to her patients, her eagerness to break down barriers, and advocacy for her LGBT and HIV positive patients encountering multiple obstacles. She is a fearless leader in transgender care, and I, along with many of my colleagues, often seek her advice…”

Lewis notes that she has patients that have followed her for 16 years, and two that were in clinical trials with her in the 1990s.

“I feel lucky that I have had this career,” she adds. “I could retire, but I love where I work, I love my patients and I enjoy working with them on positive steps in their own healthcare journey.”

NCCPA salutes Barbara Lewis, PA-C, for being a pioneer in the treatment of AIDS and in developing a safe community for LGBTQ healthcare.

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Martin Morales, MHA, PA-C

April 10, 2017

Northwell Health
Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C)
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How Certified PA Martin Morales makes a difference…

When Martin Morales, MHA, PA-C, arrived at Northwell Health (previously Long Island Jewish Medical Center) 28 years ago, PAs held no megaphone to advocate for their profession among top administrative posts.

Leading a small team of four full-time PAs, Morales drove efforts to increase PA influence, grow visibility and promote the value of their expertise to hospital administration. Now as corporate director of the PA service, Morales spearheads a community of more than 1,500 Certified PAs who hold positions of leadership in clinical and administrative arenas.

Morales worked a multi-pronged approach to enhance PA educational opportunities, promote PAs’ potential contributions, advance influence into the decision-making arena, and oversee the growth of incoming Certified PAs. ,/p>

“I advocated to have PAs at every site appointed to policy-making boards such at the Performance Improvement Coordinating Group, Credentials Committee and Medical Boards,” he said. “The value of a Certified PA is greatly appreciated now because we have PAs on these committees who are contributing content expertise.”

Morales also promotes several programs to set PAs on a career ladder that leads them to administrative work. Initiatives include tuition assistance for professional development and master’s programs.,/p>

Executive staff also summon his expertise throughout major innovative projects where he has been instrumental in contributing to significant policy changes to improve patient quality of care. Outcomes showed that patients appreciate immediate access to well-qualified medical professionals. Certified PAs offer versatile skill sets and greater accessibility, which increased patient and physician satisfaction and contributed to an increase in revenue at the hospital.

“As we proved our worth progressively, the administration gave us more and more resources,” said Morales. “We’ve had great acceptance by nursing and senior leadership administration.”

These Certified PAs boast another competitive advantage: the flexibility to transition from one specialty to another, a privilege Morales cites as one of the most rewarding aspects of the job.

“I’ve had the privilege to go from surgery to medicine to pediatric health to pulmonary cardiology,” said Morales. “The variety is what I enjoy the most about being a PA.”

Impact

With more resources and a highly skilled workforce, PAs at Northwell amassed favor among patients and physicians, and consequently, a growth in ranks. Northwell hires approximately 30 new PAs each month. The system also has joint ventures with 35 urgent care centers in the region, which employ about another 100 Certified PAs.

Under the direction of Morales, PAs have advanced educational opportunities, pathways to ascend clinical and administrative ranks, and movement across specialties. His efforts have proliferated the ranks and amplified PAs’ professional standing and influence among hospital administration.

“He is an exemplary leader and advocate for the PA profession,” said Ana Hallinan, PA-C, colleague of Morales. “He continuously searches for methods to make the most of our profession and encourages his fellow PAs to follow suit.”

NCCPA salutes Martin Morales, MHA, PA-C, for sustained efforts to lead the PA service into unchartered territory, new leadership roles and greater utilization across the healthcare system.

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Maritha Trass, PA-C

April 17, 2017

Dayton VA Women’s Clinic
Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C)
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How Certified PA Maritha Trass makes a difference…

Maritha Trass, PA-C, feels she was meant to be a PA. “I knew I was where I should be when I had the privilege of being certified as a prisoner of war examiner. I heard multiple times ‘I never told anybody what I am telling you.’ I listened to their stories while I did thorough histories and exams. Even though it was the only time I ever met them, we connected.”

Trass has been a PA for 33 years, working in multiple areas --as an internist in the Bureau of Prisons, in family practice and in a women’s health clinic -- before joining the Veterans Administration in 1995.

She found out later that it was her experience in women’s health that caught their attention. Trass was doing compensation and pension assessments for vets but was assigned two half days a week to a women’s clinic, where she later became the coordinator.

“It was a time when the number of women veterans was increasing, and we realized a need not only for gynecological care but for comprehensive care beyond pap smears and breast exams,” she said.

Trass became the driving force in planning, developing, securing funding, and gaining suitable space to start the Dayton VAMC's Women Veterans Clinic.

In 2008, the government mandated that all VAs have a full-time program manager for women’s needs. Trass was offered the job and had to decide whether to assume a full-time administrative position, seeing patients only one half day a week.

“I struggled with the decision, but it was right thing to do,” she says. “Although much was mandated from Washington D.C., we had to network and engage local leadership to make things happen at a local level. I knew I did not have power singularly and could increase it exponentially through connecting with others.”

Trass met with the chief of surgery and garnered her support. Together they started building a case, negotiating and putting together a proposal to get clinic space. Today 5,000 square feet of space is dedicated to the health of women at Dayton VAMC, and much has changed because of it.

Impact

“We now offer mental health support services for women, a women’s trauma group, programs on sexual health and an integrative restoration program offering offsite yoga and meditation to help those with pain and depression,” says Trass. “We also have a gynecologist on staff for the first time and are trying to get approval to add mammography on station.”

Trass also educates VA employees about women vets, as they are sometimes overlooked as staff will speak to their male partner, assuming he is the veteran. Trass is dedicated to changing that culture. “I speak at new employee orientation and always explain that the definition of veteran has not changed, but who the veteran is has changed.”

Says Trass: “I am by nature someone who wants to help. I wasn’t looking for this role, but I saw a need and wanted to fill it. We were fragmented in our care for women vets, and with our comprehensive approach women now have comparable care to our male veterans.

According to retired PA Craig Ankeney who worked with her for many years, Trass stood up to an administration that resisted attempts to get multi-level care for women vets.

“It was only through Maritha’s determination, persistence, national networking and an administration education initiative that the Dayton VAMC opened a comprehensive care clinic for women veterans only,” says Ankeney. “With that success, she was given the administrative duties and a leadership role in the women’s health comprehensive clinic. She is an outstanding PA who has dedicated her life to a group of veterans with unique needs who were previously ignored in the manly world of military service.”

NCCPA salutes Maritha Trass, PA-C, for fighting for the women who fought for us.

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Erin Poston, PA-C

April 24, 2017

Virginia Weight & Wellness
Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C)
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How Certified PA Erin Poston makes a difference…

Erin Poston, PA-C, is one of four practitioners at Virginia Weight & Wellness (VWW), a medical practice specializing in obesity medicine. Poston spent over 10 years in family practice before finding a niche and passion for obesity medicine and preventative care. “Although Erin has only been with us for about two years, she has quickly established herself as an expert and leader in this area and has improved the health and well-being of hundreds of patients in the Central Virginia area. She has developed an excellent rapport with referring physicians in our community and is an active member of the national Obesity Medicine Association,” says her supervising physician, Jeffrey M. Sicat, MD, FACP.

Poston is committed to providing high-quality, evidence-based care. At VWW, she uses a combination of nutrition, exercise, education, motivational interviewing, medication, accountability, and continuous, compassionate support to help patients achieve their goals for successful long term weight loss and overall well-being. In addition to being a dedicated clinician who continually works to keep up with the latest advancements in obesity medicine, Poston’s focus on really listening to and connecting with patients contributes to her ability to develop and implement patient-centered treatment plans that result in long-term sustained weight loss and improved health. Erin's wait list to be seen as a new patient is a testament to her excellent reputation among referring practitioners and patients in the community. She is also instrumental in the hiring of medical assistants for VWW. She mentors new medical assistants and assists those pursuing a degree as a PA with the admissions process.

Poston’s passion for improving patients’ lives extends far beyond her work at VWW and into the greater Richmond community. She has lectured on nutrition and healthy lifestyle changes at churches and business events. In 2014, Poston worked with a team to implement a wellness ministry at her church that has since presented numerous health-related educational programs and seminars, health fairs within the community, and established a free monthly blood pressure clinic for church members. And in 2016, she developed and taught a six-month kickboxing class at her community center.

Impact

As her patients' weight improves, they are often able to decrease or discontinue the use of multiple medications previously required to treat chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, etc. Along with the improvement in her patients' physical health, her patients often see improvements in their overall well-being and mental health. One of Poston’s patients recently posted the following to Facebook, "...I am overjoyed to report as of today's visit, I have ACHIEVED that goal by reaching a significant milestone in my weight loss journey – 100 POUNDS gone forever!!! Over the last 18 months, it has required a lot of discipline, education, and support. But my greatest resource has been this fabulous lady – Erin Poston, PA-C."

For her commitment and compassion for her patients and her promotion of wellness throughout her community, NCCPA celebrates Erin Poston, PA-C!

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Ryan Young, PA-C

May 1, 2017

Physician Office Based Surgery
Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C)
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How Certified PA Ryan Young makes a difference…

When you talk to Ryan Young, PA-C about his career, one thing becomes quickly clear: his driving force in life is a faith-based commitment to serve others.

As a Certified PA specializing in otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery, Young treats cases ranging from facial deformities, broken noses, cosmetic corrections or cancers related to the skin, on patients of all ages and backgrounds. He was one of the first PAs in private practice in New York’s Hudson Valley 18 years ago when most did not know the profession existed. Today, there are over 200 Certified PA’s serving this community.

Young is thorough in his routine examination of patients. Just recently, his examination of a patient seeking care for her nose revealed a small lump in her neck that turned out to be thyroid cancer. With a timely diagnosis and comprehensive treatment plan, the patient was declared cancer free. This outcome is not unusual in Young’s practice.

"Ryan is passionate about his profession, and he is equally passionate about making a difference in the world, especially when it comes to being a positive influence on the lives of youth,” said supervising physician Dr. Manoj Abraham.

Outside a full-time career as a Certified PA, Young is founder and volunteer director of Camp Veritas, a faith-based summer camp held in New York, Maryland and Ireland that attracted about 1,400 teens and 400 volunteers in 2016. The catalyst to launch summer camps kindled from a sense of personal obligation to be the change he wants to see. He explained: “The world’s challenges are not somebody else's problem. If I am not going to act, how can I expect anybody else to?”

Impact

At the heart of all his endeavors is the desire to build deep relationships with people. “As a PA, we have a unique opportunity to see 20 to 25 patients for 20 minutes per day and to have that experience repeated over time,” he said. “What a unique privilege, blessing, and opportunity. I truly love my patients. I truly love my excellent, competent staff. During the time they have shared with me, I believe they know this.”

He added: “My faith is an integral part of my time as a PA. I’m able to serve my Lord everyday with every interaction I have with my patients. I have an employer I have worked with for over a decade who respects me as a provider and allows for tremendous autonomy.”

In his spare time, Young said he values spending time with his children, learning and growing along with each of his six children even as he and his wife prepare to welcome a seventh in October.

Young is also a published author, overseas missionary and active church member yet says he’s still open to taking on new projects. “The funny thing about being on this journey is that I never know what tomorrow will bring,” he said. “My life is not my own. It is the Lord’s. What an adventure He has given me!”

NCCPA salutes Ryan Young, PA-C, for improving lives through his work as a PA and as founder of an impactful faith-based camp for youth.

About NCCPA

NCCPA is dedicated to serving the interest of the public. We do so with a passionate belief that certified PAs are essential members of the health care delivery team who provide millions access to more affordable, high quality health care.
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