2018 Summer Conference Highlights

2018 CAPA Summer Conference Highlights
by PA Christy Eskes

The 2018 CAPA Summer Conference is in the books and what a conference it was! We brought back so much of the fun that has been such a highlight of the CAPA Conference Experience, and we added all new events that made it an unforgettable 4 days!

Optimal Team Practice (OTP)

The main theme of the conference this year focused on Optimal Team Practice (OTP), with the tagline The Goal is Clear. The Path is Set. The Time is Now. We enjoyed several presentations highlighting OTP on both a state and national level. With CAPA preparing to introduce OTP legislation, it was important for us to offer several sessions on OTP so we all can be equipped with the knowledge we need to go back to our workplaces, our stakeholders, and our state legislators with the message that PAs are essential to healthcare and that OTP is crucial to the future of PA practice in California.

PA Jeremy Adler, the Chair of the CAPA Task Force on OTP, joined CAPA Treasurer, PA Bob Miller, and CAPA Legal Counsel Kevin Jorgensen, JD, to provide a detailed look at the future of the PA profession in California. The panel discussed various aspects of OTP and provided a forum for those in attendance to ask questions and gain clarification on what the future holds for our profession here in California.

AAPA President, PA Jonathan Sobel provided us with a national view of OTP in two separate sessions. Both were important and timely as we formalize our efforts toward OTP in California. We also enjoyed a special presentation about direct reimbursement for PAs by AAPA VP for Reimbursement and Professional Advocacy, Michael Powe, which clarified what will happen once PAs are able to directly bill for our services rendered. CAPA and the AAPA have always had such a strong relationship and we greatly appreciate the active support of the AAPA as we move forward with OTP.

CAPA legal counsel, PA Kevin Jorgensen, gave great insight as to the legal implications of OTP with key issues that may arise with OTP and possible consequences if OTP does not become a reality. His presentation was a great wake-up call that without OTP, California PAs may well wither away as other professions take a bigger role in healthcare.

Our Grassroots booth in the hotel foyer was a huge success – hundreds of PAs signed up to meet with their state legislators at their home/district offices. And, the OTP temporary tattoos were a big hit!


Our speaker lineup was again packed full of outstanding presenters and presentations. Perennial favorites, such as PA Jennifer Carlquist, Dr. Anita Nelson, PA Sonny Cline, Dr. Jerry Minkoff, and PA Joe Gilboy were joined by some fantastic new presenters such as PA CJ Chun, who provided a practical look at medical management of obesity, and Bernadette Alvear Fa, DDS, who gave an excellent presentation about how to manage dental emergencies as a PA.

We brought back the popular, interactive and fast-paced presentation 2 Minutes, 2 Slides, 2 Questions. Eight of our outstanding presenters were up for the challenge of providing key clinical pearls using just two slides. Moderated by Dr. Bradford Stiles and his “clown” theme – complete with a clown wig and nose – each presenter had only two minutes to talk, and if they went over, they were greeted with a surprise clown horn. The audience then got to ask two questions about the topic, and it was on to the next presenter! The room was lively and in the midst of the fun, we all learned some valuable and practical information that we can use in clinical practice. Congrats to PA Jed Grant for being selected by the audience as the winner for his talk on ultrasound-guided evaluation of abscesses – and to all the presenters for all of their excellent topics We can’t wait to do it again next year!

Our first ever CAPA Game Night was a great way to gather with colleagues, friends, and family and enjoy outdoor games, live music, and tasty appetizers – all while watching the sunset over the marina. One highlight was the AAPA President playing a few rounds of corn hole with various CAPA members and Board members, winning quite a few rounds!

Friday night featured local San Diego band Soul Gravity, with ortho PA Stephanie Rolfo singing lead vocals. She was an incredible performer, demonstrating once again why she won CAPA’s American PA Idol at the CAPA Conference several years ago. The band was full of energy and we all had a blast dancing the night away!

The Student Medical Challenge Bowl was again a major success on the lawn overlooking the bay. This year we had nine California PA Programs competing for the title. The questions were tough, but the students arrived ready for the challenge – after several rounds with a close score in each round, the team that emerged victorious was CalBaptist University. Their program received a check for their Student Society and the opportunity to keep the coveted CAPA Student Challenge Bowl Trophy at their program this year. A special thanks to PA Adam Marks for organizing and running the Student Challenge Bowl, and to Dr. Bradford Stiles for being such a fantastic MC. Also, thank you to our exceptional judges: current AAPA President, PA Jonathan Sobel, former CAPA and AAPA President, PA Julie Theriault, and CAPA founding President, PA Rod Moser.


This conference was especially meaningful to me, as it was my last as CAPA CME Committee Chair. It has been my pleasure to serve CAPA for 5 years as Chair. We have an incredible group of speakers who love to present to PAs, and working with them to provide outstanding medical content has been a true highlight of my career. We also have an amazing staff at CAPA who work tirelessly to ensure that each conference provides the “experience” that we all come to expect from a CAPA event.

I want to take a moment to thank CAPA’s Executive Director, Gaye Breyman for working so closely with me and for always being there, not only for me as Chair, but for our Board members, for our CAPA members and for all PAs in California. I’m not sure anyone can really understand how much she has done for PAs throughout the years and how much we owe our current PA practice to her indefatigable efforts. Everything she does carries the stamp of excellence and without her; CAPA would not be what it is today. Gaye, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work so closely with you over the last few years. You are one-of-a-kind, and I am so thankful for how you pour your heart and soul into CAPA. I have been deeply impacted by you and thank you for all of the long hours, phone calls, e-mails, laughter and support. You are truly a treasure and your years of sacrifice and diligence do not go unnoticed!

Thank you to the CAPA Board of Directors for appointing me to be CME Committee Chair these last few years. Your support has meant so much and it has been my honor to help create conference content and develop new conferences and CME types in response to the fluctuating changes we have seen in the past few years.

To all of our attendees, past and present – CAPA conferences would not be the same without you. Your attendance of our conferences helps to support your state chapter, so we can bring you not only high-quality CME, but also continue advancing the PA profession in California. We need you to keep coming back, not just for the excellent lectures or for the networking opportunities, but because the future of our profession in our state depends on your support of CAPA.