Academy Exchange

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  • 1.  To the Physician Assistants of AAHIVM

    Posted 02-08-2021 17:32

    On behalf of the Physician Assistant committee, I'd like to first say what a year 2020 was! Whew! I hope this message finds you as hopeful and optimistic as I am as we go into 2021 with so many changes to healthcare, politics, and a new way of life. This message was also sent out to all PA members via email, but I wanted to also share in the Community Exchange.


    Throughout these trying times, the Academy continued forward with multiple educational opportunities for you all, including the Academy Exchange and the launch of the Mentorship Program found on the Exchange, as well as a full pivot to virtual programs to adapt to the pandemic. As a board member of the Academy, I can proudly say the staff have been absolutely incredible and continue to work extremely hard for all of us.


    The Physician Assistant Committee recently had our first of the year meeting to discuss our goals, which are actually quite similar to last year but with more of a focus. It is a goal of mine to keep you all informed quarterly of our progress and successes.


    While the new Administration has just started to get up and running, the Ending the HIV Epidemic campaign from the previous Administration is not only still in place, but funded, and continues to move forward full steam with concrete goals. As it has been stated before, we will need to increase the workforce to meet those goals.


    Our focus for the PA Committee will be thinking outside the box on how to get the next generation of physician assistants excited about HIV prevention and treatment along with education opportunities. Some current ideas include:


    1. Sending out information to all state PA chapters informing them and their members of the mentorship program and the Academy Exchange for more collaboration with students, new graduates and new HIV clinicians.
    2. Having an open forum webinar for students and new graduates who are interested in HIV prevention and care to ask questions to current members and credentialed HIV Specialists.
    3. Setting up a stipend or some sort of compensation for clinical PAs for preceptorships for students who seek out HIV clinical training and education.


    These are just a few of the ideas the committee has come up with, and I would love to hear from you if you have any additional ideas or would like to participate or help!

    Lastly, I would like to recognize our newest first-time credentialed Academy HIV Specialist PAs who have passed the November-December 2020 credentialing exam.


    Angela Alarcon, PA-C, AAHIVS

    Leonid Bilenkin, PA-C, AAHIVS

    Alyssa Bolter, PA-C, AAHIVS

    Freeman Brunaugh, PA-C, AAHIVS

    Jasondeep Cheema, PA-C, AAHIVS

    Colin Colter, PA-C, AAHIVS

    Terry Joseph DuBravac, PA-C, AAHIVS

    Caroline Hamilton, PA-C, AAHIVS

    Nicholas Herrmann, PA-C, AAHIVS

    Erica Hill, PA-C, AAHIVS

    Trang Lu, PA-C, AAHIVS

    Thanh Trung Nguyen, PA-C, AAHIVS

    Remis Moore, PA-C, AAHIVS

    Tanya Perez, PA-C, AAHIVS

    Cassandra Lynne Phiri, PA-C, AAHIVS

    Gina Tomkus, PA-C, AAHIVS

    Jonathan White, PA-C, AAHIVS


    These PAs worked tirelessly through their jobs, the pandemic, and their personal lives and still found the time to dedicate to their ongoing knowledge of HIV medicine and take the AAHIVM HIV Specialist Credentialing Exam. This is no small feat for anyone, and I applaud you all. Gina, who actually was my first clinical student years ago, said to me before completing her exam, "If anything, I learned a lot! This has opened my eyes up to some great resources I didn't even know existed!" This is exactly what HIV medicine is all about; you do not have to have all of the answers, but knowing what you don't know and then where to find the information and then use the information to improve healthcare is the ultimate goal.


    2021 is already starting to look bigger and brighter than 2020 and I can only hope it gets better every day.


    With Gratitude,


    Angela Kapalko, PA-C, MS, AAHIVS

    PA Chairperson of AAHIVM

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

  • 2.  RE: To the Physician Assistants of AAHIVM

    Posted 02-11-2021 03:32

    Hi – I work in the Bronx and I have two patients who are looking to relocate – one to Savanah and one to Peekskill NY – I am wondering if anyone knows of a good HIV provider in those areas.  I would like to provide these patients with some provider names when they relocate.


    Many thanks – Sara Back FNP


  • 3.  RE: To the Physician Assistants of AAHIVM

    Posted 02-11-2021 15:05

    I would look at the HRSA website that has Ryan White provider locations.


    Peace and Blessings,


    Cyndee Burton, R.N.

    Matthew 25 AIDS Services, Chief Executive Officer

    452 Old Corydon Rd.

    Henderson, Ky. 42420


    270-826-0200      Fax 270-826-0212


  • 4.  RE: To the Physician Assistants of AAHIVM

    Posted 02-11-2021 15:10
    in Savannah, GA the HIV clinic is run by the Chatham County Health Department and they're good.​

    Alvaro Lopez, M.D.
    Austell, GA

  • 5.  RE: To the Physician Assistants of AAHIVM

    Posted 02-11-2021 17:06

    Hi Sara
    whenever my patients relocate, I use Referral Link, located on top right of Academy homepage. You can enter a zip code and get names and addresses of credentialed HIV specialists. I print out a list and give it to my patients. It's very helpful. 


    Gary F. Spinner PA,MPH,AAHIVS
    Southwest Community Health Center
    Bridgeport, CT

  • 6.  RE: To the Physician Assistants of AAHIVM

    Posted 02-11-2021 18:21

    Thanks for your recommendations – I was going to do that – but also I did want to see if anyone had a personal referral as well.


    Many thanks – Sara Back

  • 7.  RE: To the Physician Assistants of AAHIVM

    Posted 03-03-2021 18:58

    Hi Sara-

    Sorry I'm just catching up on this thread.  I own a private practice here in Savannah and my supervising physician came from Whitman Walker Health in DC so we would be happy to see your patient moving to Savannah.   We are a very small practice, no staff other than the two of us, so if they need more services from a larger clinic like help with ADAP, medicaid enrollment etc, then we typically refer them to Chatham Care, which is the Ryan White Clinic- and Dr. Haggins and Dr. Greer there are also amazing!    

    Our website is  


    Brandon Earehart
    Savannah GA

  • 8.  RE: To the Physician Assistants of AAHIVM

    Posted 03-08-2021 05:41
    Thank you very much for your email - very helpful.   Will provide this information to my patient who is relocating.  He is a pleasure to work with and I am sad to see him go but happy that he is moving on with his life.

    Best - Sara Back FNP

    Sara Back
    North Central Bronx Hospital
    New York NY

  • 9.  RE: To the Physician Assistants of AAHIVM

    Posted 02-14-2021 17:58
    Thank you Angela for the shout out and all the encouragement throughout the credentialing process, and congratulations to our all newly certified PAs! Love the ideas on how to get more PAs excited and prepped for a future in HIV care. I am happy to hear you mention the preceptorships. It would be nice if the Association of Post-Grad PA Programs (APPAP) offered a residency / fellowship for PAs in ID and/or HIV medicine. Any insight on this? They have lots of programs for emergency med, critical care, derm, but non for ID. 
    Excited to see what AAHIVM has to offer in 2021. Happy to help contribute in any way and excited to learn from you all as we more forward. 

    Gina Tomkus, MS, PA-C, AAHIVS

    Gina Tomkus
    San Diego CA