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Ron L. Nelson Award of Achievement
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Ron L. Nelson Award of Achievement



2019 Award Recipient Mike DeGrow, Former MAPA Executive Director



Thadd Gormas, MAPA Executive Director,  Award Winner - Mike DeGrow, retired MAPA Executive Director, Jodi Zych, PA-C, MAPA President


2014 Award Recipient Gregor Bennett, PA-C



Heather Klopp, PA-C, Past-President, Gregor Bennett, PA-C, Award Winner, Ron X. Stavale, PA-C, Past-President


The Ron L. Nelson Award of Achievement is a prestigious award presented by MAPA


 The Award:


-         Will be presented in recognition of an individual that demonstrates exemplary service to the PA profession

          and the community and furthers the image of physician assistants.

-         Honors an individual that has had a broad and significant impact on the PA profession in Michigan.

-         Does not require nominees to be a PA or MAPA member.


Who was Ron L. Nelson, PA-C?

Ron was born and raised in Michigan and worked in healthcare early on and would receive training to become a physician assistant.  Ron practiced the art of medicine in various rural settings in Michigan and had a passion for his patients and their health.  Ron’s desire to help those in rural areas translated into his development and active participation in the Michigan Association of Rural Health Clinics.  He helped establish the national Association of Rural Health Clinics and served in its leadership.


He served as president of MAPA for one term and as president of AAPA for two terms.  He was appointed by the Governor of Michigan to sit on the Michigan Board of Osteopathic Medicine and was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health & Human Services.


Ron joined the faculty at Central Michigan University and was preceptor to PA students from CMU, WMU and GVSU.  Ron won numerous awards and recognitions for his service, but it was his love for helping others, especially those within the profession; he was the consummate motivator.  Countless leaders in the PA profession owe their start to Ron; he was a visionary, pioneer and advocate for PAs.


Award Process

The ‘Award’ Work Group administers the Ron L. Nelson Award of Achievement.  Any fellow, affiliate, honorary or student member may submit a nomination to the Work Group. Nomination materials will include the following:

-          A written rationale detailing why the nominee is deserving of the ‘Award’

-          One sentence summarizing the nominee’s overall accomplishments or achievements

-          A completed nomination form


The award will be presented at MAPA’s annual Fall CME Conference and the recipient will be given the opportunity to make an acceptance speech.



The Award Work Group will consider the following criteria when reviewing applications:

-          Is the nominee well recognized by members of the PA profession and others?

-          Has the nominee demonstrated a commitment to furthering the PA profession in Michigan?

-          Has the nominee advocated for the PA profession?

-          Has the nominee served or improved service to patients and the community?


Examples of evidence to support a nominee

-Evidence of recognition by all segments of the PA profession and by others:

Is this person well known by the PA profession and well recognized by PAs of different generations?

Is this someone for whom there is ‘clear evidence’ of his/her commitment to the PA profession?

What awards and forms of recognition has this person received during his/her career?


-Evidence of commitment to the PA profession:

How has this person demonstrated long-term commitment to the PA profession?

Has this person spent time outside of clinical practice to promote the PA profession?


-Evidence of time spent educating and influencing others in support of the PA profession?

Has this person lobbied for the PA profession?  (In this context, ‘lobby’ could mean either (or both) legislatively or before individuals and groups that can impact the PA profession.)

How has this person taken the PA message to physician organizations, to others within his/her own profession or organization, and to those within his/her sphere of influence?



Please complete the nomination form on line (click here).  The deadline for submissions is September 1.


You can also scan letters of recommendation, newspaper clippings, magazine articles and other relevant supporting material and email them to  Please place ATTN: Ron Nelson Work Group* in the subject line.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact MAPA’s Academy Administrator at


[*The Ron L. Nelson Award of Achievement Work Group consists of: MAPA’s Immediate Past President, current President and President-Elect and MAPA’s Academy Administrator as an ad hoc member.]


Award Nomination

Any MAPA member may submit a nomination to the ‘Work Group’.  Nomination material must include a written rationale why the nominee is deserving of the award, along with a one sentence citation summarizing the nominee’s overall achievements.


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10/9/2020 » 10/10/2020
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