AASPA leaders are all surgical PAs or PA students who volunteer their time to support and advance the surgical PA profession and ultimately better surgical patient care.

Congratulations to our Leadership Team!

Congratulations to the following members elected to the Board of Directors positions for the 2020-2022 term. The term for all positions is July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022. To volunteer for leadership, visit Volunteer Opportunities or contact us.

Board of Directors


Erin Sherer, EdD, MPAS, PA-C, RD

[email protected]

Erin Sherer is a PA currently practicing in New York City. Her work experience as a physician assistant includes surgical critical care, emergency medicine, and PA education. She enjoys all aspects of PA education, including working with students. In addition to being a PA, she is also a registered dietitian and is passionate about nutrition and fitness. She has been involved with AASPA since 2004.

Immediate Past President

Erika Nigam, MPAS, PA-C

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President Elect & ACS-CSPS Representative

Margaret Holland, MPAS, PA-C

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Margaret Holland is a graduate of the George Washington University Physician Assistant (PA) Program and has been involved with AASPA since 2015. She is a dedicated Surgical PA with more than 11 years of healthcare experience including a nursing background in the field of pediatric cardiology. She currently practices as a surgical PA at Boston Children's Hospital in Massachusetts, in the specialty area of pediatric congenital cardiac surgery. Prior to this, she spent several years in the Northern Virginia area working in adult cardiothoracic and vascular surgery. She is passionate about working with AASPA's students and PAs, and desires to see them fulfill their dreams in healthcare. As former Director of Education, she has taught workshops and the Pre-PA/PA Student track for several years as well as being involved with CME development and the publication of AASPA's periodical Sutureline. As current President-Elect, she remains involved in these activities and also is a PA representative for the Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety (CSPS) which influences practices of operating rooms across the US.  In addition to being a PA, she is a strong advocate for merging medicine and art, using classical ballet training for current active performing, teaching, and choreography. 



Stephanie Hull, EDS, MMS, PA-C

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Stephanie Hull, EdS, MMS, PA-C has been a PA for over 19 years.  Her clinical background includes emergency medicine, hospital medicine, and cardiac electrophysiology.  She is the founding Program Director for the LMU-Knoxville PA Program in Knoxville, TN, which provides expanded training in surgical sciences to better prepare graduates for entry into surgical and hospital-based practice.  She is a Doctor of Medical Science candidate and her research interests include the direct and indirect costs of regional and professional accreditation.  She served on the PACKRAT Test Item Writing Committee for 6 years and continues to enjoy writing board-style test items.  In her free time, she enjoys hiking the trails of east Tennessee with her husband and sweet dog, Moxie. 


Maj. Jon Van Horn, MPAS, PA-C

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Jon is the current Trauma Caucus and FCCS Chair, and has worked at Legacy Emanuel and Randall Children's Hospital which is a ACS Verified Level 1 Trauma Center in Portland, Oregon. He is a graduate of the US Army Interservice Physician Assistant Program. He is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the Oregon National Guard, and has served for 28 years. His deployments include Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Hurricane Katrina, and multiple state activations for fires and floods.

He currently serves as the AAPA Liaison to the American College of Surgeons, and is the Immediate Past-President of the American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants. He also is a member of the EAST Military Committee, and APP Task Force.



Director of Education

Veronica Victorian, PA-C

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A native of Houston Texas, I graduated with my Masters degree from Nova Southeastern University PA program with a masters in medical science in 2010. I later earned my doctorate in medical science from the University of Lynchburg in 2020. I have been a PA in pediatric general surgery since the start of my career with a special interest in anorectal and colorectal disease. I am an Assistant Director for surgery advanced practice providers in operations, quality and safety, and research.


Director of Marketing

Gerald Simons, PA-C

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Professional Development Director

Lauren Winsten, MMS, PA-C

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Lauren Winsten is a neurosurgery physician assistant at a large teaching hospital in Miami, FL. She studied Applied Mathematics at the George Washington University and worked for the federal government as a financial analyst before switching careers to become a PA.  She attended Nova Southeastern University- Fort Lauderdale for PA school and has made south florida her home.  During her free time she enjoys gardening, hanging out with her rescue pup, and ceramics. 

Sutureline Executive Editor

Alex Merkle, DSC, PA-C

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Alex currently works in emergency surgery at a tertiary referral hospital. He still pays homage to his pre-hospital roots by volunteering with a Search and Rescue team in the Lake Tahoe area, where he gets to refine his austere medicine, technical rescue and Nordic mountaineering skills. Alex attended the Army's Surgical/Critical Care PA fellowship at Brooke Army Medical Center and subsequently supported SOCOM. Previously he worked medical support missions in isolated postings across Alaska, remote Pacific islands and Antarctic field camps.

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Diversity and Inclusion Chair

Kayla McLaughlin, PA

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Kayla McLaughlin is a physician assistant in Los Angeles, California. She received her MPAS from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she received the Outstanding Service Award and served as Diversity Representative for the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants. She began her career as an HIV research clinician at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, and later transitioned to the Transgender Health Program. In 2017 Kayla joined the Gender-Affirming Surgery Team at Kaiser Permanente, West Los Angeles. In this role, she provides gender-inclusive peri-operative management for patients undergoing gender-affirming genital reconstruction and gender-affirming facial surgeries.

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Student Representative

Alexandra Clayton, PA-C

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I was born and raised in Orlando, Fl and continued my education in the beautiful sunshine state. I attended Florida State University graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology with honors. During my time at FSU, I worked as a certified personal trainer, played soccer and was an active member in the Pre-PA society. I then had the wonderful experience of working in the Dermatology and Research Scholars Program under a well-known MOHS Surgeon in Tallahassee, Fl. I then planted my roots in Gainesville, Fl to attend The University of Florida to receive my master’s in physician assistant studies this upcoming June. During my time at UF, I have served as the Class of 2020 Secretary, represented our class on our Challenge Bowl team, co-founded the Surgical Physician Assistant Club alongside our Student Director of AASPA Erin O’Neill, in addition to serving as the Vice-President of the club. In my free time I enjoy competing in CrossFit, morning runs, cooking/baking and spending time with my family. I have continued my clinical rotations based in Jacksonville, FL and look forward to connecting with all future and current surgical Physician Assistants in the upcoming year. Following graduation, I aspire to attend a surgical residency.

Assistant Student Representative

Victoria Cruz

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Victoria Cruz is a 2nd year PA student attending the University of South Florida in Tampa FL. Her background includes work as a medical assistant for internal medicine, CNA for home health, and scribing experience at an ophthalmology practice. She has been in various leadership roles throughout her years in college and is currently the Vice President of her PA cohort and the FAPA representative of her PA program. Victoria has been involved with AASPA since 2018 through various volunteer opportunities and she hopes to go into surgery once she graduates from PA school.

Specialty Representatives

Military Representative

Catherine Gaines, PA-C, LLT. COL (RET.), COANG, BSC

[email protected]

Active Duty Military Liaison

Major James Huang, DSC, PA-C

[email protected]

Management Staff

Affinity Strategies

[email protected]
(331) 248-7799

Volunteer Opportunities

How You Can Help

You can make a difference with AASPA while building your network of contacts, strengthening your resume and qualifications and helping to promote the surgical PA profession and ultimately improving surgical patient care. Opportunities include:

  • Serving on the Board of Directors
  • Joining one of many committees, including scholarship, website, reimbursement, student activity, corporate relations, membership and CME
  • Mentoring or teaching AASPA PA students and residents
  • Speaking or exhibiting at surgical and PA meetings, local hospitals interested in PAs
  • Writing articles or editorials for the Sutureline journal or for the website
  • Donating to the surgical PA Marketing Fund
  • Assisting with workshops at the annual CME conference
  • Volunteering to be a model for the ultrasound workshop at our CME conference
  • Assisting with check-in and registration at the annual CME conference

Count Me In

Sign up to volunteer by emailing [email protected].