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Physician Assistants! Say hello!

  • 1.  Physician Assistants! Say hello!

    Posted 03-17-2020 08:59
    To every and all PA reading this, Welcome to the Academy Communities!! I wanted to say hello to you all and welcome each of you to say hi, tell us about yourself! Over the next few months I want to get to know you, what your clinical needs are, and how I as your PA Chairperson on the board can help you.

    A little about myself: I am full time clinician in center city Philadelphia at the Jonathan Lax Treatment Center. I have been at the Lax Center since graduating in 2007 doing primary care for people living with HIV. I specialize in coinfection treating, multi-drug resistant HIV, substance use disorders and my true love, DIABETES CARE! I am an educator, a preceptor, a mentor, and a HUGE advocate for PAs in healthcare. When I am not in the office seeing patients, you can find me distance running around Philadelphia, in a gym lifting weights, or traveling with my amazing group of friends. 

    Say hi, say hey, say hello! lets see how many PAs we can get to sound off on the new Academy Communities!

    Angela Kapalko, PA-C, MS, AAHIVS
    Physician Assistant Chairperson for AAHIVM
    Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers
    Philadelphia PA

  • 2.  RE: Physician Assistants! Say hello!

    Posted 03-18-2020 08:58
    Hello. So glad there is a PA community within AAHIVM, and send thanks to Angela for starting this conversation.
    I have been in HIV care in New Haven my entire career since graduation in 1988, and provide HIV primary care, PrEP, treatment for HCV, STIs, and some general ID, as well as HIV/ID consultant at an HIV skilled nursing facility.
    My non-professional passions are family, singing, traditional American and English dance, and creative worship at our United Church of Christ church (which has had to get a whole lot more creative in the last week!)

    Carol Amico
    Yale-New Haven Hospital-Saint Raphael Campus
    North Haven CT

  • 3.  RE: Physician Assistants! Say hello!

    Posted 03-27-2020 13:53
    Hello fellow PAs!
    My name is Gina Tomkus, and I have been a PA since 2014. I graduated from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and shortly after graduation I was recruited to join the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps. Over the last 6 years I have worked in a correctional health care setting, an area of practice that I was not too keen on at first but now am very passionate about. This is a group of underserved people, many of them who have never had proper medical care EVER in their lives, who deserve a health advocate, educator and competent medical provider. I have worked in a federal prison as well as various detention centers throughout the United States. I became passionate about HIV care and ID during PA school after listening to several lectures from the amazing ANGELA KAPALKO, PA-C (name drop). I had the distinct pleasure of completing a rotation with her at the Jonathan Lax Treatment Center with Philadelphia Fight, one of the major highlights of my my entire PA school experience. 
    Currently I provide tele-consultations supporting other medical providers on the front lines who are working in various detention centers throughout the United States. Instead of sending our patients out into the community for their infectious disease needs, (which costs time, money, and can impact the security of the institution), the providers instead contact me and my team and we have the ability to provide professional ID consultations "in house." We have the ability also to do videoconferencing with patients too, although this is an area that we are still working on expanding. The majority of cases I consult on are HIV, tuberculosis, other STIs, as well as some hepatitis C. 
    I am always wanting to know more and learn more. I am currently working on my doctorate (DHSc) at A.T Still University with a concentration in global health, and also I am in the middle of completing the AAHIVM Core Curriculum and hope to get credentialed soon!

    I wish all of you well during these uncertain times, and I am grateful we have a virtual learning platform that we can all collaborate to share our knowledge. 

    Gina C. Tomkus, PA-C, MS

    Gina Tomkus
    San Diego CA

  • 4.  RE: Physician Assistants! Say hello!

    Posted 03-28-2020 16:34
    Hello Everyone! My name is Katie Huynh and I am a PA practicing in HIV medicine for the past 17 years in Philadelphia. I work in a small FQHC that is co-located with an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment facility. We do lots of MAT, HCV and HIV. I recently left a larger HIV practice and I am excited to oversee the expansion of my new organization's HIV care. 
    I have had the honor of working alongside Angela Kapalko and look forward to the sharing that will be happening on this page.

    Katherine Huynh
    PHMC Care Clinic
    Elkins Park PA

  • 5.  RE: Physician Assistants! Say hello!

    Posted 05-27-2020 17:14
    Hello everyone,​

    My name is Faith Richard. I work in Family Medicine & HIV specialty in an FQHC. Nice to meet you all, virtually. My goal is to get the AAHIVM certification. I would love information on that and how to succeed in going about it.

    Thanks and stay well.

    Faith Richard, MSHS, PA-C
    Doctor of Medical Science Student

    Faith Richard
    Cleveland OH

  • 6.  RE: Physician Assistants! Say hello!

    Posted 05-27-2020 17:29
    Hi Faith! thanks for sending the message! its always great to hear from PAs around the country. I think there are a few who are working toward their AAHIVS this cycle. While it is "open book" it is def a tricky one, and rightfully so. The one good thing I have always felt is we as clinicians now need to know alot of info but also where to access the info if we dont know it, which we can't know everything. the Fundamentals book is a great start but the answers are not all there. I have had to access the DHHS guidelines a few times when taking it, but had to dig deep if it was a question about the outcomes of a clinicial trial that led to some important change in practice. so I think starting with fundamentals and then knowing big access points are key. and wildly, if you did the CMEs needed to register and they werent just from fundamentals but from some other source like Ryan White conferences or meetings, you have more knowledge than you know. I see you are in a doctorate program! which one? Im interested myself but COVID changed the game for me right now. welcome to the crew!

    Angela Kapalko
    Physician Assistant Chairperson for AAHIVM
    Philadelphia FIGHT CommunityHealth Centers
    Philadelphia PA

  • 7.  RE: Physician Assistants! Say hello!

    Posted 05-28-2020 16:30
    Hi everyone!

    My name is Katherine Lawerence and I have practicing in HIV care for 2.5 years now. I work for a large health system in Long Island, NY. I particularly work with a younger cohort of patients, typically those under the age of 30 in an outpatient setting. I also run a PrEP clinic in Jackson Heights Queens on Tuesdays evenings. This is mainly to engage our Spanish speaking and undocumented folks. I run another PrEP clinic in Bellmore Long Island ( partnered with a CBO) twice a month open for all but mainly engaging our MSM youth.We also care for those of TGNCNB experience. I am very fortunate to work with a wonderful multidisciplinary team consisting of clinicians, medical case managers, out reach/ community mobilization and mental health providers. I quickly learned teamwork is everything when providing quality care to these challenging populations. Before providing HIV care I practiced in a large family medicine practice in Woodhaven Queens for 2 years. I really enjoy going to attending local and national conferences and look forward to meeting more of my fellow PAs. 

    Katherine M. Lawrence
    Physician Assistant, AAHIVS
    Center for Young Adult, Adolescent and Pediatric HIV
    Center for Transgender Care
    Cohens Children's Medical Center
    865 Northern Boulevard Suite 101
    Great Neck, NY 11021
    Tel: 516 622-5070

    Katherine Lawrence
    Great Neck NY

  • 8.  RE: Physician Assistants! Say hello!

    Posted 05-29-2020 02:07

    Hi Katherine,

    Nice to meet you!! My name is Elizabeth Giron, and I'm a fellow New Yorker PA practicing emergency medicine at NYP. I hope to use my HIV knowledge in the ER soon enough but in the meantime, I try my best to stay up to date with current/breakthrough HIV information via conferences, CME lectures and of course, with the academy. 
    Like you, I too enjoy meeting fellow PAs through NYSSPA events such as district dinners and yearly conferences; which fun fact, was how I met Gary Spinner and became involved with the committee! Once again, nice to meet you and welcome! 

    Elizabeth Giron
    Brooklyn NY