Candidate Platforms - Election 2018

President Elect (2018-2019)

Rodney Grogan grogan.14

Hi, I’m Rod Grogan and I’d like to put before you my name for election to President Elect of the Veterans Caucus of the AAPA. I have been a member of the Caucus since 1985, have worked with the scholarship committee and now have served the Caucus on the board of directors for 4 years. I’ve had the privilege to be the Chairman of the scholarship committee for the time of my board of directors tenure and have found that one of the most pleasurable and rewarding part of the Caucus. I now put myself forth in a different format of leadership. There have been many changes, good changes and I hope to work with the board and for the membership for furthering the future of the Caucus.

I would appreciate your support in this endeavor.

Rod Grogan



Directors-at-Large (2018-2020)

Dallas Lipscomb lipscomb3

My name is Dallas W. Lipscomb, and I am ready to rejoin the Veterans Caucus Board. I am running for a position on the Board of Directors, where I hope to help with the Website/Communications Committee.  I have decided to run at the request of many of my friends and mentors from past Boards. I really enjoyed my 2 terms as a Board Member, where I served as the Marketing/Website Committee Chairman.  I would never have stepped away if my spouse had not become gravely ill. I’m in another chapter of my life, now. I’m ready to reopen my scholarship donation to honor the biggest PA fan I knew, my father, SMsgt. Nathan L. Lipscomb, who recently passed from CHF.  I promise to serve our caucus in any capacity that I am needed.  I believe in our cause and I will support the Scholarship Fund, our Memorial Day tradition, & our Profession.   I promise to listen to new ideas and to act on those ideas that will promote and enhance our profession.  My philosophy is, “There is no problem that we cannot solve- together”.  Here is a short list of my past accomplishments that I believe qualify me for this Board of Directorship.

  • 40 years in Medicine serving people as a Surgical Technologist and Physician Assistant. Currently working at Ben Archer Health Center & VA CCBOC as a Physician Assistant.
  • Past Veterans Caucus Scholarship sponsor for PA-S that are AF single parents.
  • Distinguished Fellow American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA).
  • Past Board of Director (2 terms), Veterans Caucus of the AAPA 2007-2011. Marketing/Website


  • 6 years as Board Member and Past-President & Rotarian of the Year, Rotary Mt. Vernon, IL.
  • Currently serving as the Communications Officer VFW Post 1389 Elephant Butte, NM.

I am asking for your vote and I look forward to serving!


Dallas W. Lipscomb, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA, Captain, USAF-Retired

Chris Melcher melcher

Christopher M Melcher, PA-C, TSgt USAF(RET)

Fellow, AAPA

Fellow, Veteran’s Caucus, AAPA

Retired from USAF in 2003 with 20 years as AF Medic (90270/4N071), graduated AF Independent Duty Medical Technician course in May, 1990. 

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale PA program – graduated Aug 2006

Currently employed by Sabine County Hospital and Sabine Family Medical Center as a PA-C in Family Practice

I want to continue my work with the Board of Director’s to help with our recruitment efforts.  I feel we need to direct at least some of our efforts into recruiting younger members, possibly using some of the social networking web sites, such as Facebook.  I actively recruit members any chance I have, and strongly encourage all Caucus members to do the same.

 T.J. Bonjour bonjour  

My name is T.J. Bonjour and I am running for Director at Large.  I am a Midwest native, having grown up in Northwest Arkansas and entered the military in 1988.  I am an active duty US Air Force Physician Assistant and will retire 1 Sep 2018 after nearly 30 years of service.  I have been a Physician Assistant for 19 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. 

 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.  

 Over the past 7 years, I have served as the Associate Dean of Graduate Allied Health Education, Graduate Education Manager, and Emergency Medicine PA Program Director.  Here I have been involved in service, command, and board-level discussions including decision-making that have continued to offer PAs further professional opportunities beyond the exam room.  Overseeing 21 graduate allied health specialities is challenging and I have always tried to keep an open dialogue with all stakeholders so that we can work together at critical times.  The bottom line is effective and safe medical care.

With a collaborative attitude in mind, I believe that 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 environment to practice to the full extent of our license and training.

I have enjoyed working with the Veterans Caucus in the past and would be honored to continue this relationship as we move forward together on this journey caring for our Veteran colleagues as well as expand worldwide healthcare. I presently reside in San Antonio, TX with my lovely wife, Sarah, and our 3 beautiful children and plan to stay here upon retirement. 


T.J. Bonjour, PA-C, DScEM
4118 Big Horn Bend
San Antonio, TX  78253
CP (707) 863-1675
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mark McKinnon


I am honored to be considered to serve as a member of the Veterans’ Caucus Board of Directors. I am a long-time Life Member of the Veterans’ Caucus and have previously served on the Board of Directors in several capacities.

I am a veteran of three uniformed services (Marines, Navy and U.S. Public Health Service) having recently retired from the USPHS after approximately 25 years of active duty service. In retirement, I have made the transition to the PA realm in which I believe that I can make the greatest impact, academia. I am currently the Graduate Program Director for the Towson University/Community College of Baltimore County-Essex collaborative PA 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 13 years. The only year that I was unable to attend the HOD was in 2016 which was the result of a USPHS obligation. 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 served as the Chairperson for the Federal Affairs and the Nomination Workgroups.

I recently completed my Veteran’s Compensation and Pension exam and established my primary care at the Veterans’ Hospital in Washington DC. After undergoing this process, I truly understand the challenges that veterans experience in accessing and navigating the VA Health Care System.

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 program director, I am working on instituting programs to assist our veterans in gaining entry in to the Towson/CCBC-Essex PA Program. 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 Buettner  buettner

I am extremely proud of my over 25 years of service in the Air Force and Air Force reserve. I ultimately retired as a Major in the Air Force reserves. I always tell my PA students that I got into medicine by accident. I did not sign up to be a medic when I enlisted. But as I began training and then ultimately working I found that I really enjoyed taking care of patients. Then again when I heard about this thing called a “PA” I really didn’t know what a PA was. I applied realizing that I would become an officer and get my bachelors degree. But once I got into the training and then started practicing, I began to understand what a wonderful career this is. I thank God for pushing me in this direction. I would not be a PA without him.

I left active duty in 1998 and came to Lima, Ohio to practice in cardiothoracic surgery, which was what I was doing at Wright Patterson. At that time I would have had to transfer to Wilford Hall to work in cardiothoracic surgery and my wife was not interested in moving to San Antonio. We also had a young daughter and we wanted her to have the same experience that we had with going to the same school for 12 years.

I feel that my diverse experience including working in family practice, emergency medicine, general surgery, cardiothoracic surgery and now cardiology has given me a broad perspective of the PA career field. There obviously have been many challenges during my almost 25 years of practice but this still remains one of the most rewarding and promising career fields. We still have many challenges at this time including to some extent competition with nurse practitioners, payer issues at times, and a need for continued recognition as viable practitioners by employers and society.

I feel that the Veterans caucuses is a wonderful organization that puts on a top-notch conference every year and helps PA students by awarding scholarships. PA education is very important to me. I have mentored dozens of PA students during my career and currently train six PA students a year from Ohio Dominican University.

I feel with obtaining the 501(c)(3) designation we will be able to expand the usefulness of the veterans caucus with helping veterans, fellow PAs, and PA students. I am in contact with numerous medical device and pharmaceutical companies and I feel that I could help establish some partnerships with these companies. This is an exciting time for cardiology with many new innovative procedures and treatments including Watchman procedure, TAVR, PFO repair, insertion of Cardiomems, and the use of NOACs for Atrial Fibrillation.

I am asking for your vote for a position on the board of directors. It would be my honor to serve you in this capacity.

Mark J Buettner MPAS, PA-C

Pam Lucas  p.lucas I am very interested in running for the position of Director at Large for the upcoming open position. I have been a PA for 25 years. After graduating from the University of Medicine and Dentistry /Rutgers at a time when Pa’s were not legally allowed to practice in NJ. I entered the military and proudly served in both the United States Navy and the United States Air Force.

I am a life time member of the Veterans Caucus and of the Society of Air Force Physician Assistants (SAFPA). I was also a member of the Naval Association of Physician Assistants (NAPA) while serving in the Navy and I have been a member of VAPA while living in Virginia. While in the Air Force I was very active in SAFPA and served as the Secretary/Treasurer and then President. I also served in the AAPA HOD as a delegate for eight years and also on the nominating committee for two years.

My desire to run for Director at Large of the Veterans Caucus comes from my strong desire to continue to serve the veterans of our country and to continue to promote the PA profession. I appreciate your consideration and support for this position. I have enclosed my CV for your review.

Lt Col(Ret), USAF


If you are eligible to vote in this years Veterans Caucus Election, you have already recieved an email with the directions and link for online voting.