2017 Election Candidates
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2017 Election Candidates

We are pleased to announce the following candidates for the open Board positions.  Voting opens May 1 and closes on May 31 at 12 midnight (EST).  Eligible voting members will receive an email with a link to their ballot on May 1.

 For secretary

Charles W. Dowell, MS, PA-C, ATC

I am applying for the position of secretary in the physician assistant in orthopaedic surgery organization. Being a Physician Assistant for the past 13 years has provided me a significant amount of opportunities. I have been able to practice in a variety of settings, travel the world, meet amazing people, and watch the profession grow. I truly believe we work in one of the best professions in medicine and we as a profession need to continue to advance. During my practice I have seen the amazing advancements of our profession and remain excited to see how far we can continue to grow.  I believe the position of secretary in the physician assistant in orthopaedic surgery organization will allow me to assist in the advancement of our profession and stay on the forefront of establishing opportunities for future generations.  

I completed my undergraduate degree at Eastern Washington University with a double major in sports medicine and exercise science; I worked as a certified athletic trainer prior to entering graduate school. In 2004, I graduated with a Master in Physician Assistant studies from Rosalind Franklin University. Upon completion, I did a 1 year residency in orthopaedic surgery. For the past 10 years I worked in Vancouver, WA with a focus in total joints and sports medicine. I have provided medical coverage for local college sports, high school, youth athletics, multiple local marathon races and other local events.

I am a member of the United States Olympic Sports Medicine team and have traveled to  6 international competitions with multiple sports as well as participated in local team camps. I have been on 3 medical missions to Honduras and Haiti providing medical services to hundreds of people in need in underprivileged communities. I recently spent 18 months in Scotland working as a Physician Assistant. Working in orthopaedic and serving as an ambassador for the Physician Assistant profession in the Scotland. For the last 3 years I have worked in orthopaedic in Chicago, IL continuing to increase my experience and training.

Over the last 13 years, I have strived to stay up to date with the growth of the Physician Assistant profession. I have mentored students, given lectures for multiple PA programs, and lectured at a variety of conferences. My experiences have allowed me to see the profession grow and advance over the years. Practicing in Scotland also gave me the ability to see what the profession looks like in its infancy. This unique perspective has allowed me to see how far our profession has come in the US and how much work our predecessors had to do, to get us this far. I hope you will vote for me to fill the role of the position of Secretary, I truly believe this position will allow me to remain an active participant in the evolution of this profession.

Click HERE to view Charles' CV

Karla Frick, MPAS, PA-C

My name is Karla Frick and I have been a PA for the past 15 years. I have owned my own PA surgical assist company for the past 8 years and I love orthopedics and patient care. I have been a member of PAOS since 2006 and am currently the Southwest Regional Director, as well as a member of the scholarship committee and the 2016 CME committee.  During my term I have increased the PAOS membership for the southwest region by 35% and hope to continue that increase.   Being the Secretary and Membership Chair for PAOS would allow me to expand beyond the Southwest Region and work nationally for membership.  I am passionate about being a part of PAOS and I enjoy engaging and involving other physician assistants in orthopedics.  I also am an adjunct faculty member at Midwestern University working in their skills labs. I have a background in medical billing and sat on The Arizona Joint Board for PAs to help write new prescribing laws for the state of Arizona. I have worked with Women’s Orthopedists Global Outreach (WOGO) to help provide medical care and enhance learning to underserved countries.  I live in Peoria, Arizona and love to spend time with my husband and three girls.  

Click HERE to view Karla's CV

Bert Jacobo, PA-C, MSPAS/MPH

Dear Esteemed Colleagues,

As our healthcare system has evolved over the years, so has the role of us as PAs practicing in orthopedics.  Our roles as PAs within our health organizations are increasing and many of us have become leaders within our practices to promote orthopedic access to our patients.  As leaders we have a responsibility to be advocates and mentors for new and long-standing colleagues and grow PAOS awareness.  During last year’s elections one of our local politicians made a statement that stood out to me, “It’s about creating strength in numbers, finding common ground and supporting each other”-Jane Kim.  Over the recent years,  the PAOS has seen an increase in memberships, diversity and experience.  This has been more evident at our annual conference, which has expanded year after year.  Strong leadership within the PAOS provides credibility, recognition, expansion and support for our members to help them thrive in their orthopedic careers.  Having worked alongside orthopedic surgeons and PAs who play integral functions within the AAOS and my local organizations, I have gained indispensable attributes that I will bring to the PAOS board. Additionally, coming from a multicultural background with experience speaking to international public health cabinet members, I understand how to cultivate relationships with other organizations and expand the PAOS mission.  Within my regional Northern California organization, PAs who practice in Orthopedics make up the majority of PAs in my organization.  Nearly 40 % of all PAs at my organization are made up of Orthopedic PAs.  As one of senior PA members within my organization, I am directly involved in educating and mentoring new PAs as well as collaborating with senior physician leadership to bring PA awareness and educate other departments on how to appropriately utilize PAs within their practices.  I would like to bring my experience and enthusiasm to the PAOS board and be honored to be the next secretary.

Click HERE to view Bert's CV

For Vice President

Krista Bartlett, PA-C

I am very thrilled to hear about an opportunity to work as a volunteer representative for the PAOS. I have worked the past 5 years as an orthopedic PA and surgical first assist. I started in California working in a private practice focusing on general orthopedics, trauma, and total joint replacement. I moved to North Carolina after 2 years, following my husband to graduate school at Duke. I currently work for a private practice where I specialize in spine surgery, but will be returning to the Bay Area in June 2017 to work as an orthopedic surgical first assist at Kaiser Permanente in Redwood City, California.

The last 5 years have broadened my foundation of orthopedic skills, but more importantly taught me how to be a valuable part of a practice. I know how to be an integral member of a high-functioning surgical team – encouraging communication, building trust, and managing conflict. My superior performance has earned me 100% patient satisfaction ratings and resounding written evaluations from my attending surgeons. I also rank consistently near the top for patient turnover and revenue, and am among a minority of PAs achieving the NCCPA’s Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) in orthopedic surgery.

As an experienced practicing orthopedic PA, I have a significant amount of autonomy and am drawn to this elected position to help increase opportunities for senior PAs like myself.  If elected, I will work on obtaining approval for practical skill courses to perform autonomous orthopedic procedures. I plan to help in the movement to allow higher education opportunities, specifically a PhD level for PAs.  I plan to help create bridge programs to enter surgical residency once a PA has appropriate experience, skill level and passed a specialization test.  I understand these goals seem far off, but I think it is time to start the process of change and increase the opportunity for further career growth. I currently work in a large private practice where we have a lot of incredibly knowledgeable senior PAs who have worked very autonomously, efficiently and safely for years. After many years working in a specialty role, like orthopedics, senior PAs have proven themselves capable and competent. I believe we can better the healthcare system by expanding our role in autonomous patient care.  If elected, I will make it my sole mission to work in solidarity with the AAPA to increase these opportunities.


Krista K. Bartlett, PA-C

Click HERE to view Krista's CV


I have been a Physician Assistant in Orthopedics for over fifteen years.  I am a strong believer in PA and Orthopedic specialty academies and their advocacy for PA practice and the practice of orthopedics. I have been involved as a member, volunteer, and lecturer in multiple Orthopedic Organizations and Physician Assistant Specialty, State, and National academies.

My PA State Academy Director and legislative affairs duties had me working directly with my state medical board, meeting with the State Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman-Senator, and the AAPA.   My PA and orthopedic academy work not only had me lecturing on orthopedic medicine but also educating PAs and physicians on the utilization of PAs in Orthopedic Practices.   My work in the Orthopedic Trauma Association (OTA) has led to the founding and my co-chairing a course on Orthopedic Trauma for PAs and NPs.  The OTA now has added PA representatives to their Education and Membership committees.

I am running for Vice President for the PAOS as I am a strong believer in the PAOS as my professional specialty organization that represents me within the broader PA profession but also to other professional medical associations like the AAOS.   I am passionate in supporting and conducting educational opportunities for PAs in musculoskeletal care and also in professional awareness and advocacy through education of physicians on PA education and training and demonstrating high functioning PA/Physician healthcare teams.   

I believe my prior clinical experience as a PA in Orthopedics and my professional association participation make me a strong Vice Presidential candidate who can further contribute to the growth of PAOS and that I can provide valuable services to PAs practicing in orthopedics.  



Please feel free to review my submitted CV and my LinkedIn profile for further details and email me at danieljohncoll@gmail.com or call me at 530-386-2494. Thank You.

Click HERE to view Dan's CV

Benjamin K. Kocher, D.Sc, PA-C

Fellow PAOS members,

Currently serving as the Chairman for Continuing Medical Education for PAOS, I wish to continue service as Vice President for the organization. With the evolving changes in healthcare initiatives, strong leadership and professional advocacy will be paramount in solidifying our role and future growth in healthcare.  I intend on ensuring that our positions on certification reform and expanding scope of practice are clearly understood and advanced by our supporting organizations, such as the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), and other affiliate organizations.  Additionally, I look forward to continuing to support the policies and executive functions of the organization to include our President’s vision for our future.

Through my diverse strategic, academic, and clinical experiences, I have gained a unique knowledge of healthcare that will enable me to successfully represent organizational interests and drive future policy.  I have served in various executive and academic positions, garnering a strong knowledge of healthcare at multiple organizational levels. In my current position as Consultant for Orthopaedic PAs in the Army, I am a member of multiple strategic and multidisciplinary committees that are responsible for leveraging physician assistant’s specialties at organizational and enterprise levels within the Military Health System.  I am additionally responsible for management of assignments, deployments, credentials, and conducting mentorship to Army Orthopaedic Surgery PAs stationed worldwide.  In my previous job as the Executive Fellow for our senior military organizational leadership, I have held multiple roles and positions on strategic committees.  These governing bodies were directly responsible for the oversight and execution of our strategic initiatives for our 2700 members worldwide.   Through these pursuits, I have also had opportunities to work with the American Academy of Physician Assistants, American Physical Therapy Association, and American Occupational Therapy Association.

As a candidate for the Vice President position, I look forward to the opportunity to employ my strong leadership, academic, and clinical experiences to represent our organization and drive policy for our profession.  If selected, I will ensure that I advocate for PAOS’s organizational positions in developing health policy and our profession.  I would be honored to serve the PAOS as Vice President and look forward to continuing to be an active member and representative for the organization and profession.  If you have any questions on my positions on healthcare initiatives, professional vision, or my past experience, please don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss these with me. 

Benjamin K. Kocher, S.Dc., PA-C
Major, U.S. Army
Chairman, Continuing Medical Education
Physician Assistants in Orthopaedic Surgery

Click HERE to view Ben's CV


For NorthEAst Regional Director

Christopher Wheeler, MS, PA-C

I am currently the Northeast Regional Director for PAOS and I would like to ask members for their support as I seek re-election for the 2017-2019 term.

During my tenure with the PAOS, we have worked greatly to improve this organization and how it represents PAs in orthopedics at both the regional and national level.  The growth of the PAOS is directly related to strong leadership and membership.  The board of the PAOS continually looks for opportunities to grow and strengthen our relationship with the AAPA and other orthopedic organizations.  We also continue to be active in promoting PAs in orthopedic surgery at the local level.  I have been active in attending the yearly conference - interacting with PAs from all across the country, being a speaker and coordinating workshops. One of my proudest and favorite actions is being able to facilitate communication locally whether helping PAs with contract questions, connecting PA students with potential preceptors, and assisting practices with hiring PAs. 

The board and staff of the PAOS are not ones to rest on past successes.  They are continually looking for the best opportunities to grow both the organization, but most importantly how to best serve its members.  In the past several years, new benefits have included a subscription to the Yellow Journal, increasing to two CME conferences focused on orthopedics, salary profiles for PAs who practice in orthopedics and several others.  It is my hope that I can continue to help with this growth in the next two years. 

I currently live in Stratham NH and work at Access Sports Medicine and Orthopedics.  I serve as the Head PA and work mostly in Sports Medicine – where I have been for the last 19 years.  I ask for your support again as I run for Northeast Regional Director.

Click HERE to view Christopher's CV

For South Central Regional Director

Gregory M. Palm, PA-C, MS

Physician assistants are an asset to medicine. Throughout my training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, physicians and physician assistants worked together seamlessly to improve patients’ health.  However, when I moved to Waco to begin practicing, I was stunned to learn that many orthopedic surgeons, including some of the partners in my practice, were unfamiliar with the role of physician assistants in providing medical care.  Some of these partners were not fond of my supervising physician hiring a non-physician provider. Remarkably, the mere exposure to a physician assistant changed the partners' perception of physician assistants. After practicing in Waco for just one year, the entire partnership decided to collectively hire a second physician assistant. As a result, I have become an advocate of physician assistants to the medical community as well as the general population.  I would like to be considered for the Physician Assistants in Orthopaedic Surgery South Central Regional Director position because I desire to further progress the physician assistant profession.

The key to continuing to progress the physician assistant career is to provide exceptional patient care, and the essential components to providing exceptional care are to make the appropriate diagnosis and develop an effective treatment plan. Being up to date on current literature is crucial in this task. Physician assistants must hold themselves accountable to continuing their pursuit of knowledge even after graduating. PAOS provides remarkable continuing medical education opportunities that will further help physician assistants practicing orthopedics. As the South Central Regional Director I will work to increase PAOS membership so that all orthopedic surgery physician assistants may know the resources and opportunities they will have within the organization.

I want to extend the benefits of PAOS to other physician assistants because I have personally benefited from the resources PAOS provides to its members. Recently, I underwent a yearly review, which included a contract renegotiation.  I entered the renegotiation equipped with the PAOS salary report. During this meeting, I compared my productivity and compensation to other physician assistants in the South Central. Given that my productivity was in the top quarter percent, I now have a salary to match. The PAOS salary report was a valuable tool in my negotiation, and I will work to ensure all physician assistants are aware of such tools that are available to them.

In sum, I am running for the South Central Regional Director because it is important to me to be an advocate for other physician assistants so that the profession as a whole may progress. If I hold myself to a high standard and provide quality care to patients, then these patients may be more open to seeing other physician assistants in the future. I have also benefited greatly from PAOS continuing medical education opportunities and salary report. I would like to become more engaged in PAOS to give back to this organization and my colleagues.

Click HERE to view Gregory's CV

Randall Pape, MPAS, PA-C

I would like to start off by truly thanking everyone who has given me the opportunity to represent the South Central Region for PAOS.  I have enjoyed working with our executive leadership to help further our profession.   There have been great strides in the last 2 years in our membership numbers, and CME offerings specifically related to PAs in Orthopaedic Surgery.  Despite this progress, there is still much left to do.  This is the main reason I have decided to run again for South Central Regional Director.                         

Today, our profession is facing a major turning point.  There has been a continual push to change to Maintenance of Certification in lieu of continued testing.  There has recently been a great deal of discussion about “Full Practice Authority” (FPAR) or “Optimal Team Practice” (OTP).  It is important that our organization is able to speak as one loud voice when it comes to these issues.  This is why increasing our Membership numbers is so important.  The more PAs working in Orthopaedic Surgery that we have in our organization, the louder our voice is.  I think the most important job for a Regional Director is to help get the word out about our organization and it’s benefits.  This will enable us to have the voice we deserve at the national meetings.  According to AAPA, nearly 10% of all PAs work in Orthopedic Surgery.  So we still have a lot of work left in getting these individuals to join our organization.  We have recently started to use social media to help spread the word, and are very excited with the early results.

The Regional Director is responsible for relaying the opinions and desires of members in their region to the executive leadership.  I will always be available by either e-mail or phone and I make it a priority to get back in touch with our members in 24 hours.  I am also available for any general “practice” questions, and am very interested in talking to members about how they can get more involved in our organization. 

Again, thank you for your support.  Please feel free to email me with any specific questions at:  thepape6@gmail.com

Click HERE to view Randall's CV

For Southeast Regional Director

Jonathan Hull, MSPA, PA-C

My name is Jonathan Hull. I graduated from the University of New England PA program in 2012. Prior to becoming a PA, I worked as a Paramedic. I fulfilled roles as a supervisor, protocol development, training, tactical medicine, and dive team commander. My undergraduate degree is in organizational management. I am currently in my last year of a doctorate of health science program with a concentration in global health.

I currently live and work in the Virginia Beach area. I am responsible for the daily operations of our (hospital based) acute musculoskeletal injury center. I was hired to help develop and implement this program. The program has done well and has expanded to other facilities. I directly work for a private practice, but I am completely hospital based. I am the direct liaison between our group and the hospital that we cover. This has provided vast experience in the intricacies of administration, on a group and hospital level. 

I am very proud to be a member of PAOS. I believe that this association will continue to pave the way for our profession. We must continue to support PAs in orthopaedic surgery. We must also continue to develop our relationships with our attending surgeons, local and federal legislators, and communities. I would like to extend my bid for the position of PAOS Southeast Regional Director.

Thank you for consideration,

Jonathan Hull, MSPA, PA-C

Click HERE to view Jonathan's CV

Steven Kelham, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA

It is with great humility and honor that I ask for your continued support and vote for the position of the Director for the Southeastern region.  In my 15+ years of practicing as a Physician Assistant I continue to advocate for the profession and for my colleagues.  This has been no less important in my time spent as your regional director and Orthopedic Physician Assistant.  I have found in the more than 10 years of orthopedic practice, it is even more important to establish myself as a viable and trustworthy provider in a world of surgeons.  To that end, I feel advocacy for my peers in Orthopedic practice is essential to galvanize the PA-Surgeon relationship.  As your regional director, I have had the great fortune to help initiate a number of programs and projects that will undoubtly help elevate the practice of orthopedics for all PAs.

The PAOS Executive board and Board Directorate continue to be the perfect outlet to affect change within our profession.  I feel we have accomplished a great deal in the last 24 months but there is a great deal more to do.  For this and many other reasons, I have chosen to run for re-election.  Again, I ask for your support in this endeavor and rest assured that I will continue to work to serve you and your professional interests.  Thank you!!

Steven A. Kelham, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA
PAOS Director, Southeast Region

Click HERE to view Steven's CV