ADPA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President - Nicole Mason, DMSc, PA-C
Nicole is a recent Oklahoma transplant originally from central Illinois. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Chemistry degree and highest distinction in the curriculum. She then went on to graduate from Midwestern University’s Physician Assistant program where she completed a master’s project on the concept of international PAs, leading her to receive that year’s Master’s Project Award. Upon completion, she transitioned into primary care medicine and has remained in the primary care field for the last fourteen years. Nicole currently practices in a federally designated rural health area in Claremore, OK and is a University of Lynchburg doctoral graduate. She is also a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Oklahoma Academy of Physician Assistants.
Over her tenure as a PA, she has developed a deep passion for the underserved community, with prior medical missions’ trips both abroad and in her home community. She currently serves as a preceptor at the University of Oklahoma’s student-run free Bedlam health clinic in Tulsa, OK.
When not homeschooling her three children, practicing medicine, teaching, or volunteering, she can be found at the sewing table, an avid enthusiast for all things fabric.
1st Vice President - Devonna A'Belle, DMSc, PA-C
Devonna A’Belle, PA, DMSc is the first Vice-President of the Academy of Doctoral PAs Board of Directors and a founding member. Devonna graduated from the fourth class of The University of Lynchburg’s Doctor of Medical Science program. Devonna is an experienced PA and has participated in the profession’s transformation from the original concept of “physician’s assistants” to the current iteration of PAs working as vital contributors to the provision of high-quality medical care in all medical specialties, education, and research.
While observing the evolution of the PA profession, Devonna has seen the need for the profession to mature both in numbers, as well as education to remain competitive in the healthcare marketplace. Devonna views the obtaining of a doctoral degree for some PAs to be the natural progression for PAs to expand roles in leadership and education.
Devonna graduated from the University of Oklahoma’s Physician Associate program in 1985, the University of Nebraska’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies program in 2004, and the University of Lynchburg’s Doctor of Medical Science program in 2018. Devonna has practiced primarily Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine, with a few years of Pediatric, Emergency, and Correctional Medicine early in her career. Devonna has been a fellow member of both her state PA organization and the AAPA since joining as a student member and is involved in other PA organizations as well.
2nd Vice President - Peter Yen, DMSc, MSHA, PA-C, LSSGB
Peter Yen is a healthcare executive at Burn Reconstructive Centers of America, as the Vice President of Service Development. Along with over 23 years of experience in the healthcare field, Peter received his degree in physician Assistant Studies from D’Youville College in 2001, master’s in healthcare administration from University of Alabama at Birmingham, certified in Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and a graduate of DMSc program at Lynchburg University.
Peter has been a level 1 trauma burn center physician assistant since 2001 at multiple trauma burn centers in the southern part of the country, specializing in burn care and research. His work duties include burn surgical workforce management, clinical and logistics direction, leading multidisciplinary team, liaison for service-line director, nurse leadership, medical staff leadership, burn OR team leadership, transitional care team, and administrative leadership. Peter provides communication and strategic planning for trauma burn medial director and burn ambulatory service.
In his current role of VP of service development, Peter has oversight and provides operational strategies/guidance to multiple burn reconstructive centers, while developing new centers around the nation. In this role, he will deliver the core functions of development, and operational sustainability, which is his new passion as he transitions from bedside to administrative role.
Peter is driven towards educating our future healthcare providers, including fellows, residents, PA students, pre-PA shadow students.
Peter currently lives in Buffalo, NY with his fun-loving son and lovely wife. He enjoys outdoor activities, golf, and exploring unique local "foody" cuisines, but mainly enjoying being a loving father and husband.
Secretary - Wes Johnson, DHSc, PA-C
Wes Johnson is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham PA program and received a Doctorate of Health Sciences from A. T. Still University. He previously served as the regional director of clinical education for the North Alabama region of Island Medical Management in several emergency departments. His love for students led him to leave full-time clinical practice and enter into academics. In 2018 he accepted a role as an assistant professor and director of programmatic outcomes and assessments for the newly formed PA program at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Wes also serves as a Captain in the Army National Guard. He lives in Indian Springs, Alabama, with his wife and two children.
Treasurer - Gerald (Jerry) Erickson Jr., DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA
Gerald (Jerry) A. Erickson Jr., DMSc (C), MMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA, serves as Treasurer of the Academy of Doctoral PAs. He is also the current president of the PA Foundation Board of Trustees. He has been involved in several PA professional organizations at the state and national level for many years starting as a student. He has completed his Doctor of Medical Science degree at the University of Lynchburg in the Physician Assistant education concentration.
He started his medical career as a medic in the US Army and is currently working in urgent care and is an adjunct clinical assistant professor at the Lenoir-Rhyne University PA program in Hickory, N.C., where he was the founding director of didactic education. Prior to that, he was the associate clinical coordinator at the Mercer University PA program in Atlanta, and he has been involved with teaching at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and the U.S. Army. His clinical interests include community health and pedagogical research. He has published articles in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and Clinical Advisor, as well as given CME and poster session presentations at GAPA conferences.
Jerry is a 2003 graduate of the Emory University PA program, where he was an academic medicine fellow. A National Health Service Corps scholar, he is the recipient of a 2003 Emory University Leadership Award and is an inductee of the Pi Alpha national honor society for physician assistants. He earned a U.S. Army Expert Field Medical Badge in 1992.
Deeply committed to community service and missionary work, he has done several medical mission trips in Mexico. He has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, Kare for Kids, and even helped build an “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” house.
He has a wife, two kids, and two dogs. He is active with his church and loves to tinker with small construction projects.
Director At Large - Eder Hernandez, DMSc, PA-C
Dr. Eder Hernandez, MPAS, DMSc, PA-C is a 2002 graduate of South Texas High School for Health Professions, a nationally ranked high school in Texas. This high school provides rigorous academic training and advanced technical skills to transition into allied health career and post-secondary education. Dr. Hernandez completed his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Texas at Brownsville with high honors in 2007. Dr. Hernandez was accepted into the University of Texas Health Science Center Department of Physiology, to pursue a Ph. D in physiology. At that time, Dr. Hernandez had co-authored in the neuroscience journal “Brain Research.” His coauthored publication investigated channelopathies implicated in the pathogenesis of genetic epilepsy. At the same time of his acceptance into the Ph. D program, Dr. Hernandez was accepted into the University of Texas Pan-American Physician Assistant Program. Dr. Eder Hernandez, DMSc, PA-C decided on a career as PA because he wanted a career in medicine and was inspired to dedicate his professional career to advance the profession. Eder graduated in early 2009 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, and in late 2009 with a Master’s of Science in Physician Assistant Studies as he completed an inaugural PA bridge program. Dr. Hernandez is considered a local pioneer in Southern Texas of the physician assistant profession. Dr. Hernandez has trained and mentored numerous physician assistant students and pre-pa students to achieve their lifelong goal of becoming PA within our United States health care system. Dr. Hernandez began working as a certified physician assistant in pediatrics and currently practices adult and pediatric urgent care medicine. Dr. Hernandez, has a decade of clinical practice with PA expertise in pediatrics, family medicine, and urgent care medicine. Moreover, Dr. Hernandez, has also clinical training in cardiology and sports medicine. Dr. Hernandez, has voluntarily served in years’ prior as the medical liaison for the University of Texas Physician Assistant Program in executing local preceptor agreement contracts. Further illustrating his desire to grow the profession, Dr. Hernandez completed his Doctor of Medical Science at the University of Lynchburg PA Medicine department in 2018. In 2019, Dr. Hernandez became a founding member and director at large of the Academy of Doctoral PAs in a collaborative vision to reshape PA practice and enrich the profession into the next century. Most importantly Dr. Hernandez is a believer and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and his top fans are his beautiful wife Adriana and their beautiful children Eder and Emma Hernandez.
Director At Large - Jonathan Corrigan, DHSc, PA-C
Dr. Corrigan is a 2007 graduate of The University of Findlay PA program (B.S.). He received a Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) with a certification of specialization in emergency medicine. In 2008 he received a Doctorate in Health Science (DHSc) from Nova Southeastern University. His doctorate focus was in healthcare leadership, administration, and included a practicum projection and internshipin transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Over his 12 year career, Dr. Corrigan has worked in emergency medicine, urgent care, acute care, psychiatry, and occupational medicine. He has practiced in Ohio, California, Hawaii, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Currently, he practices in Urology in Cleveland, OH.
His career has been dedicated to giving back to the PA profession. He has served as a clinical preceptor for students since graduate and has served on the admissions committee for his PA program for numerous years. In addition he has been an AAPA conference proposal grader, OAPA conference committee member, founding member of the Facebook PA Doctorate Association group page, and a PA Foundation scholarship evaluator.