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Meet Your OAPA Board of Directors and AAPA Delegate Candidates

Serving in OAPA leadership allows members to actively shape OAPA's future, contribute expertise, and enhance networking opportunities. OAPA board and delegate positions to be elected in April include President-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, Regional Director for Regions 3, 4, and 5, and one AAPA Delegate.

Here are the statements provided by the candidates, listed alphabetically where there are contested offices.


Clayton M. Rotuno, M.M.S., PA-C
Cleveland Clinic

Physician Assistants in the State of Ohio have benefited from years of strong professional representation under the wing of the Ohio Association of Physician Assistants and its leadership. Today, with around 6,000 PAs in the state, the profession owes much of its growth and scope of practice gains to OAPA’s legislative action and lobbying efforts. As a practicing PA for over 8 years with experience in leadership and education, I seek to continue this positive momentum and our efforts to influence favorable legislation. If elected OAPA President, I pledge three areas of focus during my tenure of service. First, I pledge to be a voice of reason and seek out “Common Sense” improvements to legislation that may restrict or limit PA Practice. The end goal is to create an ideal environment for PAs to deliver safe, quality, affordable healthcare. Second, I pledge to be a resource to pre-PAs, PA students, and those practicing in the state for all questions relating to the profession. With the assistance of the talented and dedicated OAPA board and committee chairs, I am confident I could help carry OAPA’s success forward for years. Third, I pledge to create a stronger membership base through word-of-mouth action and advocacy. One voice can impact the future of healthcare and the strength of OneThousand + PA voices would be formidable. Join me in driving forward “Common Sense” improvements to legislation, hearing and being a voice for One Thousand + Ohio PAs, and creating the ideal state to be a PA.



Kara Frey, PA-C
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

My name is Kara Frey and I have worked in pediatrics in Cincinnati for the past 6 years and I have been the PA lead for practice for my organization for the past 1.5 years. As the PA lead for practice, I have started working with the OAPA and would love the opportunity to become more involved. I help my organization review the PA laws and talk to our leadership to help determine policies and procedures for the PAs based on this. I also currently am the co-chair for our annual APP conference committee and am the past co-chair of our APP council committee. I have experience in helping to lead meetings, creating meeting agendas and taking minutes, and discussing new policies with leadership then communicating with the physician assistants. In my current role, I have seen a lot of barriers that PAs have in my organization and I am passionate in helping our profession as a whole grow.

Kristin Homoki, MSHS, PA-C
Cleveland Clinic

I am requesting your support and vote for the office of Secretary-Treasurer of the OAPA. I was previously involved in the OAPA Board for several years as the Vice-President, Region 2 Director, the Student Affairs Committee Chair, as a member of several task forces and committees - including the Government Affairs Committee. I believe this experience has given me the background and understanding of the process and logistics to appropriately lead change as part of our Executive Board. I was also involved in the AAPA House of Delegates (HOD) for several years. I previously participated on HOD Reference Committees and sat as Chief Delegate for Ohio. I took a step back for a few years as my children finished their secondary education. Now that they have moved on to college, I am ready to volunteer my time and efforts to helping to move the issues forward that PAs in Ohio feel strongly about. My background in administration and APP Leadership also contribute to my understanding of state barriers and obstacles which Ohio PAs face. This will enable me to effectively voice these concerns as part of the OAPA Board of Directors (BOD) and to subsequently help to eliminate these barriers through our legislative agenda. In conclusion, I believe my experiences and leadership skills make me a strong advocate for our profession and I humbly request your vote to represent you on the OAPA BOD.

Melissa Irwin, PA-C
Ashland University

I wish to run again for the role of Secretary and Treasurer for the Ohio Association of Physician Assistants (OAPA). My day-to-day work with budgeting and fiscal management within the PA Program as the founding program director, coupled with my financial management as the 2022-2024 OAPA Treasurer, supports my interest and demonstrates my capabilities. My commitment to accuracy and meticulous attention to detail equips me to handle the financial intricacies of the association, ensuring transparent and responsible fiscal management. Through my previous term much work has gone into gaining a better understanding of the financial position for OAPA and increasing transparency to all members. During my 2022-2024 term my contributions were directed towards the transition of the Executive Director for the organization and collaborating on new processes for the future of the organization. Beyond my professional qualifications, I possess a genuine passion for advancing the physician assistant profession and a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing OAPA. My collaborative approach and understanding of OAPA and the responsibilities of the position prepare me to continue the work that has been initiated over the last 2 years. In summary, I believe my combination of financial acumen and genuine commitment to the mission and goals of the OAPA make me the right choice for the position of Secretary and Treasurer. I would be grateful for the opportunity to serve OAPA members for an additional term to further the work that has been initiated.


Region 3 Director

Natalie Talboo, MPAS, PA-C
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

My name is Natalie Talboo and I am running for the Region 3 Director position within the OAPA organization. I have held an active role with the OAPA for more than 20 years and am committed to continuing to promote the mission of the OAPA advocating for the professional growth of Ohio PAs. As a longtime preceptor for PA  students, I believe it is important to participate in the education of our students, thus creating a positive impact on future generations of PAs. I also enjoy connecting on a personal level with my PA colleagues in the community at conferences, dinner lectures and local events. For these reasons, I respectfully request your vote to remain Region 3 Director.


Region 4 Director

Courtney Bishop, PA-C
Nationwide Children's Hospital

I am interested in serving as OAPA’s Region 4 Director and contributing to the growth and success of OAPA. I have been a PA in the Department of Orthopaedics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus for the past 10 years. Over the past few years, I have been involved in the NCH APP Advisory Council and am currently serving as the Vice Chair. I have helped our group grow within our institution and have developed and organized multiple educational and networking opportunities for APPs. Additionally, I previously served on the Board of Directors for the Society for PAs in Pediatrics and was as the president from 2019-2020. There are common concerns among PAs varying from clinical practice, work-life balance, and workplace politics. Often networking and communicating with other PAs can strengthen clinical knowledge as well as the capacity to develop strategies to improve their professional satisfaction, and I believe I can play a significant role with creating networking and educational opportunities in OAPA’s Region 4. I am dedicated and organized and believe my experience as a leader and advocate for PA professional development will help me be successful as the OAPA Region 4 Director. Thank you for your consideration!


Region 5 Director

Emily "Nikki" Keller, DMS, PA-C
Ashland University

In PA school, it was instilled in me by our program director that involvement in OAPA was a non-negotiable, even after graduation. To see our profession flourish, we needed to support this organization. Although I am now a principal faculty member at Ashland University’s PA program, I still practice clinically in inpatient and outpatient neurosurgery. Over the last year, in an effort to further my involvement in OAPA, I have become involved in the OAPA Communications committee, collaborating with other committee members to better highlight the ventures of OAPA and share important details/dates. In this role, I have assisted with advertising the various events, including the regional events, and I have identified the need for events that allow collaboration with peers in the region as well as an arena for sharing practice concerns. As the region 5 director, I hope to be able to offer an arena for PAs practicing throughout the region to share practice concerns (or highlights) that can then be shared to the OAPA board. This will allow for open, efficient communication between the region 5 members and the OAPA board. In this role, I will also work to facilitate vendor dinners of varying topics. I am grateful to be nominated for this position, and if elected, I look forward to meeting more of the region 5 PAs and continuing work with the Communications committee.


AAPA Delegate

Jill Brown DMSc, MPAS, PA-C
TeamHealth and University of Findlay

I respectfully request your support as the Ohio delegate to the AAPA. As a certified PA for 23 years practicing in emergency medicine and currently in academia, I have an understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face in our profession. From navigating evolving health care policies to advocating for expanded scope of practice, I understand the importance of having representation at the national level to ensure the voices of Ohio PA's are heard. If elected, I will: 1. Advocate for policies and initiatives that promote the advancement and recognition of PA's as integral members of the healthcare team. 2. Collaborate with AAPA leadership and fellow delegates to address issues facing our profession and work to develop innovative solutions. 3. Foster collaboration and communication between our state and the AAPA. I am committed to working to elevate the status of the PA profession and advocating for policies that enable us to provide the highest quality of care to our patients.

Josanne K. Pagel M.Div., MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA, C-EBS

My name is Josanne Pagel and I am a candidate for DELEGATE for the AAPA House of Delegates. I have served the AAPA HOD for many years beginning in 1995 in a variety of positions including, Delegate, Chief Delegate, Credentialing committee and Reference Committee member. I was a director at Large while I was on the AAPA Board of Directors, serving as the AAPA Treasurer/Secretary and as President and Chair of the Board of Directors. I have a keen interest in creating policy and bylaws, both of which I have done for many years. As the OAPA Governmental Affairs Chair, I have experience in creating bills that enhance Ohioans healthcare and wellbeing. As an AAPA delegate, I will represent the Ohio Chapter of PAs and pursue policy and bylaws that will align with the OAPA’s mission, vision and values. Being a leader in Ohio and in AAPA, I have been able to facilitate along with our Ohio delegation, many resolutions that include: Title change, Retired PA voting privileges and many other resolutions. Ohio is seen as a change-maker and I would like to continue with this team of delegates. I ask for your vote in the OAPA elections to represent you at the AAPA House of Delegates. Thank you.

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