Awards & Scholarships

CAPA recognizes the incredible work our members and our community allies are doing every day in their clinical, administrative, and educational settings. Awardees undergo a process of nomination, review and selection by the Awards Committee. Awards are presented at the Annual Membership meeting, part of the Annual CAPA CME conference.

Interested in learning more about the Awards Committee? Check out more information here.

2023 CAPA Awards Nominations are open!

Do you know a PA who consistently goes above and beyond for their patients or community? Do you know a PA who makes a significant contribution to the clinical education of PA students? Do you know a PA that works collaboratively with the healthcare team and promotes PA Practice? Do you know a student that is dedicated to PA practice in the state of Colorado? Are you a PA student that has demonstrated community service and leadership skills? Does your employer promote a PA-positive environment?

CAPA will recognize outstanding PAs at the 2023 CAPA Annual CME Conference in early 2023.  Consider nominating a PA, PA student, employer or legislator you know (or self-nominate) for one of the CAPA awards.

Award Nomination Deadline: December 16, 2022

PA of the Year:

This award recognizes the PA’s contributions to the profession in the clinical setting and community. Recipient must be a CAPA member. Award will be based on the PA's service to the PA profession, inspiration to colleagues and patients, provision of high quality patient care, professional leadership, and community and volunteer contributions.

PA Educator of the Year:

This award recognizes a PA’s contribution as a PA preceptor or educator. Recipient must be a CAPA member. Award will be based on the PA's support of educational advancement of PA students, promotion of student leadership, evidence of mentoring efforts, involvement in professional leadership activities, and community and volunteer activities.

PA Leader of the Year:

This award recognizes a PA that works collaboratively with the healthcare team and promotes PA practice. Recipient must be a CAPA member. Award will be based on the PA's evidence of mutual respect and trust, teamwork in providing care to patients, team, community or professional leadership, and evidence of team community contributions.

PA Student of the Year:

This award recognizes a PA’s student dedication to the profession in the state of Colorado. The student must be a CAPA member. Nominations will be accepted and awarded based on the PA student's evidence of mutual respect and trust; PA program, community or professional leadership, and involvement in activities that advances or supports the PA profession.

PA Student Scholarship:

CAPA will award up to two (2) annual student scholarships, funds permitting, to a Physician Assistant student in the state of Colorado. Student must be a CAPA member. Applications will be reviewed by the Awards Committee and are based on the PA student's community service and involvement, leadership, academic achievement, goals as a future PA, and letter of recommendation. Financial Need will be considered on an as needed basis.

PA Employer of the Year:

This award recognizes organizations that are top employers of PAs, providing them with opportunities for professional growth and leadership. The award will showcase an employer that has implemented practices that create positive work environments and encourage collaborative provider teams.

Legislative Award:

This award honors a member of the community that through their leadership contributes to

increasing access to high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered health care. The award recognizes someone who promotes PA practice in the state in line with CAPA legislative efforts.

2022 PA of the Year

Carol von Michaelis, PhD, MPAS, PA-C, BSN, RN

Carol Von Michaelis epitomizes the ideal PA. She is well respected at Green Mountain Pediatrics, not only as a PA but also as a leader in the organization to all of the staff members. In addition to serving as a true leader at her organization, she continues to deliver superior patient care and develops a strong rapport with every patient and family. PA von Michaelis has served in many roles during her career, including as a faculty member for the Red Rocks Community College PA Program. Here she was a mentor to many PA students where she encouraged and inspired many young professionals during her tenure there. In her free time, she has a community farm that encourages kids and families to explore farm life and develop leadership skills. She has created numerous programs to encourage kids to be involved in 4H as well as other community activities. She truly is an inspiration and has boundless energy. It is for all these reasons that CAPA honors PA von Michaelis as the 2022 CAPA PA of the Year. 

2022 PA Educator of the Year

Tanya Fernandez, MS, PA-C, IBCLC

PA Tanya Fernandez is a faculty member with the University of Colorado Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant Program. PA Fernandez's enthusiasm for continuous medical learning and education is shown through her involvement in the medical field. She most recently presented at the Society for Physician Assistants in Pediatrics Annual CME Conference, and she has authored and published medical guides that aid PA students to succeed in their roles as pediatric providers. Her dedication to the field is evidenced by her continuation to work in clinical practice and her efforts to educate students through her publications and significant faculty roles. 

PA Fernandez cares for the community and is truly passionate about helping the local and under-served communities within Colorado. This can be seen in the numerous collection and fundraising events she helps with, such as our most recent book drive for children at our local Salud Clinic. She works to tie in community organizations so that we are more knowledgeable about the resources in our local area. In addition to her faculty position, she works at the Young Mother’s Clinic in Aurora where she works with underserved pediatric populations. PA Fernandez acknowledges the barriers that our patient populations face, and works tirelessly to combat them in her patient population while teaching students how to do the same. 

Aside from her medical expertise and all-inclusive educational contributions, what makes PA Fernandez outstanding is her ability to connect with students. She is always an advocate for her students and works hard to ensure that they understand the material being presented. Tanya’s grounded yet optimistic nature encourages students to grow, learn, and have a laugh along the way. . She is consistently pushing students to learn to the best of their ability, combat inequalities in healthcare, and advance the PA profession. For all these reasons, PA Fernandez is recognized as the 2022 CAPA PA Educator of the Year.

2022 PA Leader of the Year

Mark Quinn, PA-C

PA Mark Quinn has made an impact on the physician assistant profession dedicating his time in practice to the people of Colorado since his graduation in 1983 and initial Colorado Licensing in 1984. He has shown exemplary leadership throughout his career serving on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Academy of Physician Assistants in the 1990s including serving as CAPA President.  He is a tireless ally for access to medical care for patients by encouraging physician assistants to be utilized in multiple specialities across the state in both urban and rural settings. He has chosen to work within areas he can give back to his community, working as a paramedic before becoming a PA. He has worked with the Department of Defense, given his time teaching students and currently serves his rural, underserved community as a medical examiner.

Over the last several years, he has continued to advocate for the PA profession. PA Quinn worked to distinguish PAs from the group of “allied health” by creating a separate entity in his hospital that would include PAs and nurse practitioners, and updating language in hospital policy related to PA practice. Most recently,  he pursued changes in his hospital system to recognize PAs as Affiliate Medical Staff with full voting privileges as medical staff and committee members.  He does all of this while maintaining clinical practice in urgent care. His work advocating for the PA profession at the local level seems relevant now more than ever.

PA Quinn continues to serve Colorado PAs as an active member of the CAPA Government Affairs Committee. His tireless advocacy for the profession has earned him the title of the 2022 CAPA PA Leader of the Year.

2022 Employer of the Year

Dispatch Health

Dispatch Health is a mobile healthcare-a-home organization that continues to promote PAs and build allyship within the healthcare team so that patient care delivery can improve. With a shared vision to redefine healthcare delivery to benefit the consumer, Dr. Mark Prather and PA Kevin Riddleberger created DispatchHealth in 2013.

PA Riddleberger has used his journey to inspire PAs to leverage their clinical experience to practice at the top of their license and develop their skills into leading healthcare organizations. DispatchHealth supports PAs in Colorado by targeting Colorado PAs to join their team at Dispatch Health where PAs are encouraged to participate in leadership development, be part of an ambassador program where PAs can have the opportunity to operate in multiple markets and open new markets, and many more opportunities for growth within the company and as external leaders in the healthcare ecosystem. In Colorado, DispatchHealth has more than 10 PAs working in leadership and employs around 30 PAs on their clinical teams where they have helped to deliver care to around 100,000 patients.

For all these reasons, CAPA is thrilled to recognize Dispatch Health as the 2022 CAPA PA Employer of the Year.

2022 Student of the Year

Chloe Boehlke, PA-S

University of Colorado Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant Program

Chloe Boehlke is a first year PA student at the University of Colorado Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant Program. She is a Colorado native, originally from Durango. Both inside and outside of the classroom, she can be found leading her peers and colleagues. As Vice President of Silver Society, she leads events and meetings, and communicates seamlessly with the entire class. She also supports every member of Silver Society by assisting and ensuring that they are all able to meet their goals. She is proactive about furthering her education and working to better the experiences of patients from all backgrounds through participating as a Point of Care Ultrasound Society competitor and is a member of both the Emergency Medicine Interest Group and the Spanish Medical Terminology Group.

Chloe has been described by her classmates as a “moral and ethical compass for the entire class”. That intentionality and respect for others was showcased when she educated her class on appropriate ways to ask for people’s pronouns in order to make them feel seen and validated. She is so passionate about Women’s health and access to healthcare and continues to educate other students drawing upon her experiences working at Planned Parenthood. Chloe always goes above and beyond to create an environment of respect and trust. In addition, her class admires her self-reflective practices and the hard questions she is not afraid to bring to the table. She helped to develop an amendment to the class guidelines that acknowledged implicit biases and a commitment to hold classmates accountable to a higher standard. Chloe is a true example of a PA student that will go above and beyond for her classmates, future patients, and her profession. For all these reasons, Chloe is recognized as the 2022 CAPA PA Student of the Year.

2022 PA Student Scholarship

Danielle Pelletier, PA-S

Colorado Mesa University Physician Assistant Program

Danielle Pelletier is a second year PA Student at Colorado Mesa University. She is originally from Massachusetts but has spent the past six years in Colorado. Prior to PA school she worked as an Emergency Medical Technician at Longmont United Hospital, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and St. Mary’s Medical Center.  

She has dedicated 740 hours of community service to Mesa County and beyond. She believes the responsibilities of a healthcare provider extend past the workplace and that as PAs, we should lead by example in our community. She is a crisis hotline volunteer with the Latimer House Crisis Line, and has completed 45 hours of sexual assault and domestic violence training to have the necessary skills when these services are needed. She has also been involved in administering COVID-19 vaccinations with Community Hospital, Colorado Mesa University and Grand Junction Mutual Aid. In addition to all of this she has been involved with  Project C.U.R.E., working at a local free clinic, participating in events with local foster children, and delivering Christmas Eve meals to homebound elderly with COVID-19.

She is  passionate about health promotion, which fueled her capstone project, where she co-founded The Healthy Cooking Initiative. This program is modeled after the Tulane Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine and provides free cooking classes for the community. She was also elected as the CAPA Student Director for 2021-2022 and leads Colorado PA program representatives. After graduation, she  hopes to work in emergency medicine. Her  long-term goal is to open a pediatric urgent care in Western Colorado, to provide not only acute care, but support groups, cooking classes and rehab facilities for pediatric patients. It is an honor to award Danielle as the 2022 CAPA PA Student Scholarship Recipient.

2022 Legislative Award

Representative Susan Lontine

Colorado District 1

Representative Perry Will

Colorado District 57

CAPA recognizes the support of Colorado legislators in advancing the PA profession in the state and working to expand access to healthcare for all Coloradans. CAPA honors Representatives Susan Lontine and Perry Will for their continued support in sponsoring PA-specific legislation, including the 2022 bill, BH22-1095, Physician Assistant Collaboration Requirements. CAPA thanks these public servants for their tireless support

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