Summer 2022   

If you have had the pleasure of attending a CAPA board meeting in the past year, you know I like to start with a quote. So I would like to share a quote with you all today that was left in my office by a previous PA faculty member. I have looked at this quote almost daily and finally, as my presidential term comes to a close the full meaning hit me. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” ~Gandhi.

We are PAs, our lives are dedicated to the service of others; in our work, in our chosen volunteer opportunities, our families and personal relationships. My time leading CAPA has been a gift, as through this opportunity I have discovered a true love for advocacy. I would not have this without CAPA and the people who supported me and the many who also worked diligently and passionately to further our profession in this state. Modernizing PA practice in Colorado is a priority for me because I believe in the skills, training, empathy and compassion in each and every one of us. We can do more for our patients. It is time to move our profession forward and embrace a future we are already prepared for. I sincerely thank this community for the amazing work you do every day.

Leading this team has been one of the most important and meaningful roles of my life. I will continue to stay involved and accessible for the PAs in our state and support the next President of CAPA. I encourage you to be thoughtful about your own service to others and what you can do to improve the world around you. You will not regret it!

Alyn Whelchel, MSPA, PA-C

President, CAPA 2021-2022

Membership Dues Increase

Thank you for your continued support of CAPA! Your membership has allowed for CAPA to continue to work hard in supporting PA practice in Colorado and improving access to care for all Coloradans. 

In order to continue this important work, the CAPA Board of Directors has approved an increase in annual membership dues to $150 for Fellow, Affiliate, Supporting and Sustaining membership categories starting July 1, 2022.

We sincerely appreciate your support and continued dedication to your practice, your patients, and your profession. Current members may renew CAPA membership at the current membership rates by July 1, 2022 by logging into your member account. 

Has your membership lapsed?

Be sure to keep your membership active and keep receiving CAPA correspondence, supporting PA advocacy in the state and have access to CAPA events and CME opportunities! Renew your membership by logging into your member account. 

 PA Professional Day Registration Open

Celebrate PA Week by learning and networking with your fellow Colorado PAs!

Join us for a one-day, in-person conference including non-medical CME sessions related to PA professional practice. Topics will include themes around leadership, advocacy, professional advancement and more! 

Participants will be provided breakfast and lunch during the conference.

October 8, 2022

9am - 5pm

Red Rocks Community College, Lakewood Campus

13300 West 6th Avenue

Lakewood, CO 80228

2022 AAPA House of Delegates Report


After our two virtual House of Delegate (HOD) meetings, it was great to be back in person in Indianapolis!

There was a great spirit of camaraderie and collaboration between delegates and many of the PA organizations. There were many riveting testimonies given during the HOD, and Colorado was well-represented. CAPA was extensively highlighted during the AAPA President’s report to the HOD for all of the hard work that went into our legislative push and will serve a framework for other states. Your delegates put forth a resolution about the safe placement of tourniquets, legislative protections, and education of medical professionals and the public of tourniquet use that was adopted by the HOD.

         Below is a summary of a few key resolutions. The complete summary of actions can be accessed on the AAPA website

   Student member voting privileges were expanded to include the Student Academy Board of Directors and the student delegates to be eligible to vote in the general elections, this must be ratified by the AAPA Board of Directors.

   Bylaws were amended to reflect the transition form physician assistant to physician associate.

   Policy was amended to address policy gaps in provided culturally effective care, eliminating health disparities, promote/provide/support education and programs that review equity, diversity and inclusion to reduce health disparities and partner with organizations that also share those goals.

   CME credit for precepting was amended to remove the maximum hours that may be awarded (previously 20 credits per year).

   AAPA was asked to develop transition to practice resources for PA employers.

   Policy HX-4600.6.1 was amended to state: “ AAPA opposes restrictions and attempts to restrict the availability of and access to reproductive healthcare.”

   Two policies regard button battery were adopted to address PA educational gaps and supporting legislation for safety labeling and secure closure of items that contain button batteries.

   Policy was amended to be more inclusive of reducing barriers for PA application to diversify the PA workforce.

   Policy that advocated for reduce methadone restrictions to treat opioid use disorders.

   Adopted policy that supports the goals of the “EMD Agenda 2050” and supports PAs roles in EMS and the pre-hospital setting.

   Revised policy to emphasize that team based care leads to better patient outcomes.

We are also very excited that Peggy Walsh Sheryka was re-elected to the AAPA Board of Directors as Second Vice Speaker, and Rachel Weinzimmer was re-elected to the AAPA Nominating Work Group - your Colorado PAs representing at the national level.

On behalf of all of the Colorado Delegates we thank you for your support in the very important work that takes place during the HOD meetings and we invite you to attend (meetings are open to all PAs!) or engage with CAPA and become a Delegate.

Dear CAPA Colleagues,

The Governmental Affairs Committee has continued to advance our advocacy agenda. Current CAPA President and committee co-chair Alyn Whelchel attended the AAPA conference where our CO state advocacy efforts were applauded. We were able to connect and build relationships with other successful state chapters and discuss strategy. CAPA embraces the strong national trend of removing legal supervision for PAS. We plan to continue our effective grassroots movement to accomplish modernization of PA practice in Colorado. The Governmental Affairs Committee will be working closely with legislators in the coming months to schedule one on one meetings to continue to educate them on the Physician Assistant role in providing safe, accessible, and high quality care. We encourage all our members to discuss the barriers created by current statute with their legislators, colleagues, administrators and patients alike. What can your PA do for You? Colorado PAs came together to raise awareness of the vital role we play in healthcare. The legislative session also ended with a big win for the optometrists despite heavy opposition from multiple arms of the medical community. We hope to build on this momentum next year. 

The Colorado Academy Of PAs formally took positions on:

The governmental affairs committee will continue to relationship build and strategize for a PA Modernization Bill in 2023. 

Please contact the committee if you have any questions or desire to join in future legislative efforts. You are invited - we need all of us!

CAPA Announcements

Interested in getting more involved?

CAPA Committee Applications are Open!

Consider joining a CAPA Committee! Committee Applications for the 2022-2023 CAPA leadership year are open! 

CAPA is seeking members to join the following Committees. Please click on the links below to learn more information about each Committee:

You can apply for a Committee by filing out the application at the link below. Deadline for committee application is August 1, 2022.

Once you submit an application, you will be contacted by the Committee Chair to further discuss your interest. Committee member appointments will last one year (July 2022-June 2023). 

Learn more about CAPA Committees and submit an application here.

CAPA Special Election

CAPA has a vacancy on the Board of Directors, and in accordance with CAPA Bylaws, will hold a special election to fill the seat of President-Elect for the 2022-2023 leadership year. 

    Interested in this position? Please visit the CAPA Elections webpage for more information about the following positions and to fill out an Election Application or Nomination Form.

    Important dates - Special Election

    • Nominations and applications are due July 28, 2022
    • Voting occurs July 30 - August 6, 2022
    • Election results announced by August 8, 2022
    • President-Elect will assume office on August 9, 2022

    Please contact with any questions.

    Colorado PA Programs Update

    Colorado Mesa University Physician Assistant Program

    This past May, all three of our classes have accomplished great things! We celebrated the graduation of CMU MPAS’s class of 2022. Some are studying hard in preparation for the PANCE, while half of them have already taken it and successfully passed! Some of the graduates have already accepted job offers in specialties such as oncology, orthopedics, trauma surgery, neurology, dermatology, ear nose and throat, and family medicine. Additionally, we would like to congratulate Danielle Pelletier for receiving CAPA’s 2022 PA Student Scholarship this past year. Our class of 2023 celebrated the end of their didactic year with our traditional pinning ceremony. They will be starting the journey of clinical rotations working with a diverse set of patient populations in places such as Durango, CO; Craig, CO; and Vail, CO. The class of 2024 completed their first semester and have already integrated into the Grand Junction community by participating in service opportunities with the Good Samaritan Clinic, Special Olympics of Colorado, and Colorado Health Network. They are excited to enjoy their first summer in the Grand Valley and dive into their first round of clinical medicine modules, starting with behavioral health.  

    Red Rocks Community College Physician Assistant Program

    The class of 2022 is due to graduate in five short months! They have three more rotations, clinical skills exams, and one more end of rotation exam, for which they are studying diligently. They are working hard putting together capstone projects to present in October. We wish them luck as they prepare for their PANCE after graduation.

    The class of 2023 finished their second semester of didactic year in May and are breathing a sigh of relief as they head into summer semester. They welcome in the sunshine and will be focusing on practical skills before heading out for their first clinical rotations starting in August. Woo hoo! One of their cohort, Olivia, recently attended the AAPA conference in Indianapolis. As a fellow gymnast herself, she was elated to be able to sit in on a lecture from Simone Biles, and she came back with a wealth of ideas to share with her cohort.

    We will be welcoming in the class of 2024 by the end of this summer. We are looking forward to learning from our newest cohort and are excited to be passing on our tips and tidbits (and notecards) to get through didactic year. Not to mention, we are thrilled to see a set of new faces here on campus!

    Rocky Vista University Physician Assistant Program

    After pushing through nine tough months of didactic, the PA class of ‘23 has now officially completed RVU’s jam-packed “Introduction to Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences” course. Over the last month, the class of ‘23 refined their suturing and knot tying skills while nearly simultaneously earning their ACLS, PALS, and BLS certifications. At the halfway point, the students were faced with their first OSCE. Having amassed an extraordinary amount of knowledge and skills, the class of ‘23 will now enter into the real world of clinical rotations on June 6th.

    While the class of ‘23 embarks on new rotations, the class of ‘22 will transition from a year-long stint in the clinic and hospital to a dedicated research period for their Capstone projects. Overall, there are many emotions in the air as students transition from a familiar world to new territory. The excitement and nervousness associated with such change may be that of a personal journey, but no matter how far students venture from RVU, they continue to remain connected through “fireside chats.” These events enable those finishing their clinical year to share their wisdom with students faced with the unknown of clinical rotations, thereby remaining connected to offer encouragement and guidance during the next steps of an RVU PA student’s journey.

    University of Colorado Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant Program

    This past May, eighteen 1st and 2nd years were fortunate enough to be able to travel to Indianapolis for our first ever AAPA conference, live and in person! With the focus on mental health, we were incredibly excited to hear from speakers like Simone Biles and Jane Pauley about their own inspiring journeys. CHAPA students also had the opportunity to hear from PA, Haley Arcenaux about her career, time in space and her story as a cancer survivor. One of our own students even had the opportunity to connect with Haley as a cancer survivor herself, share stories and compare scars.  

    Several students competed in both POCUS competitions and the challenge bowl while classmates cheered them on. It was a fun chance to learn, improve skills and get to meet fellow PA students from other programs. Students also attended phenomenal lectures over the 5 days learning everything from ED tips and tricks, gender affirming surgical care and even how to navigate the job market as a new grab, plus so much more! As we all head into rotations this summer, it’s safe to say we have more tools and knowledge at our disposal.

    COPIC Corner


    "My fitness tracker says I am about to have a heart attack!"

    By COPIC’s Patient Safety and Risk Management Department

    An active 53-year-old patient saw her medical provider because she was worried about the rapid heart rates data she downloaded from her fitness monitor. She mentioned that she had a strong family history of heart disease and an internet search revealed that a high heart rate can be the first sign of an impending heart attack. Her data downloads had never shown such high heart rates before. She brought in a year’s worth of heart rate data printouts to the appointment and asked to put these in her medical record. What should the provider do?

    There has been a significant increase in the use of consumer-marketed, wearable technologies that measure and report physiological data. As a consequence, medical providers have noticed patients are starting to bring this information to appointments expecting something to be done with it. Understanding a few basic principles will help when seeing such patients.

    First, it is useful to make it clear to patients who bring in data from consumer-grade monitoring devices that the information is designed for consumer use and not for medical care. For example, you may choose to tell patients that although you see and agree that the information from their wearable device is indeed abnormal/outside what may be expected, this information is not from a medical-grade, FDA-approved device. Thus, you know neither its reliability nor necessarily how to interpret it. Furthermore, it may be useful to explain that any abnormal information from such a device is not a medical diagnosis, but perhaps may be a reason for a careful medical assessment.

    Additionally, set expectations with patients who bring physiological data from wearable devices as to how this information may be documented and used. For example, you could tell them that, given its limitations, the information may be documented in a subjective way in your note and may help contribute to their care, but it will not be stored as part of the medical record as data from a physician-prescribed, medical-grade device would.

    Although data from wearable devices is not medical grade, it probably should not be completely dismissed without at least looking at it. This may involve a follow-up office visit. In an established provider-patient relationship, it is reasonable for providers to assume they have some responsibility to consider the data that a patient presents them from wearable devices in their overall decision-making process. However, as noted above, the actual data brought by the patient can be considered indeterminate due to the unclear reliability of the source. Some providers report that they treat data from wearable devices in a fashion analogous to how they would treat a sheet of paper brought in by the patient with a list of questions or self-checked pulses on it: it informs the care during the visit, but is not put directly into the medical record.

    Lastly, it should also be made clear and documented that any patient who believes they are having a medical emergency, no matter what information a wearable device is reporting, should immediately dial 911.

    So, for the case presented, here is a reasonable approach the provider might take once the presence of an emergency situation has been excluded:

    1.     Perform a thorough history and physical examination and let the patient know this is informed by her concerns as well as the information she brought from her wearable device. Determine appropriate near- and long-term testing, referrals, and follow-ups as for any evaluation.

    2.     Alert the patient as to the plan for further evaluation and management as well as signs and symptoms that would warrant re-evaluation or calling 911.

    3.     Tell the patient that although you appreciate the data, it is not appropriate for the medical record. Also, communicate that the device used is not medical-grade and the information may not be accurate or reliable.

    Click here for Within Normal Limits, a podcast produced by COPIC that focuses on a wide variety of risk management, patient safety, and professional liability issues. 

    Click here to access a collection of resources COPIC has gathered and/or created to help medical providers and facilities with addressing Covid-19.

    Contact Us

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    Denver, Colorado

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