Fall 2008 By Jeanne Bird, PA-C
GREETINGS! Welcome Back! Following the completion of the election in July, CAPA like most
Coloradans goes into a slower mode to accommodate the seasonal heat and transition from one
Board year to another.
2007-2008 CAPA Board I would like to congratulate the new Board members that you elected to represent you in 2008-2009.
Of Directors & Leadership Your new President-Elect is Kyle Kirkpatrick, Secretary, Virginia Hinds, Steve Kudebeh will return
as House of Delegate Chief. House of Delegate at Large members include Beth Walker, Michelle
Summer CME A Success! Barnett, and Debbie Koschak. Merilee Refvem will continue to monitor our financial status as our
treasurer. Elected to represent you as Board Members at Large for the next year are Sandy Hoops,
Kevin Riddleberger, Candace Lacy, and Arlene Guy. Congratulations to everyone. CAPA has a lot
CAPA Website of work to do this year and I am confident this Board can get the work done for you.
Every time we see new board members join us and existing and former board members continue or
It’s back to school time! return to serve the general membership, I am thankful that we have so many active CAPA members.
I have been involved with our Academy since 2005 and am continually appreciative of everyone
who gives of their time to CAPA.
When I graduated from my PA program, I was only really interested in learning how to be a good,
effective practitioner for my patients. I didn’t understand or really care about billing, politics, job
CAPA CME Events security, PA rights or professional involvement. It did not take me long to realize that there were
people behind the scenes, making decisions and pursuing issues that ultimately would affect my
career. Who puts together the CME? Who puts together the PA week dinner for all to attend? Who
Call for Newsletter coordinates the website? Who is the dedicated, persistant person that puts together the newsletter
Articles each quarter? Then the light bulb turned on…..
It isn’t just about the PA Week dinner, newsletter and CME. Who protects my license? Who pur-
University of Colorado sues maintaining some semblance of a job market? Who chased after the dream of having Schedule
CHA/PA Program Update II medication privilege and chart review improvements a reality? I took these things for granted.
My involvement with the Board has graced me with the company of some incredible Colorado PA
Red Rocks Physician
Summer has to be one of the roughest times of the year to consider adding other activities to our
Assistant Program Update already overflowing plates. Have you considered giving CAPA a moment of your fall time? Being
an active member doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task. It has become increasingly easy to be
Colorado PA professionally involved in our Academy without interfering with your work and family obligations.
Foundation Fund Even just perusing the web site and notifying us of changes that need to be made, or something that
would be helpful to you and your practice is a contribution that is valuable. The more people who
become involved in Academy work means the less each participant has to do.
PA’s in the News
I challenge each of you to consider becoming involved with your Academy in some fashion. We
have jobs that can take a few minutes or a few hours each month depending on how much time you
PA's Celebrate PA Day can commit.
The Board will come together in November for a retreat. During this time, we will be reviewing the
strategic plan from 2007 and deciding the direction we want to go in 2009-2010.
Jeanne Bird, PA-C
Colorado Academy of Physician Assistants n www.coloradopas.org n 303-770-6048
CAPA Summer CME A Success!
CAPA Board of Directors & Leadership, 2007-2008
President: AAPA House of Delegates:
Jeanne Bird, PA-C Beth Walker, PA-C
Past President: CME Chair:
Ed Vopat, PA-C Randall Jones, PA-C
President Elect: School Liaison (UCHSC):
Kyle Kirkpatrick, PA-C Sandy Hoops, PA-C
Treasurer: Student Rep (UCHSC): CAPA hosted an interesting and informative
Merilee Refvem, PA-C Travis Neill, PA-S3 CME meeting on August 29th, at St. Joseph
Hospital in Denver. The meeting was well
attended, with 65 registrants participating.
Secretary: Student Rep (UCHSC): CAPA wishes to thank Judy Mochizuki, PA-C
Virginia Hinds, PA-C Katharine Wilson, PA-S and Randy Jones, PA-C for their outstanding
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org work on the Program Committee.
Member at Large: Student Rep (UCHSC):
Patti Galleher, PA-C Ashley Steinle, PA-S2
Member at Large: Student Rep (UCHSC):
Sandy Hoops, PA-C Zachary Kahn, PA-S
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org CAPA Website
Member at Large: Student Rep (UCHSC): Check out the new info on the CAPA website
Kevin Riddleberger, MS, PA-C Nicole Kern, PA-S at coloradopas.org!
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Looking for a job in Colorado? We have a
Member at Large: new job search engine on our website.
Candace Lacey, PA-C Executive Director: Reimbursement issues or question? look for
email@example.com Carol Goddard help with these on the new reimbursement
Member at Large: firstname.lastname@example.org link.
Arlene Guy, PA-C CAPA Office Staff:
email@example.com Mary Beth Brown
AAPA HOD, Chief Delegate: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Kudebeh, PA-C CAPA Office:
email@example.com P.O. Box 4834
AAPA House of Delegates: Englewood, CO 80155
Michelle Barnett, PA-C 303-770-6048
firstname.lastname@example.org 303-771-2550 (fax)
AAPA House of Delegates: www.coloradoPAs.org
Debbie Koschak, PA-C
It’s back to school time! University of Colorado
CHA/PA Program Update
If immunization requirements are
By Jennifer Naulty PA-S, 2nd year
confusing you, visit www.immunize.org
The program’s new 1st year PA class has 41 students, 4 men and 37 women.
They just finished their first semester, with anatomy being the center of
their attention. They seem to be a great, outgoing, proactive group of
This year, our student government is working to foster our
professional development. We want to have PA’s in the community
Inform Yourself come in and discuss what a normal day looks like for them. We also
plan to have resume and interview workshops, along with other
Inform yourself about important issues and information sessions about choosing rotations, etc. Finally, we hope to
let your professional voice be heard! The improve networking, between our students and other PAs/Physicians in
November elections are fast approaching! the community, through CAPA and AAPA.
To find out where the local and national
candidates stand on issues that matter to Our diversity reps are really reaching out to the community, through high
you and your patients go to: schools and other organizations, to promote the PA profession. Our goal
www.aapa.org/gandp/advocacy.php is to make our profession known to a more diverse population of people,
by reaching out to children that may have never heard of a PA.
We also intend to vote in September, on a particular charity/organization
that we can focus our community service and fundraising efforts on.
The Children’s Hospital and The Denver Rescue Mission are a couple
names that are on the list. We want to have a project in the community
that we are passionate about, that we can contribute to in several ways
CAPA CME Events: throughout the year that will really make a difference.
Finally, we intend to broaden our knowledge of global/public heath as
Mark you calendars!
well as current legislative issues in healthcare, by working with the student
Copper Mountain Winter CME 2009 senate and other student organizations.
Copper Mountain Winter CME 2010 Red Rocks Physician Assistant
January 28 - February 1 Program Update
New format: Friday - Saturday - Sunday by Ruth Fry, Program Assistant
The RRCC PA Program has a new director Debra Nickell, MBA, PA-C.
The program is excited to have her as the director of the program. Debra
Nickell comes to Red Rocks Community College from the University
of Kentucky. In Kentucky, Debra was the clinical coordinator of the PA
Program. Ms. Nickell’s experience has already influenced the culture of
the RRCC Program. She brings new ideas and an effervescent atmosphere
Call for Newsletter to the entire staff and faculty. Debra is looking forward to all the outdoor
Articles recreation that the Colorado mountains have to offer. Debra has sampled
a little bit of hiking, and she really enjoys it. Next year, she is looking
Do you have a good story to tell, an
forward to hiking some 14ers.
interesting PEARL you have discovered
or news that you think your colleagues The class of 2009 received their white coats in August, and they have
should know about?? We encourage you to begun their first clinical rotations. When the students come back to class
contribute to this newsletter! This newsletter at the end of the month for EOR, everyone is anxious to hear their first
is meant to be for you and by you! Please rotation stories.
submit any articles, or ideas for articles that Additionally, the class of 2008 graduated in August. Many of our students
you would like to see to Amy Hansen PA-C have accepted positions in the Denver metro area, and we also have
at email@example.com students who have taken positions from Oregon to Maine.
Colorado PA Foundation Fund
You know that extra five dollars that you found doing laundry and were not
sure where to spend your new found riches… maybe Starbucks, maybe an
extra payment on those student loans? Well now you can make a tax deduc-
table donation to “The Colorado PA Foundation Fund.”
The Colorado PA Foundation Fund is a fund that is managed by the AAPA
PA Foundation and is restricted monies set aside for the express purpose of
student scholarships here in Colorado, as well as community based grants
to promote access to and the provision of health care within Colorado.
This entity will allow PAs and other interested parties to donate to projects
that help the profession locally. Currently the fund has monies for student
scholarships, and community based grants waiting for distribution. Any
CAPA member who is licensed in, and practices in Colorado is eligible
for a grant. Grants will be awarded on the merits of the application and the
sustainability of the project that they are intended to help fund.
Donations can be made directly to the AAPA PA Foundation “CAPA Fund” to make sure it reaches the Colorado fund. CAPA
awards scholarships yearly - typically at the annual winter CME and we will be refining the process for grant application in
the near future, so keep an eye on the newsletter and the webpage for more information.
Make sure that you keep the fund in mind when thinking about donating to a local charity, 100% of the donation go to these
programs, and again donated funds are tax deductible. If you have a need in your community, want to start a literacy program,
or health awareness effort in your practice area, submit a grant application.
Please visit www.aapa.org/paf to donate!!
PA’s in the News
Thanks to Melanie Diprofio PA-C for writing this comprehensive and informative article about the PA profession. This article was printed
in the Metro State College of Denver student paper on PA Day 10/6/08.
It’s PA Day 2008! And the Physician Assistant (PA) profession is booming!
Although the profession is only 40 years old - relatively young in comparison to some other health professions – PA’s have become a major
component of the U.S. health delivery system. The PA profession evolved in the 1960’s when the U.S. was facing a serious shortage of
physicians to address the nation’s need for primary care services. PA’s are formally trained in accrediated educational programs to provide
quality diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive health care services, under supervision of physicians. PA’s routinely perform physical
exams and take patient histories, order and interpret laboratory tests, diagnose and treat illness, suture lacerations and assist in surgery,
write prescriptions in nearly every state, and provide health education and patient counseling. PA’s work in complementary and synergistic
ways with physicians. Currently the profession is more female-dominant. Many studies have shown PAs add value to a practice, including
quicker appointments, better attention to patients, and follow-up care. PA’s should not be confused with Medical assistants, who perform
routine clinical and clerical tasks. A PA is also referred to as a ‘midlevel provider’. One other example of a midlevel provider is a Nurse
Practitioner. The uniqueness of the PA profession is that careers in this field occur in all specialties ranging from outpatient clinics such as
Primary care/Family Medicine and Pediatrics to surgical specialties such as Orthopedics, Cardiovascular Surgery, Obstetrics/Gynecology,
to inpatient specialties such as Internal Medicine, Hematology, Oncology, and Endocrinology. Also, a PA can work in the Emergency
Department or in the Military. You can practice in all states once you pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). The
flexibility of this career is extremely appealing. PA’s earn this privilege and respectfully maintain it by taking the PANCE recertification
exam every six years. In contrast, Nurse Practitioners and Physicians must choose a specialty and take a focused board exam when they
graduate limiting their ability to work across specialties. I am a PA who has worked for five years in Primary Care with Urgent Care at
The Health Center at Auraria on Auraria campus in downtown Denver, CO. My health center services students of Metro State College of
Denver (MSCD), University of Colorado Denver (UCD) and Community College of Denver (CCD). I love being a PA on this vast college
campus because students here come from such diverse backgrounds. They are not the typical eighteen to twenty- two year olds with little
responsibilities other than earning their degrees. Instead they often have jobs and families to support and their success is truly a challenge.
Working on Auraria Campus gives me the opportunity to work in a challenging yet stable environment where often times I can focus
on health maintenance and disease prevention and education as part of my typical day. I’ve also found that the students are enthusiastic,
energetic and witty and take a sincere interest in their health care. My schedule here is a very predictable 8am- 5pm, Monday through
Continued on page 5
PA’s in the News continued...
PA's Celebrate PA Day
Friday. This gives me my weekends to spend with my husband
and 11 month old son! Schedules can vary dramatically though
depending on where a PA practices. For example many Emergency
Department PA’s work three twelves and many Surgical PA’s work
four tens and are on-call. Essentially PA’s can find the schedule that
suits them. While most PA’s complete their bachelor’s degrees as
a foundation before entering PA school some schools will accept a
minimum two years of prerequisites. Physician assistant programs
usually last at least two years full-time combining course work
with clinical rotations. Ninety percent of the programs now offer
a Master’s degree. Admission requirements vary by program,
but many require courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics,
psychology, and the social sciences. There has never been a better
time to become a PA! Employment of physician assistants is
expected to grow 27 percent from now until to 2016, much faster CAPA Members celebrate PA Day October 2, 2008
than average for all occupations. Projected rapid job growth reflects
the expansion of health care industries and an emphasis on cost
containment, which results in increasing use of PAs by health care
establishments. Job opportunities should be good, particularly in
rural and inner-city clinics. April 2008’s Money Magazine Ranks
Physician Assistant ‘one of best careers to have in a recession.’
‘Physician Assistant is among the top 10 white-collar jobs to have
during a downturn.’ Physician assistant was ranked No. 5 on the
list with a median salary of $84,000. While this is the median the
salary can range from the lowest 10% at $43,100 to a high of more
than $102,000. Of course income varies by specialty, practice
setting, geographical location, and years of experience. If you’re
interested in a challenging career in the health care industry that
puts you in the thick of the action then a job as a PA may be for you.
The growing interest in the field stems from a variety of factors.
The average age of a PA student is 30 years. Those who want to
provide medical care to patients, but do not want to attend medical
school for the seven or more years required, may be attracted to the David Feifel, MD, PhD Jeanne Bird, PA-C
PA profession. In addition, the cost of PA education is considerably
less than what it costs to become a physician. Finally, PAs work on
average fewer hours than physicians and have more control over
their schedules and lifestyles.
For information on a career as a physician assistant, including a list
of accredited programs, contact:
American Academy of Physician Assistants Information Center,
950 North Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Internet: http://
www.aapa.orgFor eligibility requirements and a description of
the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination, contact:
National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, Inc.
,12000 Findley Rd., Suite 200, Duluth, GA 30097. Internet: http://
1) Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition, Physician
PA Day held at Bubba Gump Shrimp, Denver, CO.
Assistants, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos081.htm
(visited September 02, 2008).
2) AAPA Website