Fall 2021   

Happy PA Week!

The first class of PAs graduated from Duke Medical Center on October 6, 1967. As a means of honoring the pioneers of the PA profession, PA Week is celebrated annually from October 6th through the 12th.

Thank you to all the PAs and PA students who work hard everyday to deliver high-quality healthcare to their patients and communities!

Source: www.aapa.org

As we celebrate PA Week and the origins of our profession, I would like to start by sincerely thanking each of you for your continued commitment to your patients, to education and to healthcare in whatever form that takes. As the pandemic continues, CAPA wants you to know we are working hard to support PAs in the state. These unprecedented times require commitment, perseverance and dedication. CAPA understands and the current issues facing Colorado PAs because we are PAs. I will say again, CAPA thanks you and stands with you as we celebrate the resiliency and generosity of our profession. I would also like to thank our tireless and wonderful team with CAPA. I am proud to work with PAs from diverse geographic regions of Colorado and PAs from different specialties, education and administrative positions.  Thank you CAPA PA leadership! I truly enjoy working with our team.

Never before have the roles of PAs been so important in healthcare. The larger community of providers, state legislators, and the public understand now more than ever the importance of our profession in expanding access to care that is exceptional and affordable. CAPA strives to continue building relationships with providers, healthcare entities and all Coloradans to increase this understanding about what PAs can do for Colorado. CAPA is also working hard planning for implementation of national profession changes at the state level. The AAPA House of Delegates voted in May to change our title from "Physician Assistant" to "Physician Associate". The name change and re-branding strategy represents a proactive, PA-centered approach with benefits beyond our profession.  CAPA is committed to representing our members and all Colorado PAs in the next few years as we navigate this historic change. Our CAPA team welcomes continued engagement and conversations about the process so please stay actively involved.

CAPA also believes Colorado needs OTP and PA practice modernization legislation. Based on our membership survey, this is also an overwhelming priority for CAPA members. Although our bill for practice modernization did not pass last year, we developed many relationships and learned a tremendous amount that will be useful as we pursue legislative change this year. Twenty one states have updated the supervisory language in statute. North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming recently passed legislation that removes the restrictive tether of supervision. Colorado strives to join these states that have successfully passed practice modernization laws. CAPA remains committed to our mission to advocate for state regulation change that supports PA practice and ensures PAs can continue to provide access to high quality health care for all Coloradans. As we consider priorities for the coming year, please know we will pursue changes that align with our commitment to excellent patient care and team work.  Stay tuned for opportunities for further input and engagement around legislative priorities!  Please watch for emails and social media posts surrounding this important issue. We will need all of us working as a team to be successful.

What can you do to help these efforts and get involved? A great place to start is continuing your CAPA membership and encouraging your colleagues to join. Next, look for opportunities to join your colleagues by joining a committee, attending a virtual town hall or participating in other CAPA events.

As always, you are invited to the CAPA table! Every PA, PA student and pre-PA in Colorado is welcome. Consider yourself invited!

Thank you again for all you do!

Alyn Whelchel, MSPA, PA-C

President, CAPA 2021-2022

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!

Visit the Membership Page to renew or log-in to your CAPA account.


Don't miss the opportunity to attend CAPA's PA Professional Day on Saturday, October 9th!

Celebrate PA Week by learning and networking with your fellow

Colorado PAs!

Join us for a one-day, virtual conference including non-medical CME sessions related to PA professional practice, including Colorado and federal legislative updates, how to navigate PA reimbursement, and more topics. 

Click HERE to register

Conference Agenda


Topic (Speaker)

9:00 – 9:50 a.m.

AAPA National Update

(Erika Miller, BA)

10:00 – 10:50 a.m.

Navigating PA Reimbursement

(Trevor Simon, MPP)

11:00 – 11:50 a.m.

Puerto Rico: The Final Frontier for PA Practice in the U.S.

(Kimberly Weikel, MPAS, PA-C)

12:00 – 12:50 p.m.


(Kristin Orlowski, PhD)

1:00 – 1:50 p.m.

PA Advanced Degree Panel

- Vickie Beloy, MPAS, PA-C

- Amy Bronson, EdD, PA-C

- Christa Dobbs, DHSc, MPAS, PA-C

- Susanna Storeng, DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA

- Rachel Weinzimmer, MS, PA-C, CAQ-EM

2:00 – 2:50 p.m.

Advocacy Updates in the Treatment of Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders

(Michelle Gaffaney, MPAS, PA-C)

3:00 – 3:50 p.m.

Psychology of Money

(Nancy Patton, BS)

(Click HERE for more details regarding the agenda)

This activity has been reviewed by the AAPA Review Panel and is compliant with AAPA CME Criteria. This activity is designated for 6 AAPA Category 1 CME credits. PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation. Approval is valid from 10/9/2021 to 10/9/2021. AAPA reference number: CME-203615.

Join us on October 6th to kick off PA Week!

We invite you to a discussion about what CAPA has been up over the past year and updates on Colorado PA issues. This will be a free, informal, virtual event that will provide opportunity to meet some CAPA leaders, learn what CAPA is currently working on and discuss plans for the upcoming year.  We will meet from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Grab a colleague and a cup of coffee and join us for an evening of learning and engaging with other Colorado PAs!

Click HERE to register

The CAPA Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC) continues to work hard on behalf of PAs in the state of Colorado. We strongly believe that PAs in our state increase access to safe, equitable care for all patients. By supporting PAs, we also support patients and access to care. Every year is an opportunity for us to work together to advance change that positively impacts PAs and the patients we serve. We very much look forward to the start of the next legislative session January 2022.

Following is a sample of some of the things GAC did for PAs during the past few months:

  • Met with the Colorado Medical Society and the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians to work collaboratively on PA modernization legislation for the Legislative Session starting in January.
  • Worked hard with our Lobbyist to monitor legislation that may impact PAs or should include PAs. We have actively advocated for PAs in many arenas of healthcare legislation in our state.
  • Updated and drafted legislation with the support of the AAPA to attain our goal of OTP in Colorado.
  • Developed literature we will use to reach out to healthcare business leaders in the community to increase support for PAs.
  • Strengthened our existing state wide Grassroots Advocacy Program to educate lawmakers about our profession and the importance of the needed changes to move our profession forward and remove unnecessary barriers to PA practice and patient care.
  • Planned additional training for PAs in the state surrounding advocacy and outreach.
  • Continued to review job needs and educate employers on the ability of PAs to fit positions that may currently be only open to other clinician types.
  • Persisted in ongoing efforts to explore and potentially modernize the worker's comp rules and regulations for PAs which are not consistent with current Colorado PA laws.
  • Continued to attend Colorado Medical Board meetings to ensure PA representation and monitor state legislative changes that may affect our profession.

What can you do? Please join CAPA! Stay tuned for additional information about the upcoming legislation. Watch for updates via email and on CAPA’s Facebook, Instagram and website. Continue the good work you do every day as exceptional representatives of our profession.

We are stronger together!

CAPA's work with the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) All of Us Research Program to raise awareness about the importance of participation in research was recently featured on AAPA's website.  CAPA Director-at-Large Kendra Glassman, PA-C, responded to questions about the program. 

Why do you think it is important to share information about the All of Us Research Program?
This is an amazing, cutting-edge research program. The more people know about the program, the more buy-in we can get for it, both from providers and participants. This will allow for greater understanding and participation.

Have any CAPA members or other individual PAs you know signed up to participate in the program?
Yes – after numerous updates about the program in our newsletters and CME events, several CAPA members, including many of our board members, have signed up.

What’s the potential for All of Us to advance the future of healthcare?
There is vast potential for this research to advance the future of healthcare. Using precision medicine has boundless possibilities and will give the medical community answers to help individuals stay healthy and to develop tests to determine their risk of getting sick.

What benefit do you think the program has for PAs and patients?
Research conducted with the program’s information from diverse communities may lead to findings that can help PAs help their patients live their best life and prevent or treat conditions. We may find new tools to assess their lifestyle and disease risk and provide the right treatments for them as individuals.

Why should PAs get involved themselves and spread the word?
This is a great opportunity for PAs to participate in a large-scale research opportunity that will benefit the medical society as a whole. It is easy and safe! It will benefit them and their patients. It is a no-brainer!

Why is it important for PAs and their patients to participate in a program that asks about health habits, environment, genetics, and more?
Prevention is key! By having a multifaceted research approach that includes thousands of individuals, this program will be a game changer in uncovering ways to keep individuals healthy and connect them with care unique to their particular needs.

For more information, contact Kendra Glassman, PA-C, at kendrabell16@gmail.com, CAPA Director-at-Large. 

Click on these additional resource links

FAQs, COVID Infographic, How to Sign Up, Program Brochure

COPIC Corner

By COPIC’s Patient Safety and Risk Management Department


In the era of open access, patient portals, and new information blocking rules, patients now have the ability to demand documentation of their visits with medical providers. Besides just wanting to review their records, patients sometimes make these requests for issues such as workers’ compensation, divorce and custody controversies, life or disability insurance application reviews, and ongoing legal proceedings. In each situation, sensitive information and potentially adverse comments in the record may result in unfavorable consequences for the patient.

Under HIPAA’s Right of Access, patients have the right to review (free of charge) and receive a copy (for a reasonable, cost-based fee) of their medical and billing records and any other records that are used to make decisions about a patient.

A patient’s right to access his or her electronic medical information was further expanded with the Information Blocking Rule under the 21st Century Cures Act (“Cures Act”) that went into effect April 5, 2021. Upon request, patients and other permitted requestors may now request “immediate” access to a large segment of their medical records and can demand that the information be downloaded to an app of their choosing. Additionally, under the Information Blocking Rule, providing access to other treating physicians (for treatment purposes) must also be provided without undue delay.

For example, under the Information Blocking Rule, providers should be aware that the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) has made it clear that lab and test results must be immediately provided, upon request, once those results are available to the facility or practice. It is no longer permitted to delay access until after the physician or other provider has had a chance to review the results. The

ONC has also made clear that access to other treating physicians to requested medical records must be provided, without delay and without requiring a HIPAA authorization form.

A list of the most common records that a provider is not required to produce (i.e., patients do not have a right of access) includes:

  • Quality assurance or professional review materials;
  • Psychotherapy notes;
  • Information prepared in anticipation of a civil, administrative, or criminal action;
  • Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) records that are exempt or prohibited from disclosure;
  • A medical record which, if released, would likely cause substantial harm to the patient or another person (in the professional judgment of the provider made on a case-by-case basis);
  • Research study records, but only if the patient agreed during the consent process and only while the clinical trial is in progress (patients must be informed that their right to access will be reinstated following the conclusion of the clinical trial);
  • Information obtained from someone other than a health care provider, such as a family member or close friend, under a promise of confidentiality.

A common myth is that you cannot provide copies of another provider’s records that are contained in your records. This is not true. A HIPAA FAQ1 specifically states that a provider can produce such records and, in fact, it may be a violation of the right of access if you do not do so when requested by the patient.

The Privacy Rule and the Information Blocking Rule require health care providers to provide access to the records in the form and format requested by the patient, if readily producible in that form

and format, or if not, in a readable hard copy form. For example, under HIPAA, if a patient requests an electronic copy of a paper record, the provider is required to scan the paper information into an electronic format.

  • Under HIPAA: Physicians are required to provide the records in a “timely” manner (as soon as reasonably possible, but no later than 30 days after the request which likely will be reduced to 15 days under a current proposed amendment).
  • Under the Information Blocking Rule: Access must be provided “immediately” or “without undue delay.” While the terms are not defined, commentary from the ONC makes reasonably clear that access must be provided within minutes or hours. Several days to provide access will not be acceptable. Further, ONC has made clear that compliance with HIPAA’s timeframes will not be a defense to an Information Blocking violation.

1 www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/faq/214/may-health-care-provider-disclose-parts-of-medical-record/index.html

Colorado PA Programs Update

Colorado Mesa University Physician Assistant Program

CMU students are staying busy! The first cohort recently graduated and had 100% PANCE passing. The class of 2022 is outputting all the skills they learned during their didactic year to use in their clinical rotations. Three students in the class of '22 have begun making a great impact with their capstone project, The Healthy Cooking Initiative. In partnership with Western Colorado Community College, this program offers a free cooking class to the community. What a way to give back! Students from the class of '23 will be continuing this program for their capstone.

When the class of '23 is not in class or studying, we are volunteering at a vaccine clinic, helping to feed the homeless, apple picking for the local food bank, or playing volleyball as a class on Friday nights. One student a week gets to go volunteer at the free clinic here in town. Students have been able to practice their physical exams, diagnostic skills, and prescription writing all with the help of the provider of course. A few students a week are getting to go see how procedures work in the cath lab. We are currently in the middle of our 3rd didactic semester. Only one more semester until we head to clinicals. It is time for the class of '23 to seriously start thinking about rotations.

Red Rocks Community College Physician Assistant Program

Happy Fall everyone!

The Red Rocks PA program is kicking into full swing this month. The students in the Class of 2021 are wrapping up their last few clinical rotations before graduating in November and are preparing for the PANCE. They have been on rotations for over one year now and have gained an incredible amount of confidence. They have been amazing mentors to the other classes and have set great examples for us! Our Class of 2022 students are beginning their second clinical rotation this month and have been thrilled thus far to be done with didactic year and immersed in the clinic! They have had amazing experiences that range from working in rural parts of Colorado at the Department of Corrections to doing well checks on three-month old kiddos. They have been extremely eager and excited for each new day and can’t wait for what’s to come. Our newest Class of 2023 have started their Fall semester on the Red Rocks campus! They are incredibly grateful that they are able to be on campus and have loved getting to know one another and begin the incredible PA school journey. In addition to clinical rotations, the class of 2021 and 2022 have been volunteering their time at Project Cure and at the Sunrise Community Health Clinic. There they have been gaining experience taking a patient history, doing a physical exam and observing encounters with providers. It has been an amazing experience for them thus far. We are so proud of all three classes and can’t wait to watch them grow throughout the next year!

Rocky Vista University Physician Assistant Program

Hello from Rocky Vista!

The school year has started again, and we are pleased to welcome class of 2023! It is so fun seeing the new faces of our PA program and growing the RVU family. They are now embarking on the rigorous didactic curriculum; we wish you luck and don’t forget RVU is here to support you all in your journey!

Class of 2022 are pushing forward into their clinical rotations, getting hands on experience and learning physical exam and diagnostic skills. We are spread across Colorado and surrounding states but still find some time to get together between rotations. The attached picture are a handful of clinical year students enjoying the sun while it lasts.

Class of 2021 are in the home stretch towards graduation and taking the PANCE. They are presenting their Capstone and research projects and preparing for their final exams! Good luck, you’re almost there! Shout out and Congratulations to Natalie Crump, PA-SIII class of 2021 who is President-Elect for AAPA Student Academy Board of Directors. Thank you for everything you do for AAPA, for representing RVU, the PA profession, and for your leadership so early in your career!

Follow us on Instagram and on Facebook to see what RVU and our PA program is up to!

University of Colorado Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant Program

After a long year of Zoom lectures and getting to know each other through our laptop screens, our second-year class is finally able to experience coming to the CU Anschutz campus and having in-person classes together. Even though skipping the morning commute and attending lectures in our PJs had some perks, most students agree that coming together as a cohort has been a much-needed change of pace. As shown in the photos, us second-years have been getting busy, learning how to identify and treat life-threatening bleeds and practicing our injection skills. Next week, we get to torture each other some more while learning how to place IVs and practicing on our fellow classmates.

The 1st year CHA/PA students did an awesome job on their service project this year. The students organized a food drive for Metro Caring, a local anti-hunger organization within the Denver community. Metro Caring provides nutritious and fresh food to people facing food insecurity within our community while addressing the root causes of hunger. The food drive organized by our first-year class collected over two vans full of healthy food donated by members of the community. The Denver community has seen a 300% increase in food insecurity during the pandemic, so the first-year class could not have thought of a more fitting service project to positively impact our community.

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