Kristin (Farabaugh) Eckenrode, PA-C, a 2012 graduate from the Physician Assistant Science Program at Saint Francis University, has been nationally recognized for earning a specialty credential called a Certificate of
Added Qualifications (CAQ) from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).
Ms. Eckenrode, who is employed by UPMC Altoona, was recognized for earning a CAQ in Hospital Medicine, a distinction earned by meeting licensure, education and experience requirements and then passing a national exam in the specialty. She is one of only 11
certified PAs in Pennsylvania to earn a CAQ in Hospital Medicine since the program’s inception in 2014.
“Certified PAs who earn the CAQ demonstrate a strong commitment to lifelong learning and attention to evolving medical advancements in their area of practice,” says Dawn Morton-Rias, Ed.D, PA-C, president and CEO of NCCPA. “Not only have they maintained certification through continuing medical education programs and
assessments throughout their careers, they have pursued and been awarded this additional credential that attests to their knowledge and skills in their specialty.”
CAQs are offered to certified PAs in seven specialties: cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, emergency medicine, hospital medicine, orthopaedic surgery, nephrology, pediatrics and psychiatry.
Physician Assistant Science at Saint Francis
As demand for healthcare
services grows, physician assistants will be needed to provide care to
Physician Assistant Program has maintained accreditation since the start of the
program in the early 1980’s. The Master of Physician Assistant Science Program
has been granted Accreditation-Continued status from the Accreditation Review
Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA)
Students interested in physician assistant educational options at Saint Francis University may visit
Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is the only certifying organization for physician assistants (PAs) in the United States. The PA-C credential is awarded by NCCPA to PAs who fulfill certification, certification maintenance and re-certification
requirements. There are more than 123,000 certified PAs in the U.S. today. For more information, visit
Physician Assistant Science