TAPA’s election for the 2019-2020 Board of Directors is currently underway. Ballots were emailed to TAPA members on May 1, and voting will close on June 15. Members who did not receive a ballot should email info@tnpa.com.

(Please note: Student members do not have voting privileges and did not receive ballots.)


The following individuals have put themselves forward to run for leadership positions in TAPA. In order to introduce themselves to TAPA members, they have submitted the following bios/introductions. We hope you will take the time to cast your vote in the ongoing election. 


Jennifer Light – I graduated from South College Physician Assistant program in December 2011. Since then I have practiced in pediatrics and family medicine. I am currently practicing with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Urgent Care in Knoxville. I also teach a Professional Issues and PA History class at South College for 3rd quarter PA students. Mentoring future physician assistants is enjoyable and rewarding.

My involvement with TAPA began while in PA school serving as student director for South College in 2010. After graduation I again became involved with TAPA by serving on the Board of Directors as Treasurer and Secretary, and I believe that years I spent in these positions have prepared be to assume the position of TAPA President. I also am a member of the CME committee and enjoy helping with both Spring Fling and Fall Fest.

My goal as President of TAPA is multifaceted. As a professor of PA History, I am reminded from where our profession has come, and I think we should honor those that came before us and their vision for our profession. However, I also think it is equally, if not of greater importance, to further expand our role as providers to coincide with the changing needs of our health care system. I believe these changes, such as those outlined for Optimal Team Practice, will allow PAs to be more independent providers while staying true to our history of a team approach., and protecting the positive relationship we have worked hard to establish with the TMA.

In addition to being a PA, I am also a wife to Brian and a mom to Avery (15) and Jake and John-Pearce (12 year old twin boys). In my free time I enjoy any outdoor activity and reading.

Stephen Noe – My name is Stephen Noe and I would like to be considered for the position of President of the TAPA board. There are a number of issues on the horizon that will affect clinical practice for PAs in the state in the coming years.  I want to be in a leadership role to address these issues.

I have been an AAPA and TAPA member since 2015 and have served as the Treasurer for the TAPA Board for the last two years.  In my time as Treasurer, I gave quarterly reports at each meeting as well participating in discussions regarding clinical practice for PAs in Tennessee.  Additionally, I volunteered to fill the vacancy for the AAPA House of Delegates meeting for TAPA and gave testimony before the full House on the resolution that TAPA put forth for consideration.  I was asked to work on an AAPA subcommittee reviewing this resolution for the last year with PAs across the country.  I have led TAPA Board meetings on occasions when other officers were unavailable for meetings.  I regularly attend have also given presentations at TAPA Fall Fest and Spring Fling on multiple occasions.

Outside of my service to TAPA, I work as an Assistant Professor and the Associate Program Director for the Physician Assistant Program at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU).  I began working as an adjunct at LMU in 2012, then moved into a full-time position in 2014.  Prior to this, I worked clinically in emergency medicine in Lexington, KY, from 2003 to 2014.  I also have clinical experience in occupational medicine and family medicine, both in Kentucky and Tennessee.


Vice President

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.

David Roberts – First, let me thank you for taking the time to thoughtfully consider your TAPA candidates. Your input on this decision is extremely valuable and just one of the many ways TAPA values your involvement. Although you are choosing colleagues to serve on the board, TAPA needs an active membership in order to advance our profession in Tennessee. Thank you for being an active member.

I have been fortunate to serve TAPA for the past two years as a Director-at-Large. As a member of the board, I have been working to promote and protect our profession. I want to renew and deepen my commitment by being TAPA’s next VP.  In the upcoming year, TAPA will be working to remove burdensome rules from your practice. For example, I would like to see requirements for chart review/signatures and site visits left up to the PA and collaborating physician.

We have been well served by TAPA for many years, providing one of the best states to practice in the country. With an ever-changing House and Senate, we must continue to work to protect what they worked so hard to accomplish. I want to keep an open line of communication with our state’s PAs. We must stand together with one voice and build on the progress that has already been made.

Here’s is a little about myself:  I have a big wonderful family. I have been married to my high school sweet heart for over 20 years and we have 6 energetic kids (4 boys, 2 girls). I have lived in Jackson, Tennessee since 1995 where I have worked in the community as both a RN and PA. I graduated from Bethel’s PA program in 2007 and spent most of my time in orthopedics and emergency medicine. Last fall I took a full-time faculty position at Bethel University where I teach EKG interpretation and pathophysiology to first year students. I have authored an EKG textbook that will released later this year by Springer Publishing (Mastering the 12 Lead EKG). I also serve as a peer reviewer for JAAPA. I have spoken at several TAPA conferences over the years. including Spring Fling earlier this year.

Stay involved. Share your thoughts with the board. Let us know your concerns and how we can help. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. robertsda@bethelu.edu, (901) 489-8219 -cell



Jenny Robinson – Jenny Robinson holds a Master of Science in Medicine (MSM) and is Physician Assistant-Certified (PA-C). Robinson is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Clinical Education within Lipscomb University’s new School of Physician Assistant Studies. Robinson was one of the founding faculty members of this program. Robinson worked as a physician assistant in orthopedics after graduation and then transitioned into PA education. She has extensive experience and a passion for program accreditation as well as developing, contracting and providing quality improvement for supervised clinical practice experiences.



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.

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, three office locations and over 20 employees.   I previously served on the TAPA board of directors from 2015 – 2017 and have been a member of COPA since 2017.  Additionally, in 2017 I attended the AAPA Leadership and Advocacy Summit in Washington where I represented TAPA. I have been an active member of both TAPA and AAPA since 2007.

I believe that the PA profession in general is at an important crossroads nationally as the AAPA continues to push for OTP as well as their recent consideration of a name change away from Physician “Assistant.”  I believe that these are vitally important issues that TAPA must continue to push forward on in Tennessee and to fail to do so would be akin to abandoning our post as the vanguard of PA practice in the state.  To that end I believe that we need to redouble our efforts with regard to lobbying the legislature for OTP as well as developing a systematic coordinated approach to fundraising that will help strengthen TAPA’s ability to achieve the statutory changes that are needed to accomplish OTP and allow Tennessee PAs to function at the highest levels that they are trained to.

If elected, I intend to work closely with the TAPA Board of Directors as well as our Executive Director (Katherine Moffat) to achieve the goal of getting every TAPA member in the state to pledge AT LEAST $20 per month, every month in order to provide TAPA with the funding necessary to serve as THE advocate and protector of PA practice in Tennessee.


At-Large (2)

Justin Mizelle – I’ve had the opportunity to live and serve in the Northeast Tennessee with my wife during the last 8 years. We are a PA family and share our love for medicine state side as well as internationally.  I spend the majority of my time in the Emergency Medicine setting.   During the last year I have been able to serve as TAPA’s Vice President and have enjoyed my time and learning at this position.  This role has allowed me to not just better learn and educate myself and others about the importance of issues we as PA’s face. It has also made me aware of the importance of how we as a profession respond and interact with our other state organizations to ensure we are always positioning ourselves well to further develop and mature our profession. TAPA’s role is vital and the very reason that PA’s of Tennessee have one of the best states practice rights. I am hopeful for the opportunity to continue to serve with TAPA to ensure a forward momentum of our profession and serve our states PA’s with the professional quality that we deserve.

Leigh Anne Pickup – 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 serve as TAPA representative to the House of Delegates (HOD) for AAPA again in 2020 (serving in this position now for 2019) as well as an At-Large Position on the TAPA Board.

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 for 2019.  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.

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 and an At-Large TAPA Board Member.

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 and an At-Large TAPA Board Member.

Joshua Porter – Joshua Porter, PA-C is originally from Kingsport TN. He graduated from Southern Illinois University in 2011 with a master’s degree in physician assistant studies. He practiced orthopedics in Western Kentucky for 6 years prior to moving to back to Tennessee in 2017. He now specializes in Orthopedic Foot & Ankle at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, TN. His clinical interests include total ankle arthroplasty, clubfoot deformities, and obesity related orthopedic conditions. He has served as a clinical preceptor for PA students with Bethel University, Southern Illinois University, and UT Memphis. He is passionate about continuing the growth of the PA profession as well as enhancing the healthcare model of Optimal Team Practice. He is married with 4 children and enjoys trail running, cycling, and triathlons.

Frank Warren – Frank Warren is a 1997 graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University and has been practicing in primary care throughout his career. Throughout his career, Frank has been very involved in TAPA. He has served as Vice President (2001), President-Elect (2002), President (2003), Immediate Past President (2004), President-Elect (2005), President (2006), Parliamentarian (2010-2012), President (2013-2014), Immediate Past President (2015-2018). Frank has also served as the Treasurer of the Tennessee Physician Assistant Foundation for many years, raising money for student scholarships.

Frank’s past leadership experience makes him a perfect candidate for the At-Large position, which primarily serves as an advisor to the Board and a liaison for the membership as a whole to TAPA leadership.

In his free time, Frank is very active in his church and goes on an annual medical mission trip to Honduras each year. He and his wife Matha, a veterinarian, live on a farm in Bradyville where they raise cattle.


Tri-Cities Region Director

Susan Mizelle – I have lived and practiced in northeast Tennessee for the last 8 years. I have spent nearly that entire time practicing pediatric emergency medicine at Niswonger Children’s Hospital. I have also had the privilege and honor to serve as the Tri-Cities Regional Director position with TAPA over the last few years. During this time, I have not only learned the importance of serving with our representative body but also just how vital TAPA is to our profession within Tennessee.  It’s been a wonderful opportunity to connect the PA’s of the Tri-Cities via social media and give an outlet that has led to new jobs and growth for PA’s in our region. I look forward to continuing to serve with TAPA and am excited for how TAPA can continue to better our profession and quality of the PA lifestyle and practice rights within Tennessee.


Nashville Region Director

Iveylee Trump – Iveylee Trump has worked in dermatology for 9 years after graduating from Trevecca University. She has served on TAPA for 6 years. She is interested in whole body integrative health as well as medical and cosmetic dermatology. She loves serving on the BOD with TAPA as it keeps her knowledgeable of local and national issues with the PA profession. It also keeps her eyes open to the diversity of and opportunity for PAs. She resides in Wedgewood-Houston with her husband and kids August (4), Griffin (2) and Lenox (7 months). In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, weightlifting, yoga, music and traveling.


Chattanooga Region Director

Tara Bennett – My name is Tara Bennett and I would like to be the TAPA Chattanooga Region Director. Networking with local PAs and other medical professionals to understand how we can position our profession to address healthcare and health outcomes is my goal. This professional goal was reinforced after my move to Chattanooga in 2016 while seeking a professional group to help me meet local PAs and learn more about the local medical community and resources. Prior to my move to Chattanooga, I lived in Kentucky and was active in the Kentucky Association of PAs as the CME chair and a member of the legislative committee. These roles showed me how powerful networking and educating others about our profession can be in creating positive change and growth for our profession. These changes in state legislation and the local interpretations of these laws have impacted my practice in both outpatient primary care and endocrinology since I started practice in 2006. I want to help shape these changes for the benefit of our profession and the health of our communities. Thank you for this opportunity and your vote.


House of Delegates (4)

John Davis – John Davis, a 1973 Duke PA Program graduate, was among the first African Americans to serve on the AAPA Board of Directors. He provided 20 years of continuity and mentoring to AAPA and SAAAPA Minority Affairs Committees, was on the PA Foundation’s Development Committee and has represented the TN Academy of PAs in the AAPA House Of Delegates for more than 25 years. He was recognized by the TAPA Academy in 2007 for he many years of service as Chief Delegate. He was chosen as a TAPA Hall of Fame member in 2007.  He received the AAPA Public Education Achievement Award (1994), the Outstanding Service Award from the Department of Veteran Affairs (1995), and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Duke University Physician Assistant Program (1999).

He is especially recognized for his role as a national coordinator of Project Access, developed by Brenda Jasper, PA, an outreach program for minority high schools. He has served as an AAPA Liaison to the National High Blood Pressure Education Coordinating Committee of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has also chaired or been a member of numerous professional committees and most recently, a commissioner for the NCCPA.

After being discharged from the US Air Force, Davis took a job as an LPN at the Durham NC Veterans Administration Hospital and was serving in that capacity when accepted into the Duke University PA Program. He began his career as a PA at the University of Florida’s Family Practice/PA Programs, Gainesville, FL, and is one of three charter members of the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants. In Gainesville, he became a community activist, providing primary care to residents of a disadvantaged community, serving on the boards of several community outreach agencies and helping raise funds to repair homes and provide food for low income families.

Davis retired from the Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Memphis, TN in 2007 where he was the Coordinator of the Hypertension Screening and Treatment Program for the Department of Veterans Affairs. He is a retired officer from the Tennessee Army National Guard Medical Detachment. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis in 2002. As a member and Vice President of the Memphis Chapter of the National Lupus Foundation, Davis has provided health education classes on lupus, hypertension, and AIDS prevention to various church and community groups.

In 2011, he was offered an opportunity to assist in establishing the first PA Program in the west Tennessee, Memphis area. He currently serves in the program as an Assistant Professor and is Director of Clinical Education at the program at Christian Brothers University, Memphis, TN. He currently remains on the faculty as an Adjunct Faculty.

Sarah Murawski – Sarah Murawski, MPAS, PA-C is a hematology/oncology/BMT Nocturnist PA at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is an active member of both TAPA and AAPA. This past year she volunteered on the GAC with TAPA to provide feedback about Tennessee legislation and gain greater insight on the issues affecting all of Tennessee’s PAs. She also volunteers on the AAPA’s Early Career PA Commission aimed at getting more early career PAs involved in leadership, advocacy, and serving their profession. Sarah is deeply passionate about PA advocacy and has experience as a PAEA student advocacy fellow and 2 years in the HOD as a student delegate. She would be honored to serve Tennessee’s PAs as one of their HOD delegates and develop creative solutions to the unique difficulties facing the modern PA.

Marie Patterson – See bio above.

Leigh Anne Pickup – See bio above.

FallFest – Gatlinburg, Tenn.