SEMPA History

The Story of SEMPA

In the fall of 1989, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) recognized the need for and began developing, “Guidelines on the Utilization of Physician Assistants in the Emergency Department.” In seeking a source of data and input from physician assistants working in emergency medicine for the guidelines, ACEP contacted the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California (LAC-USC) Postgraduate Residency for Physician Assistants in Emergency Medicine.

Recognizing that there was no national organization that represented physician assistants in emergency medicine and that there was a need for one, the LAC-USC EMPA Residency Director Arnold Zigman, PA-C, initiated efforts to organize a specialty group to give a voice to all emergency medicine PAs across the country, regardless of setting, training, utilization or affiliation.

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Founder Arnold Zigman, PA-C, Addresses SEMPA Members

Arnold Zigman, PA-C, founded SEMPA in 1990 and served as the president of the organization until 1993. At SEMPA's 30th anniversary, Mr. Zigman, addresses the membership through a letter to the  members.

Read the letter

SEMPA at 30 Presentation

SEMPA President Ann Verhoeven, MMSc, PA-C, presents the state of the organization at its 30th anniversary.

Watch the presentation

Former SEMPA Leaders Video

Founder and First SEMPA President Arnold Zigman, PA-C, on the formation of SEMPA, what he is most proud of and the future of SEMPA.

Jeff Callard, PA-C, talks about SEMPA's relationship with ACEP, the start of SEMPA's annual conference and serving on the board.

Terry Mize, PA-C, gives some insight on the early years of the EMPA profession; working with Arnold Zigman, PA-C; the formation of SEMPA and its early years; and what SEMPA means to him personally.

Cary Stratford, PA-Cdiscusses pivotal moments in SEMPA's history; the first national conference goals and speakers; how he feels about SEMPA 360 now; and how SEMPA changed the professional life for EMPAs.

SEMPA Milestones

See what were some of the key events and markers for SEMPA.

View milestones