Central Texas
Physician Assistant Society  

President


Blaine French, PA-C, MPAS 

Blaine graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in December of 2009 with a MPAS and returned to his home state of Texas to work at Scott and White practicing Orthopedics.  During his tenure at S&W he was actively involved in the Advanced Practice Professionals council who met first hand with the CMO and lobbied for equal benefits for PAs to match the already generous benefits that had been awarded to CRNAs and NPs.  Additional projects included identifying different practice models and RVU production to determine what model would work best within the system.  He also worked extensively on insurance reimbursement, identifying reasons for non-payment for service, and implementing processes to prevent future non-payment. He got to witness the transition to lean health care and the subsequent merger with Baylor. In 2014, he transitioned to part-time practice and full-time insurance consulting.  In December of 2016, He became the CEO of Summit Review Services which represented a panel of physicians offering consulting for a variety of areas to include peer reviews, utilization management, and early compensability assessments.  He sold this company in 2019 and transitioned to PA education beginning in January 2020  as an Assistant Professor with the University of Mary Hardin Baylor's Physician Assistant program where he serves as the course director for Clinical Disease and Prevention.





President Elect



Michelle Meystedt, PA-C, MPAS

Michelle is originally from Jacksonville, IL and moved to Austin 3 years ago. She studied Biology at Drury University and graduated from Missouri State University with her Masters of Physician Assistant Studies in 2017. She practices at Davam Urgent Care in Giddings, a small town 1 hour from Austin. She enjoys the outdoors and loves to hike, run, climb, and kayak. She chose to run for President elect because she’s passionate about the PA profession and can put her attention to detail, delegation, and organization skills to good use.


Secretary



Michael White, PA-C

Michael is a Physician Assistant at Texas Children's Specialty Care- Austin where he works a PA in surgical specialty clinics such as chest wall abnormalities, colorectal and pelvic health and voiding improvement. He is an Austin, TX transplant and previously practiced in Houston, Texas at Texas Children's Hospital in the Surgery ICU. Michael is an Air Force veteran and has spent 14 years between Active Duty, the Air National Guard and the Air Reserves as an Intelligence Analyst and more recently commissioning as a Physician Assistant in the Air Reserves. Michael is passionate about expanding the Physician Assistant Career field and being involved in organizations that strive toward that goal.




Treasurer


Julia Huo, PA-C


Julia (Yujia) Huo was born in China. She became a Texas resident in 2006 after moving with her parents in 2006. After getting a B.S in molecular biology from UT Austin in 2008, she worked in Houston as a Research assistant at MD Anderson, where she became exceedingly interested in the practical side of Medicine. Julia entered UTMB-Galveston PA program in 2011 and graduated in 2013. The love of central Texas and her life brought her back to Austin. She has been working in Family Medicine in Kyle, Texas since 2014. Her interest is in nutrition, preventive medicine and psychiatric disorder.

Julia currently lives in San Marcos with her husband. 

Membership Director


Rachel White, PA-C


Rachel White is a Physician Assistant at Hamilton Vascular in Round Rock, TX. She completed her Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA. Upon completion of her Bachelors degree, Rachel earned her Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Mercer University in Atlanta. After completing her training, she moved from Atlanta, GA to Austin, TX with her husband and 2 cats. Prior to joining Hamilton Vascular, she worked in orthopedic surgery for almost 5 years. Outside of work, she loves being outdoors, working out, and traveling as much as possible!


CME Coordinator/Events Planner



Valerie Dezarae Cavazos, PA-C


Valerie Cavazos has been an orthopedic PA for 5 years and currently works for Austin Spine at St. Davids Main Hospital.  She was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. After graduating from Concordia University in Austin, she went on to get her Masters in PA studies at UT Health Science Center in San Antonio.  She initially worked in Orthopedic Trauma as a surgical PA but has now specialized her career in orthopedic spine focusing on scoliosis and degenerative spinal deformities.  Her passion outside the OR includes working towards building a better community and algorithm within medicine towards fighting provider burnout and stress. Her personal hobbies include spending time his family and friends, traveling and recent discovery of scuba diving. 

PA Advocacy Chair


Joanna Lopez, PA-C, MPH   

Joanna Lopez, PA-C, MPH, is a bilingual associate provider for the Musculoskeletal Institute at UT Health Austin. She is a board-certified physician assistant and specializes in the evaluation and treatment of lower and upper extremity orthopedic conditions in adults. Additionally, she is a faculty associate for the Dell Medical School Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care.  

After receiving her undergraduate degree in biomedical science from Texas A&M University, Lopez continued her studies and obtained her Master of Public Health. During this time, Lopez’s passion for working with communities that have been historically underserved grew, and after graduation, she supported public health research initiatives in Houston. Enjoying the research aspects involving patients, she decided to return to school and obtained her Master of Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Texas Health Science Center.

Prior to joining UT Health Austin, she worked in neurology and learned how the mind and other health determinants affect physical function. Also interested in surgery, Lopez transitioned to an orthopaedic clinic and served as a first assist in total hip and knee replacements and arthroscopy surgery.

Combining her clinical training with her passion for working with communities that are underserved, Lopez participates in annual orthopaedic surgical mission trips to Guatemala.  As an outdoor enthusiast and active young professional in Austin, she finds great joy in helping others live their life to the fullest.


Past Presidents

Sarah Arcement 2019-2020

Blaine French 2018-2019

Sarah Arcement 2017-2018

Richard Bottner 2016-2017

Alan Boutwell 1994-1995 Founder

Kara Dinda Hammerding 2001-2003

Michelle Pruett 2004-2005

Amy Sweet 2006-2009

Dustin Fontenote 2010

Andrea Gamse 2011-2012

Sunny Kilmer 2011-2012

Agnieszka Szczepanska 2013-2016

Cassandra Hollifield 2015 - 2017


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