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Dawn Morton Rias National Commission On Certification Of Physician Assistants (nccpa)

Dawn Morton-Rias

President & CEO

National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)

Location: Johns Creek

Founded: 1974

Industry: Health Care/Medical Certification

When Dawn Morton-Rias took on the role of president and CEO of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) in June 2014, she brought with her experience from her role as the dean of college of health professions and a professor at the State University of New York, where she served as the inaugural clinical coordinator of the PA program.

Dr. Morton-Rias’ passion and expertise in health profession education centers on curriculum innovation, promotion of diversity and educational access and institutional and student assessment prepared her well for her next role at NCCPA.

NCCPA is the only certifying organization for PAs in the United States. Established as a not-for-profit organization in 1974, NCCPA provides certification programs that reflect standards for clinical knowledge, clinical reasoning and other medical skills and professional behaviors required upon entry into practice and throughout the career of PAs.

When Morton-Rias joined NCCPA as its president and CEO, it was a company of 50 staff members, working locally to provide certification and maintenance of certificate services for the PA profession nationwide. While the mission and vision of the organization have remained constant, under Morton-Rias’ leadership, the NCCPA’s scope and impact have expanded significantly.

The organization has grown to employ over 100 employees, each holding terminal degrees and credentials in their profession and has recruited high-quality staffing from across the nation. NCCPA has recently certified its 200,000th PA and the recertification processes now reflect data access, integration and real-time feedback capabilities that more accurately reflect the practice of medicine today.

“Dawn is a forward-thinking leader who openly shares her vision, seeks input and empowers her team and subordinates to build upon her vision,” said her staff. “She maintains ambitious standards for herself and others, embodies her principles and lives her personal and professional life with integrity.”

Morton-Rias is an accomplished public speaker and has established an organizational culture that values its people, said her staff. As a result, the organization was recognized as one of the top 175 Workplaces in Atlanta by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and one of the 2023 Best Places to work by Modern Healthcare for the fifth year in a row.

“I am authentic, and I don’t take myself or my title too seriously,” said Morton-Rias. “I am as much a team member as I am a leader and I appreciate and respect my role and responsibilities and remain grateful for each opportunity to work with smart, dedicated people who share a creative vision and commitment to excellence.”

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My ability to inspire others to act on vision is a superpower and I am pleased to be able to make things happen. I am authentic and I don’t take myself or my title too seriously. I am as much a team member as I am a team leader. I appreciate and respect my role and responsibilities and remain grateful for each opportunity to work with smart, dedicated people who share a creative vision and commitment to excellence.

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