Spring Newsletter 2021

President's Message from Natalie Weber

Weber Natalie Aug2018 web I hope this newsletter brings with it warmth and sunshine as I am ready for Spring! It’s pretty incredible to look back a year ago – where we were, where we’ve been, and now, hopefully, where we’re going as vaccines are being distributed. One thing is for certain, it’s been a year of uncertainties. But, Spring, to me, has always been a time of hope. Flowers and trees bloom, the grass starts to turn green, and people are willingly spending time outdoors - how refreshing! I hope you are all able to enjoy some of these warm days ahead to renew and refresh your own health.

The Spring Virtual IPAS CME Conference is just around the corner! We are excited to offer this following the success of the Fall virtual CME format. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to gain knowledge and CME! Click HERE to see the agenda and register.

The Legislative Committee continues to forge ahead working through the Harmonization Bill. Many of you received a “call-to-action” email to contact your legislators. This is one small, but very important way you can contribute to making a difference in advocating for our profession. Our first virtual Legislative “Day on the Hill” was also a success. Kudos to those involved in the planning of this event and managing all things “IT” related to a virtual format.

gustafson joshua 1548491368President-Elect Message from Josh Gustafson

I think this spring comes with even more excitement than even a typical year. As we are not only trying to get outside and away from the dreary cold weather, but we are also trying to get away from the restriction of mask, quarantine, isolation and all those other terms we have become accustomed to over the last year of this pandemic. As with all of you through this trying time, IPAS continues to adapt to the current environment as we shift to virtual day at the capitol, and virtual Spring CME. I have my SPRING colored glasses on and I see these things as a great benefit to our organization. This past year has allowed us to recognize that we can put on quality continuing medical education virtually and has allowed us to become knowledgeable in the virtual possibilities for the future. I think this allows us to reach our PA’s of Iowa and potentially outside of Iowa in a new and perhaps more convenient way. We will continue to adapt and change as necessary, but also as it is beneficial to our organization. We are always excited to have new ideas and concepts brought forward. If you have been sitting on a new idea let us know, or even better join the board or a committee.

We can never have too many volunteers to continue making Iowa a great place to be a PA. As the year goes on we will begin the transition to new positions on the Board and I want to take time to thank all those that have served the IPAS Board over the last several years and as they transition off the Board. Thank you Natalie for your work this past year as President and Katie for your 3 year term. As someone who was new to all of this, we have a lot of wonderful people to help guide you through so don’t hesitate, if you’re interested jump on in the water is perfect!

Thank you for all you do for your patients, community and IPAS, and I look forward to a 2021 of continued growth and change. 


Legislative Update from Jim Earel



Right now is a busy time in the legislative arena! The legislature is moving ahead full steam on a number of bills and has already passed many as well. In the mix is our bill HF 803, that functions as a harmonization bill to update administrative code and administrative rules language. The bill would provide several significant improvements, including:

  • Updating provisions related to hospice to reflect recent federal action to include PAs in the definition of “attending physician” and ensuring PAs can provide care within hospice settings;
  • Fully enumerating PAs in laws and regulations related to end-of-life decisions. PAs are already included in the definition of “health care provider” for these purposes;
  • Ensuring PAs meeting the education, experience, and supervision requirements of the definition of “mental health professionals” may provide mental health services that are limited to such professionals, including filing for a patient’s voluntary admission to psychiatric hospitals and conducting admission exams;
  • Including PAs among other, similarly situated practitioners for the purposes of treating patients within the adult and juvenile justice systems;
  • Authorizing PAs to perform routine qualification examinations for childcare providers, school bus drivers, recipients of state benefits, patients requiring certain treatments or devices (e.g., prosthetics, diabetes equipment, or special diets) and certain athletes; and
  • Ensuring PAs are represented on panels and programs related to public health, including the Domestic Abuse Death Review Team and the HIV partner notification program.

We have worked on the language for this bill with the Iowa Medical Society (IMS) and the Iowa Psychiatry Society (IPS) since last summer to come to consensus language that we all agree would be beneficial for PAs and our patients. We have finalized our amendment and the bill should be heading to the floor for debate any day. By the time you’re reading this, hopefully it has passed through the House and is moving in the Senate. If you have not reached out to your legislators to 1. Thank House Representatives for their support, and 2. Ask Senators for their support, please do so now. You can find your legislators here, sample email language here, and handout information here.

IPAS continues to follow many other bills going through the legislature at this time, and if needed, we will be reaching out to all of you to ask for your support, so keep an eye on your inbox!


AAPA kicked off their Leadership and Advocacy Summit a couple of weeks ago, but virtually, for the first time! The content has been available online and on demand for the majority of it. On 3/24, Natalie Weber and four PA students, Jayden Lemaire, Andrew Metzger, Brianna Rolf, and Zoe Au, joined myself in a day of lobbying our Congressional Leaders virtually. We had appointments set up throughout the day with staffers from Representatives Hinson and Miller-Meeks and Senators Grassley and Ernst. We advocated for the Promoting Access to Diabetic Shoes Act and the Increasing Access to Quality Cardiac Rehabilitation Care Act, asking each to sign on as cosponsors. This conference is always and excellent way to look inward at the things that we do to see if we can find ways to improve within IPAS to better serve our members and our patients, and this year was no exception, providing excellent content that should translate to a better organization for you.

The two bills that AAPA has authored that have been introduced in Congress are:

  • Promoting Access to Diabetic Shoes Act, S.800 in the Senate, sponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown and Susan Collins. It was introduced as HR 808 by Reps Blumenauer and T. Reed from the previous Congress, and is expected to be reintroduced, but has not yet. You can find more info about this bill and send a message to your legislators at https://aapapac.aristotle.com/sitepages/Take-Action.aspx
  • Increasing Access to Quality Cardiac Rehabilitation Care Act, HR 1956 in the House is sponsored by Representatives Rochester and A. Smith. It was introduced in the Senate in the last congress as S. 237 and is expected to be introduced again this congress. You can find more info about this bill and send a message to your legislators at https://aapapac.aristotle.com/sitepages/Take-Action.aspx

As always, if you are interested in learning more about how our legislative process works, or to become more involved in it, I would urge you to join the Legislative Committee at IPAS. We have regular email discussions as well as a Zoom meeting once a month to review current legislative issues before us. The committee provides background information, context, and makes recommendations for the IPAS Board to approve. If you’re interested, email Stacey Reichling at info@iapasociety.org.


Jim Earel PA-C
IPAS Legislative Committee Chair

Student Reports

University of Dubuque:
PA2s are on their 3rd rotation while PA1s are working through their second semester. We have been welcoming and introducing ourselves to the new class that will start this summer. We have continued doing weekly food pickups for our campus food pantry. The PA1s have also been planning some larger volunteer projects, like hosting a blood drive and working with a local organization to plant trees. Some of our class has also been participating in AAPA’s leadership summit for personal and professional development.

Brianna Rolf and Jayden Lemaire

Northwestern College:
Our first year PA students are a little over halfway through our third didactic semester and currently focused on Neurology and Emergency medicine.  The class has tried to stay as active as possible outside of coursework and recently hosted a community-wide heart health challenge in February. Around 150 community members and Northwestern students signed up and were challenged to exercise for 150 minutes each week.  Various local businesses donated prizes to those that completed the challenge and we also teamed up with Orange City Area Health System to offer free blood pressure clinics during the week. Some students also had the opportunity to serve at The Banquet in Sioux Falls offering meals to those in need.  Working at two different sites, we were able to serve around 300 guests and offer hope to those in need.

Derrick Moss and Clay Miller

Des Moines University:
The Des Moines University PA program is completing our final didactic semester before clinical rotations begin. We have had the opportunity to come to campus for standardized patient encounters, simulation labs and small group case review but remain primarily in a synchronous virtual format. We have been provided many of our clinical rotation sites and are excited to start them. 

Looking forward, DMU has been selected to become a COVID vaccination site and will continue to be a testing location in cooperation with the clinic. Our program has sponsored individuals to attend the AAPA conference and are sending a team to compete in the Virtual AAPA Challenge Bowl. Many students are looking forward to learning more about the PA profession at the national level and the issues that it faces as our class has been active on the state level by sending letters to local legislators advocating for the Harmonization Bill. 

Brian Jasper and Troy Bunch

University of Iowa:
PA’s at the University of Iowa are busy studying after getting back from a week of spring break. We are happy to announce that we won a “Be the Match” competition among PA schools nationwide by having the highest percent of our class register with the organization. We also currently have plans to begin a food drive for food insecure members of our community and volunteer at community crisis centers and the food back as well.

Jennifer Dickes

  AAPA House of Delegates Update

This year, Jeremy Nelson is sitting on the standing rules committee within the HOD.  They have been busy writing new resolutions to pass rules on how to have an effective virtual house and they will hopefully pass in order to proceed with business, much like the temporary virtual meeting.

There was a recent deadline for bylaws changes, March 24th, and another one upcoming for resolution submissions.  Jeremy was also selected to sit on Reference Committee B and will be hearing deliberations on the Name Change.  Name change resolutions are expected and we delegates would love to have your feedback.

Your HOD Representatives will be reviewing the resolutions set to come before the House of Delegates and will be providing a write up the most impactful resolutions.  They may also ask for your input on any resolutions up for discussion that have asked for more input from members, providing there is time. We’re very thankful to have Marc Doobay, Jeremy Nelson, Carol Gorney, and Laura Delaney representing us at this virtual meeting and look forward to their upcoming report.


Call For Candidates for IPAS Board of Directors

Every year we welcome new candidates and faces to the IPAS Board, voted into office by fellow members. Volunteering on the Board is not only for those with prior leadership experience, it's for anyone that wants to share new ideas, and gain more leadership experience and knowledge throughout the course of their term. This is a very fun and informative way to get involved and still maintain a healthy work/life balance. There are four meetings a year, two of which are held in conjunction with the Spring and Fall CME Conferences. From there it is up to each volunteer to decide what depth they will get involved.

Each IPAS Board Member must be a fellow member of the AAPA.

Open positions
1 – Director at Large
1 – Treasurer
1 – President Elect
1 – HOD Representative

HOD Representative and President Elect are three-year terms. President Elect moves to President, and then to Past President. If you want to run for the HOD Delegate seat, you must be able to attend the AAPA Annual Conference for the next three years (this is Iowa’s National voice).

To include your name on the ballot, please send us a paragraph about yourself and why you wish to run for office. To nominate someone for office, please send the nominee’s information to a Board Member so that individual can be contacted.

For more information about the positions please contact Josh Gustafson, IPAS President Elect, or the IPAS Office at: info@iapasociety.org.

  Join Us at Spring CME!


2020 brought us a lot of change which we are continuing to see in 2021 in regard to CME. The Springtime Refresher CME, April 19-20 is being held virtually!  REGISTER NOW!

Committee chair Rachel Doggett along with Spring Committee members, Laura Delaney, Holland Taylor, Rebecca Purnell, and Laurie Hughell have worked hard at putting together a strong lineup of topics and speakers.

Sessions will highlight different areas including Polypharmacy, Mental Health, Epilepsy, Infectious disease and many more. We will be utilizing the same platform as we did for the Fall event which will allow for familiarity and easy of navigating for attendees.  REGISTER NOW!

Your continuous support and promotion of the IPAS Springtime Refresher CME is so appreciated, as we work to extend our reach to more PAs, potential sponsors and exhibitors, and speakers from across the state. Consider liking the IPAS Facebook page, sharing status updates, posting a CME flyer in your workspace, and forwarding registration emails to colleagues and former classmates. If you are ever in need of resources to help share these opportunities, we are always happy to send those your way!

  Additional Announcements

Title: Mayo Clinic Physician Assistant Board Review 2021 – Livestream
This course is designed for physician assistants preparing to take the initial PANCE or the PANRE. This course also provides a comprehensive review of general medicine applicable to physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
Course Dates: August 3-6, 2021
Registration Website: https://ce.mayo.edu/paboardreview2021


IPAS is looking for someone to serve on the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council (EMSAC).  Please contact the IPAS Office if you're interested in this position!


Membership Committee - We need YOU!


We’re currently looking for volunteers for our Membership Committee. Sitting on this committee can help increase your networking opportunities with PAs from across the state, understand more about your state society and how we advocate for PAs year-round, and can be a great way to get more involved without a large time commitment. Help spread the word about why it’s important to be an IPAS member and help shape membership offerings in the future! At this point we estimate only two hours a month from a time investment standpoint.

We would love to have you on this committee, whether you’re a new graduate or a long-time IPAS member. Let us know your availability to help impact PA practice in Iowa through the Iowa PA Society’s Membership Committee.

YES!! Contact me!


Looking to Get Involved?

If you're interested in getting involved in IPAS or if you would like more information, please contact the IPAS office: Info@iapasociety.org