Last year saw record growth in newly certified physician associates (PAs) and the profession is projected to grow 31% by 2030. As the healthcare field faces increasing burnout, it is imperative for PAs to receive greater acknowledgement and recognition for their contributions and the critical role they play within the healthcare system.

Today, POCN, the largest PA and nurse practitioner (NP) network in the United States, announces the winners of the 2022 America’s Top PA Awards. This annual awards program recognizes excellence among PAs who go above and beyond in specific areas, including:

  • Making a difference in patient care and advancement in patient treatment
  • Peer support and leadership within the PA/NP community
  • Care for underserved communities

The winners were nominated by their peers for their significant contributions to healthcare and their profession.

POCN and the PA community at large are thrilled to honor this year’s recipients: 

  • Aleece Fosnight, MSPAS, PA-C, CSC-S, CSE, NCMP, IF (Urology) – Brevard, NC
  • Amanda Joy, MS, NRP, PA-C (Emergency Medicine) – Fallston, MD
  • Amy Ladewski, PA-C, RD, MMS (Gastroenterology) – Chicago, IL
  • Angel Ribo, PA-C, MPAS, AAHIVS, DFAAPA (HIV/AIDS) – Palm Coast, FL
  • Ashlyn Smith, PA-C (Endocrinology) – Phoenix, AZ
  • Danielle O’Laughlin, PA-C, MS (Internal Medicine) – Minnesota City, MN
  • Douglas DiRuggiero, DMSc, MHS, PA-C (Dermatology) – Rome, GA
  • Jeremy A. Adler, DMSc, PA-C (Pain Management) – San Diego, CA
  • Larisa A. Gallo, DMSc, PA-C (Hematology/Oncology) – Austin, TX
  • Leslie Ware, PA-C, M Ed (Primary Care) – Charlotte, NC
  • Lianne Hahn, PA-C (Aesthetic Medicine) – Boca Raton, FL
  • Michael Asbach, DMSc, PA-C, Psych-CAQ (Psychiatry) – Grand Island, NY
  • Mitzi D’Aquila, MACM, PA-C (Pediatrics) – Huntington Beach, CA
  • Sarah Sagorsky, MPAS, PA-C (Oncology) – Severnam Park, MD
  • Viet Le, MPAS, PA-C, FACC, FAHA (Cardiology) – Riverton, UT

“We are honored each and every day to work with and support our network of healthcare heroes —the physician associates and nurse practitioners whose work goes unsung,” says Richard Zwickel, Founder and CEO of POCN. “This year’s winners are leaders within the PA profession, and we are thrilled to recognize them for their impact on their peers, community, and patients. Congratulations to this year’s winners on this well-deserved award.”

Winners of 2022 America’s Top PA Awards will receive:

  • $150 toward the professional membership of their choice
  • Recognition and press exposure in healthcare media, including on POCN social media and web properties (such as videos on POCN+ and
  • Ability to serve as an advisor to POCN, helping to advance educational programs in support of the PA community

POCN’s mission is to bring PAs and NPs together to network, share ideas, and create a strong foundation of providers. To learn more about POCN and its programs, visit: