Ron Schafer - Iowa PA of the Year 2021

Ron Schafer, PA-C, MPAS, has provided outstanding medical care to the people of Ringgold County for more than 30 years. During that time he served as an EMT, a Paramedic, a Respiratory Therapist Tech, a certified wound care provider - and as a PA for the past 20 years. Ron has gone beyond the call of duty to provide extra care for his patients by earning certification in wound care, ACLS, ATLS, and PALS. His service as an Iowa delegate to the national AAPA House of Delegates for nine years and membership on Iowa’s state Rural Health and Primary Care Advisory Committee for six years demonstrated his dedication to his profession and his state. Additionally, he is a career long member of the Iowa PA Society and the national PA organization AAPA. Beyond these services he showed his commitment to service of his local community and others through his membership in the Mount Ayr Chamber of Commerce, his local food bank, Ringgold County Cares, Chicken Wings for charity and his support of his local movie theater.

In this space age Ron still makes house calls for those who don’t have transportation to the clinic or are home bound.

Whenever his local, state, or federal legislators need information about PA legislation Ron is always ready to provide concise and accurate data about how the proposals will improve access to care. Due to his excellent reputation as a local medical care provider, his explanation promptly gains the support of his legislators. Adding to his effectiveness, his local legislators know him personally.

Ron is a most outstanding PA and an outstanding person who well deserves recognition by his fellow PAs as Iowa PA of the year.


If you're interested in nominating someone for PA of the Year, please complete this form.

Jim McGuire - Iowa PA of the Year 2020

Jim McGuire is a 1978 graduate of the University of Iowa PA Program who has served for 42 years as a Family Medicine PA in Forest City and Buffalo Center, Iowa. In addition he earned certification in emergency medicine and advance trauma management. He has staffed the Buffalo Center, a federally certified Rural Health Clinic since 1980. Also Jim has been the on call PA for the Buffalo Center Timely Mission nursing home and for Winnebago Industries of Forest City for the past 37 years. For more than 40 years he has served as the on call PA for MOSAIC, a home for the physically handicapped.

Jim was inspired to become a PA by his father who served a medic in the US Marine Corps -and his mother who practiced as a registered nurse.

A life long member of the Iowa PA Society and the AAPA Jim went the extra mile to educate legislators about PAs and medical care. Understanding that patients benefit when PAs are allowed to use their skills he always took the time to inform legislators about PA issues. Thought he was busy with his on call schedule he, never-the-less, was instrumental in IPAS efforts that achieved PA prescribing, insurance coverage for PA care, an independent PA Regulatory Board and many other changes that made medical care more accessible for patients. Most recently he helped persuade Rep. Linda Upmeyer to support direct Medicaid payment for PAs in 2019 when she was Speaker of the Iowa House.

One of Jim's Forest City patients, summarized what many others know about him: "Jim McGuire has been my preferred caregiver for years, & he is DEFINITEY a caring, compassionate and knowledgeable P.A. Last week, being in excruciating pain due to two accidents; my blood pressure spiked to 200/105 ~ life-threatening numbers. Jim took all the time I required, and I don't think I'd be here to write this, if he hadn't helped me. He is a WONDERFUL provider & human being!! Thank you, Jim McGuire!"


If you're interested in nominating someone for PA of the Year, please complete this form.

J.EarelJim Earel - Iowa PA of the Year 2019

James Earel Jr, PA-C of ORA Orthopedics in the Quad Cities has been honored as the Iowa PA Society's 2019 PA of the Year.

Jim's constant dedication to improving PA practice in the state of Iowa is at the heart of his nomination for PA of the Year.  He's been actively involved within IPAS board and committees for over 6 years. Over the course of that time, his passion for advocacy has grown, and he currently sits as the IPAS Legislative Committee Chair. 


Dedicated to his family and his Ortho specialty, Jim somehow also makes time to advocate for IPAS. He’s in contact daily with lobbyists, legislators, IPAS leaders, our national society, and IPAS members as well. He’s focused his energy into reviewing PA laws and rules and is working hard on finding ways to move Iowa forward as a better place to practice and looking to increase access to quality care.  He's strived to strengthen relationships with healthcare groups within the state, including the Medical Board and Medical Society, hoping that we can find common goals that can be improved by working together.


Congratulations to Jim and thank you for your involvement and your commitment to IPAS and your PA colleagues!


If you're interested in nominating someone for PA of the Year, please complete this form.

Jay Thomas, PA of the Year 2018Jay Thomas - Iowa PA of the Year 2018

Jay Thomas, PA-C of the General Surgery Dept., Mason City Clinic has been honored as the Iowa PA Society's 2018 PA of the Year.

Jay has practiced in Mason City for 40 years with the General Surgeons and during that time he has been a valuable asset for their department with daily cases, call, knowledge, training surgical residents from the University of Iowa for some 35 of those years and then also family practice residents, medical students and of course many physician assistant students. He has always welcomed the chance of teaching and letting physician assistant students in on little intricate details or nuances that would help in their future practices.

Congratulations to Jay on an amazing PA career and a giant thank you to the legacy he's left through his student outreach!


If you're interested in nominating someone for PA of the Year, please complete this form.