2020 Elections

From May 1-June 15, TAPA members will be electing the Academy’s 2020-2021 Board of Directors. The following individuals will appear on the ballot. There is a brief bio by their name to help members get to know them better.

All Fellow and Sustaining members will receive an emailed ballot on May 1. If you have questions about the election, please contact the TAPA office.

Jackson Region Director

Thomas Alleva – My name is Thomas Alleva, I’m a 2016 graduate of Bethel University Physician Assistant Program, and I have been working in emergency medicine at Jackson Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, TN since graduation. I am also currently an adjunct professor for Clinical Skills at Bethel University’s Physician Assistant Program. I live in Lexington, TN with my wife, Brandi and our son, Ezra. I enjoy the outdoors, traveling, and spending time with my family.  My interest in becoming the Jackson Region Director is to work together with the other members of TAPA, as well as state and federal health officials, in order to serve the best interests of the PA’s of West TN and state wide, optimize their current practice, and ensure that their voices are individually appreciated and equally represented.

Knoxville Region Director

Dorothy Allen – First of all, thank you to my fellow TAPA members for another Knoxville Regional Director nomination. I have been honored to represent my region these past few years. Being in this position and organizing regional meetings, I have had the pleasure of connecting with so many other local PAs. These connections really allowed me to bring your voice and concerns to the state level.  I have thoroughly enjoyed these last two years and plan to stay as active in TAPA as fellow members afford me.  Again thank you for the nomination and for the experiences I have gained.

For those who have not met me or been unable to attend our regional meetings, here is a brief summary of my background.  I am a graduate of Eastern Virginia Medical School with a masters in physician assistant studies. I then moved back to the Knoxville area to begin my professional practice.  I have now been practicing in Knoxville for almost 10 years. I am also an alumni of the University of Tennessee.  I love our Knoxville community and would be very proud to continue to serve the PAs living and working in this area.  Please consider me for Knoxville Regional Director, but regardless of your decision, thanks for voting and being involved with TAPA!

Lori Sharp – I have grown up and attended K-12 school in Knoxville; then attended UT Knoxville, earning B.S in Kinesiology. I went to Universal of Florida in Gainesville for graduate school, getting a master’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science/Athletic Training. After working for a few years, I returned to school to get my PA degree from Wake Forest University.

Since becoming a PA, I have worked at Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic.  I avoided getting involved in TAPA while I was raising my 2 children and being so busy with work and “life”.  Over the past few years, I have become more interested in issues that affect our profession in the state.  Dorothy Allen has made great strides to organize the PAs in Knoxville and the surrounding area, and I’d like to help see that continue and expand.

Memphis Region Director

Rob Booth – My name is Robert Booth. My career in medicine began as a Navy Corpsman serving during Operation Desert Storm and later, on several deployments to the Caribbean and South America for counter-narcotic operations. After my active duty service, I became a Paramedic.  I worked in large urban communities as well as small rural areas all while attending college at Ole Miss.  My goal was always to become a Physician Assistant.  I became acquainted with the profession while in the service and was astounded by the role.

I attended PA school at the University of New England and afterward elected to complete a one-year emergency medicine residency program at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio, TX.  It was one of the hardest and most rewarding years of my life. In 2006, I moved to TN and have been living in Memphis ever since.  My wonderful wife of near 20 years and my twin daughters love living in Midtown and enjoy the eclectic mix of restaurants and personalities. Currently I am a faculty member at Christian Brothers University PA program.  I also continue to do locums work covering solo practice emergency departments in critical access hospitals in various parts of the country.

Over the past 15 years I have witnessed many changes in the PA community.  How we are utilized and how we are many times mis-utilized.  Having practiced in many areas of the country I am aware of the various legal challenges and roadblocks we face as a profession. I have a strong desire as member of TAPA to help push for positive legislation and promotion of the PA profession.  It is time for us to come out of the shadows and be recognized for the incredible contributions to the well-being of our communities that we have all made.  We need to break down barriers to PA practice and take control and responsibility for the destiny of our profession.


AAPA House of Delegates

Members will elect two (2) of the four (4) delegates allotted to TAPA by the AAPA. Next year, members will elect the other two so that delegates will be elected on a staggered schedule to ensure experience and continuity among delegates.

Patrick Brown – My name is Patrick Brown, PA-C. I am a former army medic and proud graduate of Bethel University PA Program class of 2016. I was born and raised in Camden, TN where I continue to live with my three daughters, Lottie, Della, and Sunny, and my beautiful wife Jordan. I am also the youth pastor of Missionary Grove Baptist Church.

I am currently full time faculty for Bethel where I teach Clinical Medicine in the didactic year, and I work one day a week clinically in family practice. I also work in emergency medicine and as a hospitalist about once per month. I believe my insight into the flexibility we have as PAs from outpatient, inpatient, and education perspectives will enable me to represent our profession and TAPA well.

Jennifer Harrington – Jennifer Harrington has served as a Physician Assistant in TN for over 20 years.  She has a background of caring for underserved patients in homeless areas, rural Appalachia, inner city regions, and in developing countries. After graduating from Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, she started working as a PA in a small-town family practice at a Federally Qualified Rural Health Care Center.  After over 10 years caring for patients in family practice, she started teaching at the Lincoln Memorial University Physician Assistant Program. She aims to make an even bigger impact on patient lives by training her students to be excellent clinicians who are concerned about the whole patient. She has recently developed a curriculum designed to increase PA student proclivity for serving medically underserved populations. Jennifer has also spoken at both international and state medical conferences, including TAPA Fall Fest and has helped with conference student workshops.  She also leads an annual medical outreach trip to Peru where over 10,000 patients have been treated and 150 PA students and medical providers have participated over the past six years.

Tonya Nash – Tonya received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Bethel University. Her Bachelor’s Degree is in Exceptional Learning (special education).  She graduated with a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies in 2006.  She worked in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics with Thomas Paul Evans at Evans Clinic in Huntingdon.  In 2010, Drs. Paul and Pam Evans built Eagle Creek Clinic in Buchanan, TN.  Nash was instrumental in designing and equipping the clinic.  Her collaborating physician was Dr. Scott Portis.  In 2013, Eagle Creek Clinic was sold to Henry County Medical Center.  Mrs. Nash became a partner with HCMC and her collaborating physician became, and continues to be Dr. Robert Richardson.  Mrs. Nash joined Bethel University as an Assistant Professor in 3/2020 and continues part-time with HCMC at Transitions Health.

Mrs. Nash has been married her husband David, for almost 34 years.  They have 2 adult children, Jonathan Nash and Laura (Trevor) Cloar.  Their son is a doctoral teaching assistant at the university of Memphis and will complete his studies next semester.  Their daughter got married this past summer and is a nurse practitioner.  Tonya enjoys playing with their Maltepoo, Isabella and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Maddie.  She also enjoys water gardening in her koi pond.

Marie Patterson – Marie Patterson, MSM, DHSc, PA-C has been a physician assistant since 2004. She played collegiate basketball and graduated from Freed Hardeman University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in biology. She graduated from Trevecca Nazarene University in 2004 with a Master of Science Medicine and earned her Doctor of Health Science from Nova Southeastern University in 2007.

Mrs. Patterson’s career experience includes emergency medicine, occupational medicine, primary care, urgent care, travel medicine, and college health. She has also served multiple terms on the board of directors for the Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants. She has a passion for the PA profession and PA education and is a strong advocate for the profession on multiple fronts. She is on the Government Affairs Committee for TAPA and actively speaks with state and national legislators on the behalf of Physician Assistants. She also currently serves on the state COPA committee.

When she is not working, she loves spending time with her husband and seven young children. She is also active at church and with programs for special needs children in middle Tennessee.

Leigh Anne Pickup – Leigh Anne Pickup, MMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA, Emergency Medicine PA, Assistant Professor, and Director of Clinical Education (Non-Memphis Regions) in the Department of PA Studies in the College of Medicine at University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) seeks your vote to, once again, serve as TAPA representative to the House of Delegates (HOD) for AAPA in 2021 (served in this position for 2019 – 2020).

She graduated from Emory PA Program in 2003 and worked in the Level One Trauma Center at Carolinas Healthcare System in Charlotte, NC; HCA Tristar ER in Nashville, TN and Maury Regional ER in Columbia, TN.  Pickup earned her Certificate of Added Qualification in Emergency Medicine in March 2014 and joined UTHSC as faculty in 2016.  She continues to work clinically in Nashville, TN despite her full-time, remote, faculty appointment.

Beginning in 2008, she has served TAPA as a board member; PAC chair; Nashville Regional Director; CME Committee Member; Spring Fling Presenter, and current HOD rep to AAPA as well as At-Large Board Member.  She serves the Committee on Physician Assistants (COPA) as a legal reviewer (2017 – present).  She serves AAPA as a DFAAPA applicant reviewer and medical consultant for marketing. Ms. Pickup was the TAPA PA of the Year for 2019.

Her leadership within the profession; knowledge of the tension in our profession; her willingness to listen; desire to speak up for PAs; knowledge of various issues across the state; and commitment to service makes her an excellent choice for your next HOD representative.

She welcomes any and all questions (leighanne34@hotmail.com) and hopes to serve you, TAPA, and the state of Tennessee as one of your next HOD representatives to AAPA.

Register for Summer Sizzler 2020