Taking Great Strides: The Year in Review

Letter to Members

Timi Agar Barwick,
Chief Executive Officer

Lisa Mustone Alexander,
Immediate Past President

It has been another eventful year for PAEA — to say the least.

Together we have made significant progress on our strategic plan. At our urging, a diversity standard has been included in the new draft Standards. We continue to work with the ARC-PA to move toward outcomes-based accreditation, and our new core competencies for new PA graduates (although still being refined) can help achieve more uniformity in program outcomes and help us better align education and practice. Our new Medication-Assisted Treatment initiative – through which both students and faculty are training to receive a DEA X-waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder – represents a deep commitment to helping tackle one of the major public health crises of our time, and to our vision of Health for All.

In this lively, colorful report, you will read about many additional significant milestones for PAEA this year. The new Digital Learning Hub promises to transform how we deliver faculty development and create new spaces for communities of educators to help each other. Our Government Relations team and many of you stepped up to not only save Title VII funding for PA education but also to enhance it. The PA educator competencies approved in Anaheim will help inform and energize our faculty development work and give all educators a roadmap to drive their own learning. And our biggest and best Forum yet saw us take a bold, clear-eyed step into the future. As our president said in her speech, "Our future starting now is not only about understanding our future. It's about creating that future. It's about doing things differently now so that the world will look different in 10 or 20 years."

Finally – and this part is just from the president – I want to acknowledge the tremendous debt of gratitude that all of us in PA education owe to Timi Agar Barwick, our CEO who will be retiring this summer. In her 27 years with the Association, she has taken PAEA from a small "mom and pop shop" to a thriving national organization with more than 35 staff that has become a true leader in medical education. As with all major changes, Timi's departure creates an opportunity for us to reimagine our organization as we seek fresh ideas and new leadership. Finding the right leader for PAEA's next chapter will be a high priority for the Board this year and a key step in the future that we will create together. And of course the Board will continue to move forward on our strategic plan and other key initiatives under the leadership of our new president, Jon Bowser, providing essential continuity for the organization as they lead the effort to identify a new CEO.

Thank you for all you do for PA education and enjoy this look back at 2018!

Lisa Mustone Alexander,
Immediate Past President

Timi Agar Barwick,
Chief Executive Officer

PAEA Learning

We're tailoring learning to meet your needs and schedule so you can take advantage of the vast array of opportunities.

At PAEA, we believe that learning should be personalized to meet the unique needs of our members. In an effort to allow you to fulfill all of your faculty development goals in one integrated experience, PAEA Learning was launched during the 2018 Education Forum.

Digital Learning Hub

We partnered with EdCast and LinkedIn Learning to develop an interactive, user-centered platform enabling faculty to access professional development resources anytime, anywhere.

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Learning Pathways

Tailor your learning to what works best with your schedule — at your pace, whenever and wherever you choose.

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Education Forum and Workshops

We continued to expand and enhance our offerings, adding more workshops and creating learning tracks so you can easily find Forum sessions that best fit your needs.

Opioid Crisis

We are directly tackling a public health crisis, providing tools for programs to integrate the MAT Waiver Training program.

"We helped create this problem as providers, and we need to be part of the solution."

— Dipu Patel, MPAS, PA-C
Director at Large, PAEA Board of Directors


per 100,000

National opioid overdose death rate


per 100,000

Opioid overdose death rate in West Virginia

Lisa Mustone Alexander

Find out how to integrate waiver training into your program’s curriculum.

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John Lopes

We partnered with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in a grant to step up PA education’s response to the opioid crisis. Led by John Lopes, DHSc, PA-C (above), the project encourages PA programs to train students and faculty in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) making them eligible for the DEA waiver needed to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid addiction.


Current number of waiver-trained PAs

Our goal is to have all PA students and faculty be waiver-eligible to prescribe buprenorphine by 2020.

We are helping to prepare the next generation of PA educators.

2017–2018 Future Educator Fellowship

The 2017 cohort of Future Educator Fellows was joined at the Education Forum by the 16 newly selected 2018 fellows. This year-long fellowship is designed to expose students interested in PA education to the current education environment and expand professional development and leadership opportunities for them. New this year, the fellows are working on a team-based problem-solving activity focused on student wellness.

Future Educator Fellows at the 2018 Education Forum

The number of applicants nearly doubled this year:

There were 86 applicants in 2017, 153 in 2018.

"I really enjoyed my experience with the FEF! I liked hearing the inside scoop of the day to day struggles of many educators and their plans to tackle these challenges. Very insightful experience overall, and it made me appreciate PA education and want to get more involved."

— Monique "Nikki" Coley,
Johnson and Wales University graduate

2018 Student Health Policy Fellowship

In 2018, PAEA marked the fifth anniversary of the Student Health Policy Fellowship. Fourteen selected fellows from PA programs around the country spent three days in the nation's capital learning about policy issues, honing their advocacy skills, and then practicing what they had learned during meetings on Capitol Hill.

Student Health Policy Fellows

The number of SHPF applicants more than doubled this year:

There were 20 applicants in 2017, 57 in 2018.

"It may seem intimidating at first, but when you are truly passionate about something, it is surprising how easy it is to talk about those topics. Everyone at PAEA helped us to feel prepared and confident so that we could make the most of the experience."

— Marissa Weeks,
University of Bridgeport student

You helped us set a national standard for PA testing.

Our commitment to delivering high-quality, secure, and psychometrically sound national assessments continued. We introduced scale scores for the End of Rotation™ exams to make student and cohort score analysis and interpretation easier and more accurate.

We've been working on the End of Curriculum™ exam to complete our full suite of exams.

The addition of the End of Curriculum exam will allow for high-quality assessment, a standard development process, and consistent data across the educational continuum. This information is critical for assisting programs in assessing a student's readiness for graduation.

PACKRAT End of Rotation End of Curriculum Sorry, your browser does not support inline SVG.


programs used End of Rotation exams in 2018 with nearly 50,000 End of Rotation exams administered


programs used PACKRAT™


And the End of Curriculum Exam is coming in early 2020!


We've collected a wealth of PAEA data and made it easier than ever for you to access.

5 research reports

Providing a comprehensive overview and detailed data about PA education and the profession

New This Year

MSS Data on Demand: matriculating students

Programs can now request their own matriculating students' responses to the Matriculating Student Survey to build their own longitudinal student databases.

Learn More

New Custom Reports

Graduate reports that address the ARC-PA Standards

Compare your program to national benchmarks with custom reports of your own graduates' responses to the End of Program Survey. Reports are designed to address the requirements of the ARC-PA B Standards.

Learn More

First cohort completes AAPA-PAEA Research Fellowship, studying diversity, PA demographics, and workforce trends.

Alicia Quella

Alicia Quella,

Looking at employment trends of PA graduates, she analyzed predictors of job change and factors that influence movement out of the PA's first job. Documenting PA workforce trends helps educators, employers, and new graduates better understand the flexibility and adaptability of the profession and also plan for the PA primary care workforce of the future.

Christine Hanson

Christine Hanson,

Analyzing data from CASPA and the PAEA Matriculating Student Survey, she identified the most common influences on applicants' choice processes when considering the PA profession, including significant differences between the responses of underrepresented minority applicants (URM) and non-URM applicants. The results can provide guidance regarding the most useful recruitment strategies for bringing applicants, specifically URM applicants, into the PA profession.

Virginia Valentin,

For three separate papers, she is studying both PA graduate and PA demographics by state standard operating procedures (SOP) and the impact of the state SOP on number of employed PAs in a state. This information will provide a baseline from which to measure future legislative changes and the impact they may have on our profession.

Say hello to the 2018–2019 cohort

Read about the new fellows, Bettie Coplan, Morgan Nowak, and Ryan White, and their research.

December Issue of JPAE

Journal of Physician Assistant Education:
Scholarly research for and by PA educators reached new levels.

  • Journal of Physician Assistant Education circulation increased by 10% in 2018
  • JPAE is now read in 51 countries
  • Manuscript submissions have steadily increased creating a robust pipeline of research articles

Read the latest issue, December 2018


We're building the intellectual framework for a new approach to PA education.

This year a PAEA task force finished work on an important new document, Core Competencies for New PA Graduates — the result of nearly three years of work by this dedicated, interprofessional group.

These competencies are designed to answer the question, "What must new PA graduates know and be able to do on day one of clinical practice?" While the competencies will continue to be iterated, they provide an invaluable foundation for programs developing a competency-based approach.

The new graduate competencies, along with papers on entrustable professional activities and outcomes-based accreditation, together make up what our CEO called in her Forum speech "the intellectual framework for a new approach to PA education in the future — one built on a clear understanding of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes we want our graduates to have."

In addition, PAEA members approved a set of PA Educator Competencies during the business meeting at the 2018 Education Forum.


Together, we ramped up our advocacy efforts on behalf of the PA profession.

After funding being flat for four years, three priority programs under Title VII finally saw increased funding in 2018.

Bar chart showing increases in funding for various programs under Title VII

Title VII is the only source of federal funding that directly supports PA programs and is vital for both maintaining and increasing the number of clinical sites. It is intended to boost primary care education, particularly that which promotes practicing in rural and underserved areas.

Dave Keahey

For the first time ever, PAEA has a voice on the Department of Veterans Affairs National Academic Affiliations Council.

PAEA's Chief Policy and Research Officer Dave Keahey, MSPH, PA-C, was recently appointed to serve a three-year term on the council.

This means that we now have a national platform to address issues regarding clinical sites, a key priority in our strategic plan, and to help place PA students at VA facilities — something that has been a major challenge in the past.

You are integral to our advocacy success.


Members wrote letters, emails, and comments to the legislative and executive branches advocating for the profession.


Get Involved

The National Health Service Corps was reauthorized with a significant increase in funding. This funding targets behavioral health and helps more than 1,100 participating PAs with loan repayment and scholarships.


2018 was another financially successful year for PAEA.

"PAEA continues to have a very strong fund reserve. These financial reserves will allow the Board to prioritize funding of new products, services, and strategic initiatives for our investment in you — our member programs."

— Carl Garrubba, MPA, PA-C, CPA,
Treasurer’s Report, 2018 Education Forum

Assets Unrestricted Temp Restricted Perm Restricted Total
Cash $676,031 0 0 $676,031
Accounts Receivable $1,538,758 0 0 .
Investments $10,943,837 $162,463 $84,434 $11,190,734
Property and Equipment $501,463 0 0 .
Other Assets $350,798 0 0 .
Total Assets $14,010,887 . . .
Accts Payable and Accrued Exp. $609,872 . . .
Deferred Revenue $563,706 . . .
Deferred Lease Benefit $498,572 . . .
Deferred Construction Allowance $493,287 . . .
Total Liabilities $2,165,437 . . .
Net Assets
Unrestricted $11,1498,553 0 0 .
Unrestricted, Board Designated $100,000 0 0 .
Temp Restricted 0 $162,463 0 .
Perm Restricted 0 0 $84,434 .
Total Net Assets $11,598,553 $162,463 $84,434 $11,845,450
Total Liabilities & Net Assets . . . $14,010,887

Thank you to all of you, our members, who helped make these accomplishments in 2018 possible.

PAEA Members at various events PAEA Members at various events