Voting for the following positions will commence on May 1, 2018, and continue until June 15, 2018. Voting will be conducted electronically, and eligible voters will receive an emailed link to their ballots.

1) Knoxville Region Director
2) Jackson Region Director
3) Memphis Region Director
4) AAPA House of Delegates (4)

The following individuals have volunteered their time and talents toward advancing the PA profession in Tennessee. Candidates were invited to submit a bio in order to introduce themselves to the TAPA members. We thank them all for their service!


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 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 in order to serve the best interests of the PA’s of West TN and state wide, in order to optimize their current practice, and ensure that their voices are individually appreciated and equally represented.


Dorothy Allen – First of all, thank you to my fellow TAPA members for the Knoxville Regional Director nomination. Our TAPA leadership does great things for PAs in TN and I would love to be part of this organization as your Knoxville Regional Director. I have been active in TAPA for the past several years, presently serving as co-chair in the Government Action Committee and previously serving as an At-Large Board member. Please consider me as your Knoxville Regional Director, as I love our organization and look forward to getting PAs in our Knoxville region more involved.

After obtaining my Masters in Physician Assistant Studies at Eastern Virginia Medical School, I 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 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!

Greg Cain – After serving six years active duty in the military as a corpsman I received my B.S from Vanderbilt University in 1999 after which I worked in the banking / finance industry for a few years and eventually started my own commercial real estate, development, and construction company. In 2007 I decided to go back to PA school and graduated in the inaugural class at South College in Knoxville. In 2011 I decided to merge my business background with my medical knowledge and started my own Internal Medicine practice in Madisonville, TN. Since then I have grown the practice to include four PAs and two NPs and four separate office locations and 16 support staff. I previously served on the TAPA board from 2015 – 2017 and have been a member of COPA since 2017. I have been an active member of both TAPA and AAPA since 2007.

Michael Stephens – Michael Stephens, PA-C, is an assistant professor of physician assistant studies at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU). He maintains clinical practice in family medicine at the LMU clinic in Harrogate Tennessee. Prior to joining LMU Mr. Stephens worked in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, in rural Southeastern Kentucky. In addition, he practiced family medicine in East Tennessee at Servolution Health Services. Servolution is a free medical clinic, where he maintains a position on the board of directors. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from Union College in Barbourville Kentucky and his master’s degree in physician assistant studies from LMU. Special areas of interest include access to health care, uninsured patients, and research into the health behavior changes in the human animal relationship.


Joseph Willmitch – Mr. Joseph G. Willmitch has been a certified Physician Assistant since his graduation in 1978. He has completed two postgraduate programs, one in surgery at Montefiore Hospital/Albert Einstein College of Medicine Hospital in New York City and he completed his Master of Physician Assistant Science (MPAS) with a specialization in Cardiology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He has worked in the field of Cardiothoracic/Vascular surgery from 1981-1991, and in the field of Cardiology from 1991-April 2016 in Miami, Florida. Mr. Willmitch was one of the first Physician Assistants in Miami-Dade County and was instrumental in introducing the concept of PA’s there. He helped launch the Southeastern University PA Program (now Nova-Southeastern) and was on their initial Admissions, Advisory and Advancement Committees as well as their initial faculty. He was Chairman of Allied Health at Baptist and South Miami Hospitals from 1993-2010 and a member of a system-wide Council for Advanced Practice Practitioners for Baptist Health of South Florida. He is a Distinguished Fellow in the AAPA and brings with him forty years of experience as a Physician Assistant to the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Physician Assistant Program.


Shane Apperley – Shane Ryan Apperley is a UK-trained PA with a clinical background in military medicine and trauma and orthopedic surgery. He currently works as an Assistant Professor and Academic Coordinator at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) in Harrogate TN, where he has worked since August 2015. Before moving to the US, Shane served as Vice-President of the UK Association of Physician Assistants (UKAPA) and was integral in promoting the PA profession Europe-wide. Shane has also completed secondments at NHS England (healthcare commissioning) and Health Education England (educational commissioning and oversight) where he served as National lead on the National Physician Associate Expansion Programme (NPAEP). Shane is a fellow of the Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants (TAPA). He has previously served as a TAPA CME committee member and has spoken at both the Spring Fling and Fall Fest conferences before. Shane is passionate about the PA profession and its advancement within TN.

John Davis

Rick Hillegas

Charles Marcrum II – Born and raised in Nashville, I attended Vanderbilt University for undergraduate studies in German Literature before moving to the Boston area to attend graduate school at Harvard University. After realizing that my real interests lay elsewhere, I completed my PA education at Lincoln Memorial University. I was fortunate to be selected as a National Health Service Corps Scholar, and following graduation I relocated to north Florida to practice rural primary care. I have since had the opportunity to come back home permanently to the Nashville area, where I now have the privilege of practicing in the neurosurgery department at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. I’m excited to once again become an active member of the TAPA community.

Paula Miksa – I have been a PA for 16 years, working in PA education the last 9 years. I have been a member of TAPA for many years and have served on the board as secretary, Knoxville regional director, CME Co-chair, student representative, and as the 2017-2018 TAPA HOD representative. I enjoy working with PA students and encouraging them to get involved in their state and national organizations. I served as the PA program student society faculty representative for many years. I have attended several PA day on the Hill events with students encouraging them to become advocates for legislature that will ultimately affect PA’s and healthcare in general. I also co-lead an international medical mission trip for our PA students each year. My goal is to support TAPA and PA’s in general to the best of my ability.

Sarah Murawski – Sarah Murawski is an early career PA-C working at Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a part of an Advanced Practice Provider led inpatient team. She has served the past two years as a student delegate in the HOD and has proposed policy for this year’s conference in New Orleans focused on enhancing the diversity of the PA profession. In 2016, Sarah was selected to be a PAEA student advocacy fellow and completed a fellowship project aimed at educating students and early career PAs about the importance of involvement and advocacy. Passion for PA engagement has continued into her career through her participation as a member of the AAPA’s Early Career PA Commission. Sarah is dedicated to furthering the PA profession while honoring the roots of our practice. It would be an honor and privilege for Sarah to serve Tennessee PAs as a member of the HOD delegation.

Marie Patterson – Marie Patterson, MSM, DHSc, PA-C is an assistant professor at Lipscomb University School of Physician Assistant Studies and 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.

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 Assistant Director of Clinical Education in the Department of PA Studies in the College of Medicine at University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) seeks your vote to serve as TAPA representative to the House of Delegates (HOD) for AAPA.

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 a remote 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; and Spring Fling Presenter. She serves the Committee on Physician Assistants (COPA) as a legal reviewer. She serves AAPA as a DFAAPA applicant reviewer and medical consultant for marketing.

Her knowledge of the tension in our profession as we seek our identity; 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.

Eugene Platt – I have very grateful for the opportunity to run to serve as a House of Delegate (HOD) member. I have had the privilege to serve at 4 pervious AAPA House of Delegate conventions and one PA Executive Summit at AAPA Headquarters in Washington, DC. I am very passionate about the future of PAs and representing Tennessee PAs. While hard work, it is very rewarding to work in the HOD. I look forward to that privilege again and commit to work very hard for PAs in general and Particularly PAs in Tennessee.

I graduated from Bethel University in 2007 with an MS in Physician Assistant Studies and has been working full time as a PA, in Tennessee, since that time. My experience includes: Primary Care (2yrs), Addiction & Treatment Centers (2yrs), Fast-Track Emergency Room (1yr), Pain management (1yr), Urgent Care & Primary Care (6yrs), and Occupational Health/ Work Comp medicine (5yrs). This month I joined the Faculty at Bethel University as an Assistant Professor in their Physician Assistant Program. I’ve been an active member of AAPA and TAPA for 12+ years, serving on TAPA Board of Directors several terms as a Regional or At-large Director. I am a member of the TAPA Foundation committee and have served on the Legislative committee attending several PA’s Day on the Hill events.

Spring Fling – Nashville, Tenn.