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TMCNet:  Dawn Morton-Rias, Ed.D., PA-C Named New President/CEO of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

[December 03, 2013]

Dawn Morton-Rias, Ed.D., PA-C Named New President/CEO of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. --(Business Wire)--

The board of directors of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) has selected Dawn Morton-Rias, Ed.D., PA-C as the organization's new president/CEO. She is the first physician assistant to serve as CEO of the organization in its 38-year history.

Morton-Rias will officially assume the new position on June 3, 2014, after concluding the academic year and transitioning out of her role as professor and dean of the College of Health Related Professions at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center.

Her selection concludes a nationwide search process that spanned more than a year.

NCCPA chairman Mark Christiansen, Ph.D., PA-C, says: "We were committed to taking as long as necessary to find the right person with the right qualities to lead NCCPA in this important stage of growth in the organization and in the PA profession. Dawn Morton-Rias has the unique combination of visionary, charismatic leadership qualities tempered by a practical, common sense approach."

Morton-Rias joins NCCPA at a time when the PA profession is experiencing rapid growth. More than 92,000 PAs are currently certified by NCCPA, and the number of new entrants to the profession is projected to increase dramatically in the next five to 10 years as scores of new PA educational programs become accredited.

A certified PA for 30 years, she is no stranger to the PA profession's national stage. A former president of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), Morton-Rias serves as a commissioner for the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), an appointment that will conclude prior to her official start as CEO.

Christiansen sas, "Dawn's dedication to the PA profession, history of service to its professional organizations, and her long track record of working collaboratively and inclusively with other health professions are all valuable qualities that I am excited to see her bring to her new role with NCCPA."


Morton-Rias's career as a clinician and PA educator has been punctuated by a host of awards. Notable recognitions include the 1996 Outstanding Alumnus Award presented by Howard University's College of Allied Health, the 2008 Urban Medical Education and Leadership Award presented by the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, and the 2008 State University of New York Chancellors Award for Professional Excellence.

Morton-Rias says, "I am honored to serve the PA profession in this capacity at this point in our rich history. The PA profession has a demonstrated track record of contribution to the health care landscape, in all disciplines and settings. At this time, we stand at the threshold of a period of rapid growth, enhanced visibility and great expectation. We have an obligation to continue to instill confidence in the certification and recertification processes and CAQ and approved CME programs. I welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively to educate certified physician assistants, physicians, other health professions and the public of the unique value of NCCPA certification."

A complete bio is available at http://www.nccpa.net/MediaNCCPALeaders.

About the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is the only certifying organization for physician assistants (PAs) in the United States. The PA-C credential is awarded by NCCPA to PAs who fulfill certification, certification maintenance and recertification requirements. There are approximately 92,000 certified PAs in the U.S. today. In 2011, NCCPA launched its Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) program for certified physician assistants practicing in Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Nephrology, Orthopaedic Surgery and Psychiatry; two new specialties (Pediatrics and Hospital Medicine) are being added in 2014. For more information, please call (678) 417-8100 or visit www.NCCPA.net.


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