America’s Top PA Awards (ATPA), hosted by POCN, recognizes the PA profession annually as its influence and impact on care grows exponentially

 PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Oct. 19, 2021 – Over the last decade, physician associates (PAs) have seen an increase in responsibility and authority within the healthcare industry, accounting for 49 percent of all prescriptions written annually. The pandemic significantly shifted their roles once again, uprooting many from their regular practices to serve in areas hit worst by the virus and requiring increasing responsibility, sacrifice and risk. America’s Top PA Awards 2021 (ATPA), hosted by POCN, the largest and most trusted network of NPs and PAs, honors these healthcare heroes who have been nominated by their peers for significantly impacting their field during one of its most challenging seasons.

POCN and the ATPA Awards recognize outstanding PAs annually in the fall. PAs around the country nominate a fellow PA who is demonstrating excellence in patient care, professional and practice development, and community outreach and involvement.

POCN and the PA community at large are thrilled to honor this year’s recipients:

  • Cardiac Surgery (Michael LaLonde, MHA, PA-C)
  • Dermatology (Jenifer D. Lee, PA-C)
  • Emergency Medicine (Christina Eid, MMSc, PA-C)
  • Endocrinology (Amy Butts, PA-C, MPAS, CDEES, BC-ADM) – Previous 2020 America’s Top PA
  • Family Medicine/General Practitioner (Benito Lopez, BC-ADM, MPAS, PA-C) – Previous 2020 America’s Top PA
  • Gastroenterology (Kathleen A. Ferrell MPAS, PA-C)
  • Hematology/Oncology (Larisa A. Gallo, DMSc, PA-C)
  • HIV/Infectious Disease (J. Wesley Thompson, MHS, PA, AAHIVS, DFAAPA)
  • Internal Medicine (Brittany Strelow, DMSC, PA-C, DMSc, MS)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (Stacey Panasci, MS, PA-C, MSCS)
  • Neurology (Carrie Crowder, PA-C)
  • Orthopedics (Brittany Blackburn, MMSc, PA-C) – Previous 2019 America’s Top PA
  • Psychiatry (Sarah A. Scantamburlo, MSW, MS, PA-C)
  • Pulmonology (Greg McClelland, PA-C, AE-C)
  • Rheumatology (Julia M. Swafford, PA-C)

Due to so much pressure on the system from the pandemic, state-led legislation has been suspending and waiving laws that limit PA capabilities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the physician assistant profession is projected to grow 37 percent by 2026.

Winners will receive:

  • A one-year paid membership to the AAPA
  • Recognition and press exposure in the health media, including on POCN social media and web properties (such as feature videos on POCN+ and
  • Ability to serve as an advisor to POCN, helping to advance educational programs in support of the PA community

To learn more about the program and our 2021 ATPA winners, please visit the ATAC page.

About POCN

As the largest community of its kind, POCN was built specifically to provide NPs and PAs with peer-reviewed resources to LEARN, EARN, CARE and CONNECT. These resources and tools are free of charge and have been vetted by an editorial board of advanced clinicians. To learn more, please visit us at

Media Contacts

Linda Garcia