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The Naval Association of Physician Assistants (NAPA) was officially founded in 1976. This was after some enterprising Navy PAs decided we should join forces and have delegates at the AAPA House of Delegates. NAPA involvement at the annual AAPA conference started in 1977. This new Navy Chapter also invited Coast Guard PAs to join.

Some of the Plankowners:

Thomas Powell Chris Handy
John Peck Bob Aiken
Bill Sweeny Jim Acoba
Thom Clayton John Mott
John LeRoy Bill Lussier

NAPA started hosting CME events back in 1987. At that time, the events were co-sponsored with SAFPA (Society of Air Force PAs) and the first CME event was held in Charleston, South Carolina. Soon afterwards, NAPA started putting on their own successful CME conferences in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The local hospital CO was very supportive and NAPA enjoyed much success under the CME Committee leadership of Nora Perez. In the 1990's NAPA CME conferences were moved to San Antonio and co-hosted with SAFPA and TAPA (Texas Academy of PAs). This went well until events on 11 Sept 2001 changed the world as we know it. High op tempo in the Navy has kept us all quite busy since then, but many still hold out the hope that NAPA can one day return to hosting CME events for its members. In the meantime, NAPA will continue to support the PA profession and NAPA members to the fullest extent possible. Our strength is in our active membership. Go NAPA!


This basic NAPA history was pieced together by Ron Perry. If you see information that is inaccurate, please send an email to the webmaster.
Want to read more about our history? Check out articles linked to below.
A very good article by the AAPA about the military roots of the PA profession (spoiler alert: it started with Corpsmen and Medics returning from the Vietnam War)
An article about Navy Corpsmen who became PAs (see a copy of the original scanned here: NAPA CORPSMAN UP article)


Special thanks to all who have answered the call and have served as NAPA Presidents:

  • Ben Mattox 2019-2020
  • Michelle Miller 2018-2019
  • Steve Rogers 2017-2018
  • Clifton Butler 2016-2017
  • Kishla Askins 2015-2016
  • Kerri Browne 2014-2015
  • David Bachand 2013-2014
  • John Conza 2012-2013
  • Eusebio Flores 2011-2012
  • Ron Perry 2010-2011
  • Nora Perez 2008-2010
  • Keith Hutchins 2006-2008
  • Donald Harris 2004-2006
  • Dave Holder 2002-2004
  • Toni Lopez 2000-2002
  • Patty Miller 1998-2000
  • Ron Woodruff 1995-1997
  • Bill Feyh 1993-1994
  • Judy Robertson 1992
  • Rich Mondak 1990-1991
  • Earl Metier 1988-1989
  • Bruce Ross 1986-1987
  • Gary Evans 1985
  • Leo Cleveland 1983-1984
  • Wilfred Burton 1982
  • J. Ron Pace 1981
  • Jim Acoba 1979-1980
  • Bill Lussier 1978
  • John Mott 1977
  • Thom Clayton 1976