AASPA leaders are all surgical PAs or PA students who volunteer their time to support and advance the surgical PA profession and ultimately better surgical patient care.

Congratulations to our Leadership Team!

AASPA Diversity and Inclusion Chair Recruitment

We are excited to announce that we are recruiting for a new chair position to work with our Board.  The Diversity and Inclusion chair will work with the Director of Education to accomplish the following goals and responsibilities: 

Diversity and Inclusion Chair

Goals of the Position

  1. Serve as a thought leader to advance the diversity and inclusion strategy of AASPA by spreading awareness, empowering educational decision making, and facilitating established feedback processes within the organization. 
  2. Provide support and guidance for all of our members by forming, setting, and executing goals, initiatives, and events aimed at inclusion.


  • Consistent BOD monthly meeting attendance (virtual), attendance at the mid-year BOD meeting (virtual or in-person) and attendance at the annual CME conference (typically in-person).
  • Recruit and arrange at least one speaker for a webinar who will present a topic focused on diversity and inclusion.
  • Contribute one article per year to our publication on a topic focused on diversity and inclusion.
  • Recruit and arrange at least one speaker for a presentation at our annual CME meeting who will present a topic focused on diversity and inclusion.
  • Act as a liaison between the AASPA and other organizations.
  • Help us ensure our website promotes diversity and inclusion.
  • Provide timely response to requests for information or assistance.
  • Communicate effectively with the BOD, members and management team.

If you are interested in applying, please fill out the form linked below by September 1st, 2022.

AASPA Diversity and Inclusion Application Form

Congratulations to the following members elected to the Board of Directors positions for the 2022-2024 term. The term for all positions is July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2024. To volunteer for leadership, contact us.

Board of Directors

President & ACS-CSPS Representative


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Margaret Holland is a graduate of the George Washington University Physician Assistant (PA) Program and has been involved with AASPA since 2015. She is a dedicated Surgical PA with more than 11 years of healthcare experience including a nursing background in the field of pediatric cardiology. She currently practices as a surgical PA at Boston Children's Hospital in Massachusetts, in the specialty area of pediatric congenital cardiac surgery. Prior to this, she spent several years in the Northern Virginia area working in adult cardiothoracic and vascular surgery. She is passionate about working with AASPA's students and PAs, and desires to see them fulfill their dreams in healthcare. As former Director of Education, she has taught workshops and the Pre-PA/PA Student track for several years as well as being involved with CME development and the publication of AASPA's periodical Sutureline. As current President-Elect, she remains involved in these activities and also is a PA representative for the Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety (CSPS) which influences practices of operating rooms across the US.  In addition to being a PA, she is a strong advocate for merging medicine and art, using classical ballet training for current active performing, teaching, and choreography. 

Immediate Past President


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Erin Sherer is a PA based in New York City. Her work experience as a physician assistant includes surgical critical care, emergency medicine, telemedicine, and PA education. In addition to being a PA, she is also a registered dietitian and is passionate about nutrition and fitness. She has been involved with AASPA since 2004.



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Michelle Dellene Heine, PA-C is a passionate surgical physician assistant striving to bring excellence to all her patients. She has experience in trauma neurosurgery, aesthetics, general surgery, and robotics. She strives to deliver high quality care, enthusiasm, and optimism. She was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology & Cell Science from the University of Florida in 2013 and her Master of Medical Science from Nova Southeastern University in 2016. During the COVID-19 pandemic she became a registered yoga teacher and lifestyle coach and currently is working as an entrepreneur with the mission to Heal the Healers. Her 2022 goal is to open her own surgical practice with an emphasis on lifestyle medicine and philanthropy. 



sara guerin, ms, PA-C

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Sara Guerin has been practicing in trauma, acute care surgery, and surgical critical care since graduating from Central Michigan University in 2010.  More recently, she has joined University of Michigan – Flint as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the PA Program teaching Patient Evaluation. Outside of surgery, Sara has a strong interest in public health and advocacy hoping to one day operate a pro bono clinic for the underserved in the community that will blend her experiences in clinical practice, PA education, and public health together. 

Sara lives in Michigan with her husband and children.  When she’s not working, she enjoys traveling, reading, and being outdoors.  She is a Disney lover and will always be planning the next trip!




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A native of Houston Texas, I graduated with my Masters degree from Nova Southeastern University PA program with a masters in medical science in 2010. I later earned my doctorate in medical science from the University of Lynchburg in 2020. I have been a PA in pediatric general surgery since the start of my career with a special interest in anorectal and colorectal disease. I am an Assistant Director for surgery advanced practice providers in operations, quality and safety, and research.



Director of Education


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Amatul Noor Ali is a graduate of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Physician Assistant Program. She is a loyal, dedicated surgical PA with 12 years of healthcare experience and beyond including a background in the field of pediatric ophthalmic oncology. She currently practices as a surgical PA at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, in the sub-specialty area of ocular oncology. Recently, Noor graduated from the University of Lynchburg with her doctorate in Medical Science degree earlier in 2022. She currently serves as an Advanced Practice Practitioner supervisor in the section of Ophthalmology, Department of Head and Neck Surgery.  In addition to being a PA, she is a travel buff who enjoys hiking and other outdoor adventures with her family as well as enjoys learning about various culinary arts. 


Director of Marketing

Mike Llewellyn, PA-C, FAPACVS

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I am currently the lead and founding PA of the Robotic Surgery Service at Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to managing a team of 6 highly-specialized surgical PAs covering a wide variety of robotic surgical subspecialties, I also lead clinical operations for the entirety of our robotic surgical program. Although I enjoy all aspects of surgery, I personally spend most of my operative time in thoracic and cardiac robotic surgical procedures. 

I graduated from Arcadia University’s PA program in 2013 and have worked in surgery ever since. I started my career at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where I joined a large team of surgical PAs at the Lower Manhattan campus. It was a newly minted PA-run multispecialty surgical service where we covered a myriad of specialties in the OR, wards, SICU, and consults. My first dedicated thoracic surgery opportunity came in 2015 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where I was 1 of 5 surgical PAs who first-assisted in many complicated thoracic surgical oncology cases.

I was recruited to MGH in 2019 where we have since built a robust multidisciplinary robotic surgery program. My clinical interests include lung cancer and structural heart disease. When I’m not in the OR, I enjoy spending time with my wife Vicki, who is a medical oncology PA, and my daughter, Poppy. 

Professional Development Director


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Ashley Sclafani is a reconstructive plastic surgery physician assistant in Miami, FL. Her current position focuses heavily on breast reconstruction, as well as cosmetic procedures.

 She holds a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Rutgers University. Throughout her undergraduate and professional education, she held positions that concentrated on volunteerism and PA advocacy. During PA school, her role in the Assembly of Representatives fostered legislative involvement with the Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

 Born into a military family, Ashley has had the opportunity to live in seven states given her Mother's roots as a nurse practitioner in the United States Air Force. Ashley is a quadruplet in an Italian family of eight and enjoys international travel, adventurous eating, and snowboarding.

Sutureline Executive Editor

Alex Merkle, DSC, PA-C

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Alex currently works in emergency surgery at a tertiary referral hospital. He still pays homage to his pre-hospital roots by volunteering with a Search and Rescue team in the Lake Tahoe area, where he gets to refine his austere medicine, technical rescue and Nordic mountaineering skills. Alex attended the Army's Surgical/Critical Care PA fellowship at Brooke Army Medical Center and subsequently supported SOCOM. Previously he worked medical support missions in isolated postings across Alaska, remote Pacific islands and Antarctic field camps.

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Diversity and Inclusion Chair

Kayla McLaughlin, PA

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Kayla McLaughlin is a physician assistant in Los Angeles, California. She received her MPAS from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she received the Outstanding Service Award and served as Diversity Representative for the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants. She began her career as an HIV research clinician at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, and later transitioned to the Transgender Health Program. In 2017 Kayla joined the Gender-Affirming Surgery Team at Kaiser Permanente, West Los Angeles. In this role, she provides gender-inclusive peri-operative management for patients undergoing gender-affirming genital reconstruction and gender-affirming facial surgeries.

Student Representative

Victoria Cruz

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Victoria Cruz is a 2nd year PA student attending the University of South Florida in Tampa FL. Her background includes work as a medical assistant for internal medicine, CNA for home health, and scribing experience at an ophthalmology practice. She has been in various leadership roles throughout her years in college and is currently the Vice President of her PA cohort and the FAPA representative of her PA program. Victoria has been involved with AASPA since 2018 through various volunteer opportunities and she hopes to go into surgery once she graduates from PA school.

Assistant Student Representative

Adam Buck

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Adam Buck is 1st year PA student attending The University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. He graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management and Policy, and most recently from Florida Atlantic University with a Certificate in Biomedical Sciences. His background includes working as a medical assistant and scribe in cardiac electrophysiology and interventional cardiology.

Adam has been involved with the AASPA since 2019 and is passionate about assisting and uplifting pre-PAs as well as his fellow students to achieve their goals. He is also enthusiastic about personal growth and enjoys reading, lifting weights, and training MMA in his free time. He remains active in his school’s Surgical Physician Assistant Club, and following graduation aspires to attend a surgical PA fellowship for pediatric surgery.

Specialty Representatives

Military Representative

Catherine Gaines, PA-C, LLT. COL (RET.), COANG, BSC

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Active Duty Military Liaison

Major James Huang, DSC, PA-C

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Management Staff

Affinity Strategies

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Volunteer Opportunities

How You Can Help

You can make a difference with AASPA while building your network of contacts, strengthening your resume and qualifications and helping to promote the surgical PA profession and ultimately improving surgical patient care. Opportunities include:

  • Serving on the Board of Directors
  • Joining one of many committees, including scholarship, website, reimbursement, student activity, corporate relations, membership and CME
  • Mentoring or teaching AASPA PA students and residents
  • Speaking or exhibiting at surgical and PA meetings, local hospitals interested in PAs
  • Writing articles or editorials for the Sutureline journal or for the website
  • Donating to the surgical PA Marketing Fund
  • Assisting with workshops at the annual CME conference
  • Volunteering to be a model for the ultrasound workshop at our CME conference
  • Assisting with check-in and registration at the annual CME conference

Count Me In

Sign up to volunteer by emailing [email protected].