AASPA Leadership

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!

Congratulations to the following members elected to the Board of Directors positions for the 2016-2018 term. The term for all positions is July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018. To volunteer for leadership, visit Volunteer Opportunities or email us. Do it today!

Board of Directors

Jon Van Horn, MPAS, PA-C



Immediate Past President
Catherine Gaines, PA-C, Lt. Col (Ret.), COANG, BSC


Catherine graduated from Emory University in 1993 with a Master's in Medical Science and PA degree. She went into the active Air Force and traveled extensively throughout the US and abroad. She returned to Colorado, working in indigent health while serving in the Air National Guard. She then attended Montefiore's PA Surgical residency after serving in the gulf coast following Katrina. She settled back in her home state of NC practicing cardio-thoracic surgery for 6 years. She then left to start the first Patient Navigation department for her hospital, bridging cancer patients from diagnosis, through surgery to definitive treatment. She has been a member of AASPA since 2005.

Press Releases
Enroll America Roundtable
Regional Community Health Award winners

ACS-CSPS Representative
Dan Vetrosky, PhD, PA-C

Dan is a part-time clinically practicing PA for Cordova Urology Associates in Pensacola, Florida. He is a recently retired Associate Professor in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies, College of Allied Health Professions, at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. He has been a PA for 34 years and has worked in the field of Urology for 25 years. He is a member of the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants, American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants, Urological Association of Physician Assistants, and the AAPA. He is a Past President of the Urological Association of Physician Assistants, The American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants, The North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants, and is the AAPA liaison to the American College of Surgeons. He is an Allied Health representative to the American College of Surgeon’s Committee on Patient Care. He has been the past chair of the Council on Surgical and Perioperative safety and is the AASPA representative to the Council.

ACS-CSPS Representative
Roy Constantine, PhD, PA-C

Roy Constantine PA-C, MPH, PhD - FCCM, DFAAPA graduated from the Cornell University Surgeon Assistant Program, holds a Master Degree in Public Health in Health Policy and Management and a PhD in Health Education and Research. He is the Assistant Director of Mid-Level Practitioners at St. Francis Hospital - The Heart Center in Roslyn, New York and is on the faculty at Trident University International and The Joan and Sanford Weill Medical College of Cornell University Physician Assistant Program. He is a past President of the American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants. He is board member of the Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety (CSPS) and is co-chair of the Society of Critical Care (SCCM) - Surgery Section - Patient Safety Committee. In 2010 he was presented with the John W. Kirklin Award for Professional Excellence. His interests are in surgery, critical care, patient safety, quality care, informatics, education and research.

President Elect
Erika Nigam, MPAS, PA-C

Thomas O'Brien 



Director of Education
Erin Sherer


Erin Sherer is a PA currently practicing in New York City. Her work experience as a physician assistant includes surgical critical care, emergency medicine, and PA education. She enjoys all aspects of PA education, including working with students. 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.

Director of Marketing
Gerald Simons,



Director of Information Technology
Shi Chian Khor, PA-C



Student Representative
Margaret Holland, PA-C

Margaret Holland is a recent graduate of the George Washington University, Physician Assistant Class of 2016. Currently planning to practice as a PA in Virginia, she has a special interest in cardiothoracic and pediatric congenital cardiac surgery. In addition to being a PA, she is also a registered nurse and has experience as a teacher and academic tutor. She is passionate about working with students and desires to see students fulfill their dreams in healthcare. She has been involved with the AASPA since 2015.

Asst. Student Representative
Jordan Barner, PA-S

Jordan is the Student Assistant Director-at-Large of AASPA. She is currently attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in Birmingham, AL and is set to graduate December of 2016 after completing her Surgical Oncology rotation at MD Anderson. Prior to attending UAB, Jordan worked for Weill Cornell Medical College in Reproductive and Infertility Medicine in NYC, City MD NYC, as an Emergency Room Medical Scribe and as an EMT contractor for the US Army. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology/Biomechanics from Old Dominion University. One of Jordan’s accomplishments was her perseverance in obtaining in-state tuition through the Academic Common Market for anyone in the state of Virginia interested in pursuing a surgical based PA program outside of Virginia. She has traveled to many impoverished countries such as Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua to where the medical and surgical need was non-existent, stirring her pursuit as a PA in surgery and emergency medicine. Jordan was awarded the Susan and Tom Lusty AASPA Scholar for the year 2015-2016. She is humbled and grateful to be part of the BOD for AASPA and has developed a strong sense of compassion and devotion in inspiring other pre-pa students and colleagues in medicine and surgery.


Committee Chairpersons

CME Committee Chair
Erika Nigam, MPAS, PA-C

Reimbursement Chair
Rolando Garcia, PA-C


Membership Chair
Scott Cackler, PA-C


Scholarship Chair
Kent Wallace, PA-C


Nominating Committee
Jon Van Horn, MPAS, PA-C


Website Chair
Gerald Simons, MPAS, PA-C


Corporate Relations Committee
Daniel Vetrosky, PhD, PA-C


Student Affairs Chair
Erika Nigam, MPAS, PA-C


Strategic Planning Committee
Daniel Vetrosky, PhD, PA-C


Finance Committee
Erika Nigam, MPAS, PA-C


AASPA Historian
Gerald Simons


Awards committee
Dana Gray, PA-C



Specialty Representatives

Trauma Representative
Richard G. Winters, DHSc, PA-C

Contact AASPA for more information

Richard Winters is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's (UAB) Master of Surgical Physician Assistant Studies program iand earned his Doctor of Health Sciences from Nova Southeastern University. After graduation from UAB, he worked for more than five years at a Level I Trauma Center in UAB’s Trauma and Burn Intensive Care Unit. He currently works for EmCare - Acute Care Surgery in a Level II Trauma Center at the Medical Center of Plano in Plano, Texas. He has multiple certifications, including Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS). He is an active member of the Eastern Association of Surgery of Trauma (EAST), an associate member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and a member of the AAPA and the TAPA. He has written for publication in and serves as a reviewer for the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. He also currently serves on the Advanced Practice Practitioner Committee at the Medical Center of Plano. In addition, Richard is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Texas – Southwestern (UTSW) Physician Assistant program and has served as a guest lecturer, clinical preceptor and mentor for more than seven years.

Vascular Representative
Gerald T. Simons, PA-C


Pediatric Surgery Representative
Robert Sammartano, PA-C


Plastic & Reconstruction Representative
Leah Kenney, PA-C

Bariatric Surgery Representative
Contact AASPA for more information

Transplant Surgery Representative
Seeking a Representative Chairperson

Contact AASPA for more information

Anesthesia Representative
Mike Champion, PA-C

Ophthalmology Representative
Seeking a Representative Chairperson

Contact AASPA for more information

Colon & Rectal Surgery Representative
Brian Lane, MD


Orthopaedics Representative
Carol Fiore, PA-C


Neurosurgery Representative
Joseph Hlavin, PA-C (Spine)
James Piotrowski, PA-C (Brain)

Military Representative
Lt. Col. Catharine Gaines, Ret.

ENT/Head and Neck Surgery Representative
Seeking a Representative Chairperson

Contact AASPA for more information

Surgical Oncology Representative
Seeking a Representative Chairperson

Contact AASPA for more information

Hepato-Biliary Representative
Roy Constantine, PhD, MPH, PA-C


Critical Care Representative
Ashish Seth, MBA, PA-C


Cardiac Surgery Representative
Michael Nowak, PA-C



Management Staff (aaspa@aaspa.com)

Linda Kotrba



Director, Advertising & Media
Renee Powell


ACCM Convocation

Dr. Roy Constantine. MPH, PA-C, former President of AASPA and current Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety Liaison was inducted as a Fellow into the American College of Critical Care Medicine at the Society of Critical Care Medicine's Annual Congress in January in San Francisco, CA. Fellows of the American College of Critical Care Medicine (ACCM) are practitioners, researchers, administrators and educators who have made outstanding contributions to the collaborative field of critical care.

When the American College of Critical Care Medicine was created in 1988, the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) began a tradition dedicated to the recognition of excellence. The College emphasizes quality management in the practice and administration of critical care through the development of multi-professional guidelines and practice parameters, and also honors individuals whose achievements and contributions demonstrate personal commitment to critical care excellence. The College also provides the Society with a consultative body possessing recognized expertise in the practice of critical care.

More Information

  • Call our National Office at 772-388-0498
  • Email us