2019 Election Candidates
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2019 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 and are only permitted to vote one time.

 For Secretary


Brian Downie, PA-C, MS

My name is Brian Downie and I am running for the position of Secretary on the board of directors at PAOS. I have been a practicing Physician Assistant (PA) for just over 20 years at the University of Michigan.  After graduating from the PA program at Western Michigan University, I completed a surgical residency in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The sports division of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery has been my professional home for 18 of my 20 years in practice.  I am the Lead Advanced Practice Provider for Orthopaedic Surgery and an Associated Chief Physician Assistant at Michigan Medicine.  While practicing, I obtained a Master’s degree in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis and pursued clinical research, publication and am a reviewer for the Journal of Orthopaedics for Physician Assistants (JBJS/JOPA).  As I have matured in practice, the importance of quality and patient safety has taken center stage prompting additional training.  With this training I have been afforded the opportunity to co-chair our department quality committee while serving for several institutional quality groups.  Community service is as important and can be as fulfilling as professional service which has led to great experiences coaching youth baseball and serving as membership chair on a local board. 

I offer my experiences not as proof from where I have come, rather as a diverse set of skills that could serve PAOS and the Orthopaedic Surgery PA community.  An organization requires participation and input to grow.  We gain participation by creating opportunities for and serving our membership. I can bring a diverse, yet focused set of organizational, strategic and collaborative skills to the position of Secretary where our membership will remain the priority.  Innovative and continued engagement will allow PAOS to leverage the diversity and strengths of its membership to move PAOS forward.  We can build on current successes including our partnerships with JBJS, AAPA and AAOS as well as the ever-growing educational opportunities afforded by PAOS.  As members of the Orthopaedic Surgery community we need partners like PAOS and those who serve our membership in any capacity to advocate on our behalf.  Together, we will continue to make a difference for patient care and our own professional lives.  I ask that you consider me for Secretary of PAOS.  Thank you!

Click HERE to view Brian's CV

Karla Frick, MPAS, PA-C

I am currently the secretary for PAOS.  I have served our organization for the past two years as secretary and prior to that I was the Southwest Regional director for 6 years. I have been a member of PAOS since 2006.  I have enjoyed serving this amazing organization very much and would like to continue for another term. I have seen and helped this organization grow over the past 13 years and would proudly love to continue to help for as long as I can.  I have assisted to grow our membership, along with our Regional Directors and President, to our largest numbers yet.  I am also the CME Chair for the Ortho in the West Conference, which was a huge success this year.  We had over 180 attendees from all over the country and had over 20 elite physicians and PAs provide amazing lectures.  I hope to continue to build our CME conferences to give our members the most current and applicable education they can get.  I strive to make our conferences the best in the nation.  I take serving on the Board seriously and feel it is a privilege and honor to serve on the PAOS board. I appreciate your consideration, and I ask for your vote for secretary.

Click HERE to view Karla's CV


For Vice President


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

Currently serving as the Vice President for PAOS, I wish to continue my service to 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 cope 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.
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 election for the 2019-2021 terms.

I have enjoyed my time on the PAOS board of directors over the last several years.  Since beginning in this role, I have been impressed by the growth and breadth of its members.  But that being said, there is always more to be done.    We are continuing to expand our CME conferences, as well as our online presence.  I have continued to work at the local level to serve as a resource for PAs practicing in orthopaedics, PAs new to orthopaedics or new PA graduates.  I would like to continue is this capacity by serving as your Northeast Regional Director.

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 21 years.  I ask for your support again as I run for Northeast Regional Director.

Click HERE to view Christopher's CV

For Southeast Regional Director


Joshua Porter, MPAS, PA-C

Over the past 8 years as a Physician Assistant in orthopedics, I have seen tremendous growth within our profession. As the physician assistant role continues to reach new horizons within the healthcare model, I am more proud of our profession than ever before. I believe those of us who carry the torch now for those who have gone before us are called to continue to lay the ground work in the advancement of the PA profession for the next generation. As PA’s, our role in healthcare continues to expand, especially within orthopedics. Surgical specialties continue to show steady growth as an area where many PA’s are finding success.

I have personally found tremendous satisfaction working as a PA in orthopedics over the last 8 years. I have had the opportunity to work in both a rural setting as well as an urban setting.  I have been employed by a physician owned practice as well as with a large hospital based entity. Through my exposure to a variety of sub specialties within orthopedics, I have come to appreciate the diversity this great profession offers.

I believe as we move forward together our role as healthcare providers will continue to develop and expand. I believe we must continue our commitment to strengthen PA’s within orthopedics through PA education, training, certification, and legislative changes that promote PA’s and enhance patient care. Now is the time we must seek unity within our specialty in order to continue the advancement of our role as healthcare providers.

As the Southeast Regional Representative for PAOS, I look forward to continuing the great advancement of our profession. I am eager to work alongside my peers to create more opportunities for education and training as well as resources for PA’s who choose to work in the orthopedic specialty. It is an honor to be considered for this position.

Click HERE to view Joshua's CV