WAPA Newsletter | Winter 2022

President's Message from Eileen Ravella, PA-C


I hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying family and friends during the holidays. We have a hard legislative road ahead and we need your help to pass collaborative legislation.

PAs in the state of Washington are challenged with an antiquated supervision law, impacting employability. Your individual and collective support is crucial to successfully pass legislation for collaborative practice. We have support and opposition from powerful organizations most impactful opposition is from WSMA. WSMA has more PA members than WAPA and WSMA opposes you! Our fight is for our survival as a profession in Washington. We have heard from many PAs across the state who are negatively impacted by the administrative burden of supervision. We must pass collaborative practice to advance PA employability.

If you are a PA member of WSMA, let them know how this is impacting PAs and consider rescinding your membership because money talks.

Why are we stymied by an organization that opposes our very existence? Why do nurse practitioners, physical therapists, optometrists, naturopaths and pharmacists have their own regulatory body? Why are they allowed to call themselves "Doctor", and we fight to be called physician associate? Why are we expected to fall in line and be grateful for a place at the table with our physician colleagues? Why must we fight hospital medical staff for a voice where decisions are made about us? Why? Because the law says highly educated PAs need a supervising physician, the state medical association views this as a liability! The reality of how we practice is starkly different in many settings. We must change the law to reflect this reality. We don't need direct supervision. Period. 

If you are comfortable in your current position as I am, then you are fortunate. But we as a collective, owe it to our profession and colleagues to fight WSMA. Talk to your representatives, they want to hear from you. These are crucial conversations.  You will receive bill specifics and bullet points to guide the conversation with your physician colleagues, legislator and stakeholders.  Our legislative day is on Thursday, February 2, 2023.  Please email [email protected] if you are available to attend. We need a powerful presence in the legislature. I hope I can count on you to stand up for our profession.  

Thank you on behalf of all PAs in Washington

2022 WAPA PA of the Year: Gabrielle A. Zecha, PA-C, MHA

WAPA honors those who have promoted the PA Profession and WAPA's mission and vision. In 2022, WAPA awarded its first PA of the Year award. PA of the Year is a Physician Assistant who has demonstrated exceptional support for the profession and continues to seek out unique opportunities to promote the advancement of PA medicine within the healthcare system. 

WAPA was proud to recognize Gabe Zecha, PA-C as the 2022 PA of the Year. Gabe has made such a positive impact on the PA professions and PAs around the state. The WAPA member who nominated Gabe said "I nominate Gabe Zecha to be recognized as an exemplary PA. She is currently leading a group of around 200 APPs at the Fred Hutch Cancer Center through a very challenging time dealing with pandemic repercussions and she does it with grace and dignity. She is an excellent mentor".

Thank you for all you do for WAPA and the PA profession, Gabe!

View PA of the Year Page

CME Fall Conference 2022 - Suncadia Resort

Hello everyone, let me start by wishing you and your families a Merry Christmas and many blessings to you in the upcoming year.  

The Fall CME conference was a huge success, and we are very thankful for everyone that was able to make it out and attend.  It is my hope that you found the speakers and the topics both challenging and insightful and that the information brought new ideas into your practice setting.  I was humbled by the experience and have a new appreciation for all the hard work and long hours it takes to create an CME event.  I am thankful to all the PAs and physicians that volunteered their time, prepared their lectures, traveled to Cle Elum, and shared their expertise with us. I am also thankful to the WAPA board for their support and dedication to the conference and their willingness to step in and help wherever they were needed.  It is also important to mention the hard work that our new Executive Director, Amy Ohlinger, did in order to make this event successful.  Without her attention to all the details and handle all the challenges of organizing this conference and keeping us all on track, we would not have been able to be so successful.  If you did not get a chance to meet her at the conference, please make a point to let her know how thankful we are to have her, she is a true blessing.

The CME evaluations were received and thank you all for filling them out.  I recognize the time it takes to provide good feedback and I want you to know we rely on this feedback to make future conferences better and to grow as a state organization. As we reviewed the results of the conference, the first question to my mind was how well attended it was and how did it compare to previous conferences.  This conference had a total attendance of 189 Conference Attendees and 42 Exhibitors.  I was pleased to see how many we had, it is important to mention that WAPA relies on each of you and your continued support.  I know you all have many choices for CME events but please remember the good that comes from attending and supporting your state organization events.

As we look forward to 2023, we are in the planning stages of the Spring CME conference, and I need your help.  If you have a desire to serve on the CME committee, please let Amy know and she will get you plugged in to attend the meetings. I also will be sending our requests for speakers, if you would like to be considered for future CME conferences, this would be the way to become involved.



Region 4 Update

Our first Region 4 meet up was a great success!  Thanks to all who showed up at OO Denny Park on Saturday, Sept 24th, that was host by Regional Director Sara Passey, PA-C. This was the first WAPA Region 4 Meetup since 2020. We enjoyed chatting about our upcoming legislative push and getting to know each other.  We had PAs in primary care, allergy and immunology, ortho, ENT, addiction medicine, telemedicine & even some students from MEDEX.  We look forward to gathering again soon.  Stay tuned to hear about our next meet up.

Region 3 Update

Pictured Above: Marcy Shapley, Chris Urqhardt, Kevin McClurg, Barb Fayetteville, Kelli Cole, Lisa Drinkwater 

On October 12, I and Lisa Drinkwater (Astra Zeneca Medical Science Respiratory and Immunology Liason) hosted a gathering for Region 3 PAs in Bellingham at Twin Sisters Brewery.  The quantity of people was small, but the quality was exceptional!  We talked about asthma, COPD, and eosinophilic esophagitis, learned a lot, reviewed state PA politics, ate some food, had a beverage, and caught up after 2+ years of hunkering down and Zooming. We came up with some ideas for future gatherings: journal club, clinical updates, more meals.  Thanks to those of you who showed up!!  Please feel free to email me if you'd like to discuss a gathering in your area, or with any PA issue.  If I don't have the answer, I'll find someone who does. - Marcy Shapley PA-C

Washington State PA Student Updates By Agnes Lovell, MEDEX NW - Seattle Student Rep for WAPA

The current Washington state PA students in their didactic year are very excited to have completed the first two quarters of didactic classes at the UW MEDEX Seattle, Spokane, and Tacoma campuses. Now, the students have some time off for winter break and are looking forward to spending time with friends and family. Many students are looking forward to enjoying skiing, snowboarding, baking, cooking, and reading for fun instead of studying for a few weeks.

Clinical year students hit the ground running in September to begin their clinical externships. We greatly appreciate all of the preceptors in Washington and beyond that take the time and effort to precept PA students. If you’re interested in precepting a PA student and shaping the future of our profession, please contact UW MEDEX Northwest Clinical Coordinator Maria Burk PA-C at [email protected] (206) 616-4001 or visiting Preceptors – MEDEX Northwest (

Exciting news, a new PA program is opening in Washington State! Northwest University in Kirkland, WA is anticipating its first class to matriculate in August 2024. More information can be found at School of Physician Assistant Medicine (

The WAPA student representatives are looking forward to sharing information with their classmates and supporting WAPA’s upcoming legislative efforts to advance the PA profession in Washington.

Advocacy Updates By Justin R Thibeault, PA, MPH

Hello fellow Washington PAs! 

For the first time in close to three years the AAPA House of Delegates (HOD) met in person - convening in Indianapolis, Indiana on Friday May 20th. The excitement of being able to discuss and debate in-person was palpable from the beginning. There were adjustments to being back in-person but overall, the House ran smoothly and efficiently.  In addition, the AAPA General Session inspired many, as we got to witness a discussion between Simone Biles and Jane Pawley, two well- known and successful women who have struggled with their own unique mental health issues.  

Approximately 50 resolutions were submitted by various constituent organization for consideration this year, with 19 pulled for further discussion. While most amendments focused on slight word choice changes, there were several resolutions receiving extensive debate. The highlights are below but I encourage anyone interested to log-in to AAPA website and view results themselves which are shown here

Read more advocacy updates by clicking here.

Proclamation 20-32 Ended on October 27th: Waivers Conclude, CME Requirements Reinstated

Proclamation 20-32, along with others, was in place during the COVID-19 public health emergency. It will end this Thursday, October 27, along with waivers and holds on continuing medical education (CME) requirements.

For more information from the Washington Medical Commission, please click here.

WAPA Save the Dates

Spring 2023 CME
The CME Committee is working hard to finalize details of Spring CME. The dates and location are being finalized. Dates are TENTATIVELY planned for Wednesday, May 3-Saturday, May 6th in the Seattle/Tacoma area. Please mark your calendar as our tentative dates. Once we finalize our contract, we will let you know in January of 2023. More info coming soon!!
Fall 2023 CME
The Fall CME Dates are confirmed. Please mark your calendars for Thursday, October 26-Saturday, October 28th at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center in Walla Walla, WA. More info coming soon!!

Upcoming Events for Mayo Clinic - 15th Annual Hospital Medicine for NPs & PAs 2023

Dates: May 10-13, 2023
Location: Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa, Indian Wells, CA

For more information, please click here