2024 Veterans Caucus Board of Directors Candidates


Mark F. McKinnon, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA

I am honored to be considered to serve as the President-Elect for the Veterans’ Caucus Board. I am a long-time Life Member of the Veterans’ Caucus and have previously served on the Board of Directors in several capacities, most recently as the President, Secretary, and Member of the Executive Committee.

I am a veteran of three uniformed services (Marines, Navy, and U.S. Public Health Service), having retired in 2017 from the USPHS after approximately 25 years of active duty service. In retirement, I made the transition to the PA education and served as the Program Director for the PA Program at the Towson University/Community College of Baltimore County-Essex. During my tenure, I strived to increase the awareness of the veteran friendly program.

Since my graduation from the George Washington University PA Program, I have been deeply involved in several constituent organizations. I have served a variety of positions within the Wisconsin Academy of PAs, Maryland Academy of PAs, Public Health Service Academy of PAs and the Veteran’s Caucus. Service within the Wisconsin, Maryland and Public Health Service organizations culminated as the President for each.

At the national level, I have served in the AAPA House of Delegates on an annual basis for the last 16 years. I have served on the Government Affairs and Reimbursement Committee, Clinical and Scientific Affairs Committee, Nominating Work Group and the HOD Standing Rules committee. I have also served as the Chairperson for the Federal Affairs and the Nomination Workgroups.

As a disabled veteran, I am intimately familiar with the Veteran’s Compensation and Pension process and truly understand the challenges that veterans experience in accessing and navigating the VA Health Care System, a system that PAs are an integral part of in many capacities.

As we all know, the PA profession grew out of the uniformed services and their veterans and veterans continue to serve throughout the Nation as PAs. Unfortunately, now there are numerous access barriers that veterans stumble across when attempting to enter our profession. As an educator and former program director, I support institutional programs to assist our veterans in entering the PA Programs. These initiatives need to be addressed and adapted at the national level to ensure an increased number of experienced veterans entering our profession.

In regards to the veteran population at large, we need to strive to improve the health care provided and the amount of time that is required to process a new service connected claim. Suicide continues to plaque our veteran population and resources, to include Physician Assistants, need to be trained and deployed against this ever growing epidemic.

If elected, I promise to serve the constituents with diligence and dedication.

Mark F. McKinnon, DHSc, PA-C


TJ Bonjour, PA-C, DScEM

My name is T.J. Bonjour and I am running for Treasurer, 2024-2028.

I am a Midwest native, having grown up in Northwest Arkansas and entered the military in 1988.  I am a retired US Air Force Physician Associate after nearly 30 years of service. I have been a PA for 25 years and have cherished every moment of it. 

My experience is well grounded and proven working difficult issues with a team-based approach. Organizational leadership is challenging at times with limited personnel and fiscal constraints; therefore, this is where I feel my skill set will be beneficial to the Veterans Caucus further building on my previous experience as the Caucus President in 2020-2021 and again 2022-2023.

I believe in servant leadership and truly strive to lead by example strengthening personal and organizational ties for the greater good of our profession and our fellow man……especially Veterans who have served our great country. 

I am a 1999 graduate of the Interservice Physician Assistant (PA) Program and completed my Emergency Medicine PA Fellowship in 2006 followed by completing my Doctor of Science from Baylor University in 2012.  I have had multiple overseas deployments, humanitarian missions, and leadership positions.  It is from this experience I continually draw to move organizations forward.

I currently serve as the Associate Dean of Graduate Allied Health Education at a large DoD GME platform with 700 physicians and Graduate Allied Health specialists and multiple university associate professor responsibilities. My additional experience as the Air Force’s PA Graduate Education Manager and Emergency Medicine PA Program
Director has paved the way mentoring trainees and colleagues alike in challenging healthcare systems.  I have been involved in service, command, and board-level discussions including decision-making that continued to offer PAs further professional opportunities beyond the exam room.  Overseeing 22 graduate allied health specialties is challenging and I have always tried to keep an open dialogue with all stakeholders so we can work together at critical times. The bottom line is safe and effective Medical care.

With a collaborative attitude in mind, I believe the Veterans Caucus must
continue to impact and foster the AAPA relationship with new and upcoming legislative efforts designed to improve PA practice.  We will also need to continue to reach out to our national legislators to help craft legislation expanding veteran care removing PA practice restrictions…. especially within the Veterans Affairs practice environment.  It is here and addressing these elements and an effort to provide PAs with the best practice environment to the maximizing our training, licensing, and privileging.

I have enjoyed working with the Veterans Caucus in the past overseeing
increased membership, growing financial stability including the pursuit of a Caucus endowment, high-quality CME, fostering industry partnerships showcasing our organization, and ultimately presiding over scholarship funding going directly to our future and well-deserving PA colleagues. I would be honored to continue this relationship as we move forward together on this journey caring for our Veteran colleagues. I presently reside in San Antonio, TX with my lovely wife, Sarah, our 3
beautiful children, and two grandchildren and plan to stay here upon retirement.

Complacency and the status quo are harmful to any organization. It is my
commitment to challenge future Veterans Caucus leadership and continue our vector to a better and brighter future.


T.J. Bonjour, PA-C, DScEM


Robert P Dunne, DC, FNP, PA-C, DFAAPA

Platform Letter for Secretary, Veterans Caucus, Inc

I am excited to be given this opportunity to be of further service to this great organization.

I have been a PA since 1980, and have served in both the Army and the Navy, both Active Duty and Reserves and retired after 31 years. I have experience in multiple specialties including Internal Medicine, Wound Care, Family Practice, and Psychiatry. I have experience in professional medical education, both as a PA Preceptor, and faculty member at both Palmer College of Chiropractic and Five Branches Institute of Chinese Medicine. I am currently working in Chronic Wound Care.

I am a Lifetime Member of both the Veterans Caucus and the Naval Association of PA’s. I have been a member of the AAPA since I graduated in 1980, with a few short breaks.

I have had the honor of serving on the Board of the Veterans Caucus this past year as Secretary, and the previous year as Director at Large. It has given me the opportunity to become familiar with the workings of the Caucus, and have learned first-hand the duties of the Secretary.

If given the opportunity to serve, I will remain an active member of the Board throughout my four-year tenure, and will continue to support the mission of our organization by utilizing my unique skill set. I look forward to growing into the position with help from our past Secretary, as well as other members
of the Board.

Respectfully Submitted

Robert P Dunne, DC, FNP, PA-C, DFAAPA

Director-at-Large (Affiliate)

Nancy Debranski-Ferrell


My name is Nancy C. Debranski-Ferrell, and I am running for the position of Affiliate Director at Large. I am proud to say that I have previously served as the first non-military member on the board after being elected to this position two years ago.

Since then, I have been assigned to two committees, the CME Committee and the Charity Committee. At the beginning of this year, I took over as the Chairman of the CME Committee and have been actively involved in planning and accreditation of this year’s Topics in The Tropics in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. My responsibilities have included recruiting speakers and collecting information in a timely fashion for accreditation. I have also acted as a liaison between the resort and the Caucus to deal with questions, problems, and concerns that arose during the registration and planning process. I have always strived to deal with people efficiently and in a caring and considerate manner.

This year, I became more involved with the Charity aspect of our work, working alongside the resort to find a suitable charity and to ensure that our mission is fulfilled with the help of the resort. If re-elected, I plan on continuing in these roles or whatever may be needed.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,

Nancy C. Debranski-Ferrell

Director-at-Large (Fellow)

Kurtis Manley, PA-C

My name is Kurtis Manley, and I am a Physician Assistant residing and working in Kingman, Arizona and I am running for the office of Director at Large for Veterans Caucus of the AAPA. I am currently employed at More MD Kingman where, in addition to my primary responsibility as a provider, I am also the Practice Manager.

I proudly served 26 years of active duty in the United States Navy, earning my commission as a Naval Officer upon graduating from the Interservice Physician Assistant Program with a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies. During my time on active duty, I gained experience in a wide range of medical care across a variety of job assignments, but the bulk of my practice was in primary care. As a PA in a rural setting, I have been able to utilize that experience and am enjoying the increase in independence, freedom and flexibility. I also feel that in my current position in an independent practice, I have more autonomy in my career and the treatment of my patients than I would in a larger facility.

I have been a member of the Veterans Caucus for the last 10 years and during that time I have learned a great deal about the structure and function of Caucus. I am an effective leader, as my experience as an Independent Duty Corpsman, a Naval Officer, and in independent clinics have provided me with the tools to define goals, enlist support and implement action plans.

Our current and previous leadership has provided the Veterans Caucus with phenomenal leadership during a time of exciting change and growth. I look forward to the opportunity to continue that vision. My initial goal is to increase growth within the Caucus starting at my local level and then moving onto the state levels. I would like to see more veteran PA’s be involved with the Caucus and by extension, in the
improvement and growth of the profession.

I have learned to appreciate that there are numerous individuals within the organization that can provide mentorship, both to me and other PA’s. It is this kind of professional and personal growth of individuals that will benefit the profession as a whole. I see the privilege of serving the Veterans Caucus mission as a way for me to pay it forward to other PA’s and students, and to continue with the vision that the Caucus has established —just like those who mentored me.

Thank you for considering me for this position and I appreciate your support.


Kurtis Manley

If you are eligible to vote in this year's Veterans Caucus Election, you will receive an email with the directions and link for online voting.