Candidate Platforms - Election 2014

President Elect (2014-2015)

Rock Munsee Hello, my name is Rock A. Munsee and I have been a Physician Assistant for 30 years. I am a retired Air Force veteran and have been involved with the Veterans Caucus for the past several years as a board member and as the Scholarship Chairperson. I am announcing my candidacy for President Elect.

This great organization is known for the Memorial Day Service, the student scholarship program, and the Topics in the Tropics CME held each year in December. These programs have been the mainstay and function of the Caucus for years. This last year, we attained a seat in the AAPA House of Delegates allowing us more voice at the national level. The Caucus is now considered experts in veteran affairs and looked upon for answers. The current President has initiated a fiveyear strategic plan to help define our goals so we can be prepared to serve our profession and veterans in a greater capacity.

Our plate is full and the Caucus leadership has set the course. My goal as President - continue to work on the strategic planning initiatives, strengthen our membership, and make the already outstanding Memorial Day Service into a greater highlight of our national conference. We will have to work to secure our Topics in the Tropics CME program. Just as important, we must look at the changing health care environment and find ways to work closely with the America Academy of Physician Assistants and the Physician Assistant Education Association.

I hope you will get motivated with me to embrace these challenges and put that check mark next to my name, so together we can lead the Caucus into the next chapter!
Mike Wolther

I am Michael Wolter, Maj., USAF (ret) and I am seeking your support and vote for the position of President-Elect of your Veterans Caucus of the AAPA.

As a PA, I am a graduate of the USAF/University of Oklahoma PA program, University of Nebraska MPAS program and the Mayo Clinic post graduate surgical training program. I retired from the Air Force in 1991 and joined the staff of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Mayo Clinic Rochester. I officially retired from Mayo in December 2011 but have continued to work in a non-surgical position on an as need basis. I have participated in several volunteer humanitarian trips to Haiti following the earthquake and since retirement to northwest Thailand.

I have been a lecturer for various programs within the Mayo Clinic School of Allied Health and also with its associated PA program at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. Additionally, I have had the pleasure and honor of mentoring numerous PA students during their clinical rotations here at Mayo Clinic Rochester.

I have been actively involved on the on the Board of Directors of the Veterans Caucus for the past two years. Additionally, I have been on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Academy of PA, the Board of Directors and eventual president of PAOS, and Constituent Relations Committee of the AAPA.

The Veterans Caucus is well known for its outstanding scholarship program and we need to continue to keep this a very strong program. Over the last two years we have been working on many issues that affect our veterans and currents active duty troops - PTSD, TBI, joblessness and homelessness – to name a few. Another issue of particular interest is how to help facilitate a PA education for our current “medics” that are interested. All these issues remain on the front burner and continue to demand our attention. One other issue is maintaining and growing our membership. Numbers are important but an active membership that participates in the activities of the caucus is imperative.

I want to thank you for your time and your support. Please vote.


Marcos Otero My name is Marcos Otero. I hereby declare my candidacy to fill the position of Board of Director -DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE. I am presently a Director-at Large and would like to continue serving the caucus if the members will have me.

I was trained by the Air Force PA program and retired from the Air Force in 2000 after 25 years of total service. The training that I had the opportunity to receive included many mentors propounding the ideas that we should “do the right thing”, “Stay involved”, and always “Pay it Forward”. These thought and the gratitude that I have for the training the service provided me drive me to provide service.

I have seen how the board works and strongly feel that the direction that it has taken is worthy of support. The scholarship program allows the caucus to offer scholarships every year to multiple applicants. We should all support this endeavor and everyone in the caucus should make every effort to help seek out funds or support functions like “Topic in The Tropics” which helps replenish funds for these scholarships.

Each of us is a veteran and every day we see stories in the news of the difficulties many veterans are suffering. That is why we should all support programs that provide our veterans an avenue to better care. The caucus strives to be a leading agents in this with recommendations to the AAPA and in attempting to create programs that help us know more about what our new veteran face each day.

I will be honored to continue to serve the Caucus, if the members will allow it. Please vote! Make your voice heard! Thank you.
Cheryl Gregorio



I am Cheryl Gregorio, PA-C.  I have been a clinical US Air Force PA for over 30 years.  In all that time I have been a member of the AAPA, and am a life member of the Veteran’s Caucus. Supporting professional organizations is a vital part of  becoming the consummate professionals PAs are  known to be.  Participating members makes these organizations stronger and gives them the influence that is required to effect change.  To that end, I am throwing my proverbial “hat in the ring” for Director-At Large. 

The Veteran’s Caucus has an incredible history. We have a successful scholarship program, veteran student’s assistance program, Opening & Memorial Day ceremonies at the AAPA and now we are committed to Veterans Health Issues.  These programs require members with the will and need to serve.  That’s why I believe our priority this year should be to increase membership. 

There are over 10,000 veterans who are members of AAPA yet only 500 are members of our caucus.  That is a lot of potential members.  Now, I realize I am not the first person to recognize the potential; perhaps we haven’t been putting the right emphasis on our presentation.  The PA profession has changed its make up to have greater than 60% women in the trenches, yet our Veteran’s Caucus membership does not reflect this change.  We have incredible programs that need members, male and female, to keep them successful and viable.  I would like the opportunity to be part of the solution. 

On average we provide $25,000 annually in scholarships to veterans who are working to enter our profession.  Again we come back to membership working to gain additional funds to support this endeavor.  Just as we need funds available for assistance to veteran student PA’s who have some unexpected expenses that perhaps the GI bill, Student loans or scholarships will not cover, i.e. emergency car repairs, emergency medical bills, etc.

How many of you have participated in the opening ceremonies or the Memorial Day ceremony at the annual AAPA conference?  If you have, you know just how touching these functions are. They are traditional, and this year there will not be a conflict with other programs for our Memorial Day Ceremony.  I have held a flag in more than one opening ceremony, and I had the honor to speak at one Memorial Day Ceremony.  If even half of the people who show up for these ceremonies would become members imagine what we could accomplish, how many scholarships we could provide.  It takes manpower and energy to organize, promote, and execute these programs. 

There have been many discussions about Veteran’s Health Issues, both access to care and specialized services.  Perhaps it’s time we started partnering with other organizations, to make this a priority as well.  This is a time in our country where members on both sides of the aisle can agree that it’s inexcusable for any veteran to be without the proper health care, home or services that he/she requires. Again this takes membership.

Let me close with one final phrase: Increased membership equals manpower and energy. I’m sure you have sensed a theme here.  I would be honored to serve and represent the membership of this caucus. 

Rod Grogan

I am putting my name forth as nominee for the board of directors of the Veterans Caucus of the AAPA.

During my years of being a PA, I have had the opportunities to serve on boards for the Society of Air Force PAs, and the Utah Academy of PAs. I have also served as a representative to the AAPA House of delegates for the Air Force and the Utah academies. I have served on the American Academy of Physician Assistants nominating and elections committees and have served as chairman of both. I am currently chairman of the Service Committee for the Utah academy. I have been a member of the scholarship committee for the Veterans Caucus for the past 5 years.

I want to serve on the board to help carry on the mission that we have put forth for this organization. I believe I can assist in furthering the efforts to help all of our fellow veteran PAs, have a better understanding of the activity of veterans, as PAs and veterans, recognizing their needs within and outside the medical community. I am interested in helping to increase funding for our already implemented scholarship program. I would also like to increase awareness of the availability of our scholarships to PA educational programs while at the same time increasing the awareness and involvement of students, who are veterans, to apply for these scholarships.

Thank you for your consideration for my election to the board.

House of Delegate (2014-2015)

John Padgett padgett Colleagues and fellow veterans,

This is an important time in the life of the Veterans Caucus, and it requires experienced and principled representation at the national level.

I am asking for your support to return me to the AAPA House of Delegates to represent the Caucus for the 2013 session. The Caucus Congress, which previously had one delegate to the House on a rotating basis among the various caucuses, has disbanded. Each recognized caucus now has a delegate. I represented the Veterans Caucus last year, and previously have been a delegate for Nevada and the Army. I know the procedures of the HOD and have a good working relationship with delegates from other chapters and the House leadership. I ask that you return me to continue the work of the Veterans Caucus to represent us and veterans everywhere.


John E. Padgett, PA-C, PhD
MAJ, US Special Forces (Ret)
Past President, Veterans Caucus of the American Academy of Physician Assistants