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Meet the nominees for the upcoming NJSSPA election

Posted 2 months ago in NJSSPA Elections

Hello all members,

Please take a moment to meet the nominees for the upcoming elections for the NJSSPA board. We are very excited that we have many new members that have put in for nomination for the available board positions. Voting will open soon and we hope you all participate in this process. NJSSPA continues to grow and  to help progress the PA profession on a state and national level. We look forward to continuing this important mission.

President Nominee:

Maureen Sullivan, Ed.D, PA-C, DFAAPA

Maureen Sullivan is a physician assistant with over 26 years of experience in internal medicine and emergency medicine. She currently is the Vice President and Membership Chair of NJSSPA. Under the current board, she has been involved in improving PA representation on several levels in the state. She hopes to continue to maintain an active level of participation and continue as an advocate and representative for all PA’s. The current board has been exceptional and if elected as President, she hopes to continue their successful trend. Additionally, as the membership chair, she has increased PA membership by more than 30% by encouraging engagement and enrollment at all levels, particularly since NJSSPA is the only voice for PA’s across the state. 

Maureen is also an adjunct Professor at Thomas Jefferson University and St. Elizabeth’s University. She graduated from the Hahnemann University Physician Assistant Program and received her master’s degree from Drexel University. She also holds a Doctor of Education degree in Organizational Leadership from Stockton University. Her research dissertation was on Emotional Intelligence in the PA student. This  research revealed that PA students and most other health care providers, are deficient in their emotional intelligence skill set. She has presented her expertise on Emotional Intelligence at many  forums to healthcare providers, at the local, state, and national levels. In addition, Maureen is certified as an Emotional Intelligence coach, trainer, and mentor.

Her passion for Emotional Intelligence began when she recognized that some health care providers are not empathetic and that the “bedside manner” as we know it, has nearly vanished. As a PA, she feels that EI should be the PA professional’s “gold standard. On the journey to leadership in healthcare, PA’s must have a solid understanding of the impact their emotions and actions, both verbal and nonverbal, have on patients and team members. Studies have shown that by enhancing these non-cognitive skills, PA leaders will be better communicators, more effective and engaging, and have the advantage of building an exceptional team. Emotional Intelligence is a powerful tool that is critical for exceeding goals, improving team relationships, and creating a healthy, productive workplace. It is most important for developing lasting relationships with patients.. 

Maureen volunteers on multiple local, county and state advisory boards for Opioid and Alcohol Abuse and is continually active in her church and community services.

 

Vice President Nominee:

Chuck Kaczmarski, PA-C

Charles Kaczmarski graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Technology Physician Assistant Program with a Bachelor of Science degree in August of 2020.  He earned a Master of Medical Science Degree from St. Francis University in August of 2021.  He holds an additional Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Finance from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University).  He practices in Emergency Medicine and works in the ED, Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine settings.

While he is a recent PA graduate, he is not new to healthcare.  He spent 37 years as a hospital-based Paramedic prior to returning to school at age 57 to become a Physician Assistant.  He was one of the first Paramedics to provide Advanced Life Support Services to patients in the Atlantic and Cape May County region.  He worked as a Flight Paramedic and a Critical Care Transport Paramedic.  He has been a Supervisor, Educator and Administrator.  He is a former Member of the Board of Directors of the National Flight Paramedics Association (now the International Association of Flight and Critical Care Paramedics).  He has lectured at national conferences and served on conference planning committees. He has served on community non-profit Boards as well.

Making the transition to the title of Physician Associate and the recognition of Optimal Team Practice by the State legislature, the Department of Community Affairs, and the Board of Medical Examiners will become a priority over the next several years.  His experience with the legislative and regulatory process will be a benefit to PAs throughout New Jersey.

Secretary Nominee:

Amanda (Mandi) Hughes, PA-C

I have been practicing as a Physician Assistant for just under 3 years. I received my Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies from Thomas Jefferson University. I have been working in Internal Medicine/Family Medicine for my entire career as a PA thus far. I enjoy this field as I get to connect with my patients which allows me to provide the best care possible. I am a huge advocate for patients being an active member in their care so together we can create a treatment plan they feel comfortable with. I also want to become more involved with Pre-PA’s and PA students.  I have guided a few friends toward and through PA school and always recommend the PA field to anyone considering working in medicine. I have returned to my high school, Gloucester County Institute of Technology, on several occasions to talk about the PA profession, help encourage students to consider becoming a PA, and provide them with knowledge on what is required for PA school and ideas of how to get clinical hours.

While in PA school, I was a tutor which I enjoyed very much and hope to one day become a professor for a PA program. I was also the President of my PA class which gave me insight into holding a board position and working with other members to support my PA class and our community. I want to continue to be a guide for Pre-PA’s, PA students, and PA’s as it is my passion to help grow the profession. This position as secretary would help me do so. Personally, I enjoy being active and attend Orange Theory Fitness several times a week along with a local hot yoga studio. I love to bake and create designs for cupcakes and cakes. In between working and my hobbies, I like to relax with my friends and family. I look forward to the opportunity as the new NJSSPA secretary if chosen. Thank you for your consideration.

Treasurer Nominees:

Michael Eisenbraun, PA-C, CFP® 

Michael graduated in 2002 from the Wagner College PA Program. Over the past two decades his career has included working clinically in the surgical specialties, in clinical research (where he had multiple published articles), and as a clinical administrator. He presently serves as Vice President of the Feaser and Eisenbraun Group, specializing in Business and Personal financial planning for the health care sector. In 2021, he obtained his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. One of Michael’s goals in working with the NJSSPA is to help facilitate local participation and networking within the physician assistant profession. Michael is also a member of the Little Silver volunteer EMS in his hometown of Little Silver, NJ, where he also enjoys coaching his two sons in baseball, fishing and hiking with his wife Jillian.

Raquel Barreto, MPAS, PA-C

Raquel Barreto, MPAS, PA-C was born and raised in NJ. She attended UMDNJ, now known as Rutgers University Physician Assistant Program, and has been a PA since 2013. Raquel has experience in orthopedics and currently works in Surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Monmouth County, NJ. Prior to becoming a PA, Raquel worked in banking for 8 years which spanned her high school, college, and PA education years. During that time, she rose through the ranks from teller to senior management and received several awards in customer service all the while maintaining high honors.  Her experience in the financial sector was one of necessity; however, it has been an invaluable resource of knowledge that still holds great value today. Becoming Treasurer of NJSSPA would be a great opportunity to use those skills and be of service to the NJ PA community.

HOD Nominees:

Amanda DiPiazza, PA-C

Amanda graduated from Barry University PA Program in 2011. She started her career as a general surgery PA at Lenox Hill Hospital in NY covering many surgical subspecialties. In 2014 Amanda switched specialties to full-time neurosurgery and has worked with a private neurosurgery group since that time. Amanda loves vascular neurosurgery. She is currently on staff at seven northern NJ hospitals. Amanda holds an administrative position at Hackensack University Medical Center in the Center for Advanced PA Practice as the Lead PA for Education and works closely with Seton Hall University PA Program as Clinical Faculty. Amanda is Adjunct Faculty at Saint Elizabeth University PA Program and serves on the admissions committee. Amanda has a true passion for PA advocacy and has served as a Delegate to the AAPA House of Delegates since 2018. She has been NJ Chief Delegate since 2020. Amanda also volunteers as a reference committee member during the annual AAPA House of Delegates

Erica Amianda, PA-C

My name is Erica Amianda and I am running to represent NJ at the AAPA House of Delegates. I have been involved in PA Advocacy since I was a student when I served as a Student Director of the NY State Society of PAs. I have been a practicing PA for 12 years and am dedicated to advancing our profession and strengthening our representation. I am the Lead PA for the Center of Advanced Practice at Hackensack University Medical Center where I practice clinically in Bariatric Surgery. I have a strong interest and involvement in quality improvement and surgical outcomes research. I have served as the NJSSPA Treasurer from 2019-2022 and served as an HOD representative for NJ since 2020.  I am also an adjunct professor and preceptor to PA Students at Seton Hall University, and am involved in developing the PAs in Obesity Medicine caucus for the AAPA.  In my free time, I enjoy cooking, spin and spending time with my two young boys.

Karina Arrelucea, PA-C

As a student, I was part of the 2021 House of Delegates Conference participating as both a voting delegate and part of a reference committee. Being part of the conference, those few days, showed me how much influence the people who were present had on the entire profession. As a delegate you have the opportunity to write resolutions, speak pro- or con- testimony, and advocate for what you feel is best for the profession. It’s a place where you can make history which is why I am running for the NJSSPA House of Delegates position.

As for the Member at Large position, I believe this is an opportunity to collaborate and create new ideas. Although I am a new graduate, I bring a diverse perspective as someone who has co-founded an organization, held multiple leadership positions simultaneously, and actively works to diversify the profession. I truly enjoy working on projects that will increase awareness of the profession and help improve the PA profession for those who come after me. 

Nicole Bottino, PA-C

In 2012, I started my career as a Physician Assistant at Boston Children’s Hospital as a staff PA in Orthopedic Surgery. After two years, I was promoted to Chief Physician Assistant in Orthopedic Surgery at the #1 children’s hospital in the nation. In this role, I developed a strong Physician Assistant group and worked hard to make a better life for the Physician Assistants within the organization. During my tenure in this position, I was able to assist our PAs in obtaining salary increases, improve work-life balance, gain more autonomy, and develop a structure for yearly bonuses.

 

I joined Atlantic Medical Group in 2018 where I practice in Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery. I serve as the President of the Physician Assistant Council at Morristown Medical Center. Serving in this position has afforded me the ability to get to know PAs of all different medical backgrounds and specialties. 

 

Through my experience in administrative roles, it has become clear that we have a diverse group of extremely intelligent, talented, and experienced Physician Assistants that deserve to be heard, recognized, and can make our presence known within New Jersey and the United States.

 

I believe that my experience in PA leadership, my belief in the PA profession, and my willingness to work hard for the PAs of New Jersey can make New Jersey a better place for the PAs that call it home.

 

Thank you for considering me for a position within the House of Delegates. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Timothy Lopez, PA-C

Tim graduated from Seton Hall University with his Master of Science, Physician Assistant Studies after completing their dual degree program in 2018. He started his career in the field of neurosurgery, joining New Jersey Brain and Spine, one of Bergen county’s premier neurosurgery practices. Tim loves to be able to provide care to those during life threatening medical emergencies from a neurocritical care standpoint, as well as to see the rewarding recoveries of those with traumatic brain injuries and endovascular neurosurgery. Tim hopes to continue to be involved in PA leadership, mentorship and advocacy throughout the state by being re-elected to House of Delegates. 

Victoria Latella, PA-C

Victoria is an Emergency Medicine PA at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center. She graduated from Rutgers University PA Program where she served as the NJSSPA student representative. As an active member of NJSSPA, she is passionate about the PA advocacy and legislature. She serves as the PA Legislative Representative at CBMC and on the Advocacy Committee for SEMPA. As a member of HOD, she enjoys collaborating with fellow PAs who are passionate about the growth of our profession. She prides herself on staying abreast with PA affairs. In various positions, she aims to be an influential contributor to this profession by liaising with regulatory and legislative bodies for change. Victoria would be honored to continue to represent the PAs of NJ as an HOD representative.

Members at Large Nominees:

Jennifer Hawkins, MS, PA-C

Hello fellow and future PA’s. My name is Jennifer Hawkins, I have the honor of currently sitting on the executive board of NJSSPA as the secretary, where I have enjoyed being part of the exciting advancement of our profession. I also chair the diversity committee and hope to continue to bring awareness to issues that our minority and diverse community members face in healthcare. I am seeking to be elected as a member at large so I can continue to be part of the NJSSPA board to help advance the PA profession. I am 51 years of age and have been a practicing PA for 18 years in the fields of OB/GYN. I have also practiced in the field of Family Medicine. I received a Master’s degree in science, with an emphasis in Physician Assistant Studies from Northeastern University in Boston Massachusetts in 2004. I am very passionate about Women’s Health and the PA profession. I have also held the position of full time Assistant Professor with Jefferson University’s PA Program (Previously Philadelphia University) from 2015 to 2019. I returned to practicing clinically full time when the program moved locations. I am still fortunate to teach for the program as a guest lecturer. I continue to help propel future Physician Assistants into the field of Women’s Health as it is mostly dominated by Nurse Practitioners. I hope to encourage all New Jersey licensed PA’s to be part of the New Jersey State Society of PA’s so that we can continue to be a united coalition that can network, help our communities and advance our profession on state and national levels. On a personal note, I am a mom of two and have been married for 23 years. My hobbies include photography, event planning and being an Archery and Hockey mom. I look forward to being a NJSSPA member at large if chosen. Thank you for your consideration.

Emily Stefanicha, MS, PA-C

Emily completed her Master of Science, Physician Assistant Studies, at Rutgers University (formerly University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey) in 2010. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Ramapo College of New Jersey. She joined New Jersey Brain and Spine, a large neurosurgical practice based out of Bergen County, NJ, at the beginning of her career and is still practicing with the group as their Chief PA. She additionally has served as the Chair of the Physician Assistant Committee at Hackensack University Medical Center. She takes great pride in the dedication NJSSPA has to the bettering of PA careers in New Jersey, at both a state and national level. Having served as a member at large on the NJSSPA Board and the Professional Development Chair for the past 2 years, she has had the opportunity to learn a great deal. If elected again in 2022, she plans to continue to expand her involvement in the organization. 

Jamie Goldstone, PA-C

I am running for the one year MAL position because I want to be involved into advocating for and advancing the PA profession. I was one of the 20% of PAs to lose my job at the beginning of the pandemic.  I set out to become a PA advocate to ensure none of us end up in that position again. I now work for NJ Spine and Wellness as an Orthopedic PA. I am thankful to have their support in my ventures in PA advocacy, obtaining my doctorate, and promoting a social media presence. NJSSPA is our voice as PAs in New Jersey, and I have proudly served on multiple committees in the past year.  I look forward to increasing my involvement as a member at large. 

Thanks,

Jamie Goldstone Adler

Karina Arrelucea, PA-C

As a student, I was part of the 2021 House of Delegates Conference participating as both a voting delegate and part of a reference committee. Being part of the conference, those few days, showed me how much influence the people who were present had on the entire profession. As a delegate you have the opportunity to write resolutions, speak pro- or con- testimony, and advocate for what you feel is best for the profession. It’s a place where you can make history which is why I am running for the NJSSPA House of Delegates position.

As for the Member at Large position, I believe this is an opportunity to collaborate and create new ideas. Although I am a new graduate, I bring a diverse perspective as someone who has co-founded an organization, held multiple leadership positions simultaneously, and actively works to diversify the profession. I truly enjoy working on projects that will increase awareness of the profession and help improve the PA profession for those who come after me. 

Megan A McGrane MS, PA-C

I am running for a two year term for NJSSPA Member at Large.  

I am currently the Director of Advanced Practice Provider Education for RWJBH Emergency and Hospitalist Medicine.  I practice Emergency Medicine at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center and am a graduate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry (Rutgers) PA Program. I co-chair the CBMC APP Council and am a member of the system-wide RWJBH APP Collaborative/Steering Committee. I am passionate about APP development, education and engagement. I look forward to working with PAs from around the state to expand Physician Assistant initiatives as well as further the goals and missions of this group.  

Respectfully

Megan A McGrane MS, PA-C