Leadership

The Society of Air Force Physician Assistants (SAFPA) is a professional organization

SPECIALISTS

Major Stephen Vela

Major Stephen Vela

MAJOR STEPHEN “STEVE” VELA Title: President SAFPA Maj Vela is currently stationed at Travis AFB serving as the Phase 2 Director for IPAP. In his off time he enjoys upcycling, antiques, and fly-fishing (although he never has time for this!) Education • 2008 MPAS University of Nebraska “IPAP” Assignments • Sep 2008—Jul 2012 Staff PA, Family Health Clinic, Ellsworth AFB, SD • Jul 2012—Jun 2015 Staff PA, Flight Medicine, Hurlburt Field, FL • Jun 2015—present IPAP Phase II Director, Travis AFB, CA Awards/Decorations • 2011 SAFPA Excellence Award • Air Force Commendation Medal with 3 OLCs • Air Force Achievement Medal with 1 OLC • Army Achievement medal Deployments • - Jul 2010—Jan 2011 Deployed Warrior Medical Management Center, Landstuhl, Germany

Major Karen Salyars

Major Karen Salyars

Title: SAFPA President Maj Salyars is currently stationed at Dover AFB serving as the Flight and Operational Medicine Flight Commander. She loves to spend time with her husband, daughter and 3 dogs. Her favorite activities are traveling, snowboarding, camping and photography. Education • 2003 BS University of Nebraska/Interservice PA Program • 2005 MPAS University of Nebraska Assignments • Dec 2010—Jul 2012 Staff PA, Family Medicine Residency Clinic, Eglin AFB, FL • Jul 2012—Mar 2014 IPAP Phase 2 Director, Eglin AFB, FL • Mar 2014—Jan 2017 IPAP Graduate Faculty, JBSA-Ft Sam Houston, TX • Jan 2017—present Flight & Operational Medicine Flight CC, Dover AFB, DE Awards/Decorations • Meritorious Service Medal • Air Force Commendation Medal • Army Commendation Medal with 4 OLCs • Air Force Achievement Medal • Army Achievement medal with 1 OLC • 2013 SAFPA Wheaton Award • Expert Field Medical Badge Deployments • Nov 1997—Feb 1998 Operation Joint Endeavor, Tuzla West, Bosnia • Jul 1998—Sep 1998 Operation Joint Forge, Tuzla, Bosnia • Nov 2003—Jul 2004 Operation Iraqi Freedom, Baghdad, Iraq • Dec 2006—Mar 2007 Operation Iraqi Freedom, Ar Ramadi, Iraq

Major Rodney Ho

Major Rodney Ho

Title: President-elect SAFPA Maj Ho is currently stationed at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, TX serving as the Chief, Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health. In his off time he enjoys hanging out with friends, watching movies, and grilling steaks! Education • 2010 MPAS University of Nebraska “IPAP” • 2013 Ph.D. in Health Sciences, Trident University International, Cypress, CA • 2016 MPH, University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL. Assignments • May 2010-April 2012 Staff PA, Family Health Clinic, Flight Medicine Clinic, Student Health Clinic, Sheppard AFB, TX • Apr 2012-April 2015 Element OIC; Medical Standards, Flight Medicine Clinic, Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan • Apr 2015-present Research PA; Chief, Environmental, Safety, and Occupational Health; 711 HPW/Det 5, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, TX Awards/Decorations • 2012 PACAF Biomedical Sciences Clinician Cat I CGO of The Year • Air Force Commendation Medal with 1 OLC • Air Force Achievement Medal with 2 OLCs

Major Bryan Johnson

Major Bryan Johnson

Title: Secretary/Treasurer Maj Johnson is currently stationed at the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO where he serves as the general surgery element leader and staff general surgery PA. He is married and has three boys ages 14, 12, and 9. In his spare time he enjoys all forms of exercise, the outdoors, and watching his sons do awesome things! Education: • 2006 MPAS University of Nebraska “IPAP” • 2009 Certificate General Surgery Residency, Wilford Hall Medical Center Assignments: • 2006—2008 Staff PA, Primary Care Clinic, Dyess AFB, TX • 2009—2012 General Surgery Residency & Bariatric Surgery Clinic, Wilford Hall Medical Center, San Antonio, TX • 2012—2015 Staff General Surgery PA, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO • 2015—2016 Staff General Surgery PA, Osan AB, Republic of Korea • 2016—Present Staff General Surgery PA, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO Awards/Decorations: • Air Force Achievement Medal • Air Force Commendation Medal • Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with two oak clusters Deployments: • Jan 2009—June 2009, Camp Phoenix, Kabul, Afghanistan

Captain Jodi Post

Captain Jodi Post

Captain Kevin Stuessy

Captain Kevin Stuessy

Major Lloyd (Chris) Scharfenstine

Major Lloyd (Chris) Scharfenstine

MAJOR LLOYD “CHRIS” SCHARFESTINE Title: DAL Communication Maj Scharfenstine is stationed at JBER, AK with his wife and 3 children. He loves the outdoors and camping/fishing throughout Alaska. In the winters, he and his family can be found on the slopes skiing. Education • 2004 BA Psychology University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL • 2007 MPAS University of Florida, Gainesville, FL Assignments • Aug 2007—Jun 2010 Staff PA, Family Health, Peterson AFB, CO • Jun 2010—Jun 2013 Element Leader, Family Health, JBPHH, HI • Jul 2013—Jul 2014 AFIT Fellow General Surgery, SAMMC, TX • Jul 2014—Aug 2015 Surgery Element Leader, Osan AB, ROK • Aug 2015—present Surgical Specialties Flight CC, JBER, AK Awards/Decorations - Meritorious Service Medal w/1 OLC • Air Force Commendation Medal w/1 OLC • Air force Achievement Medal w/1 OLC • Air Force Combat Action Medal Deployments • Oct 2008—Jul 2009 Chief Medical Officer RPAC-S, FOB Walton, Kandahar, Afghanistan

Captain Stephen Anthony Smith (Tony)

Captain Stephen Anthony Smith (Tony)

Title: DAL Communications Maj(s) Smith is currently stationed at Osan AB, Korea serving as Surgical Services Element Chief and Staff General Surgery PA. While in Korea he enjoys traveling, eating, and has recently delved into the world of CrossFit. At home he prefers to spend time with his wife and two daughters! Education: • 2008 BS—Weber State University (Adv Radiologic Sciences) • 2011 MPAS—University of Utah School of Medicine • 2016 DSc—Baylor University (General Surgery) Assignments: • Sep 2011—May 2015 Staff PA, Family Health Clinic, Travis AFB, CA • May 2015—Dec 2016 General Surgery Resident, San Antonio Military Medical Center, San Antonio, TX • Jan 2016—Present Staff General Surgery PA, Osan AB, Korea Awards/Decorations: • Air Force Commendation Medal • IPAP “Preceptor of the Year Award,” 2014 • 51st Medical Operations Squadron CGOQ1, 2017 Deployments: • May 2015—Joint Service “New Horizons” Humanitarian Surgical Mission, Dominican Republic

Captain Daniela Feldhausen

Captain Daniela Feldhausen

Captain Stephen Kesterson

Captain Stephen Kesterson

Capt Kesterson is currently stationed at Offutt AFB serving in the Otolaryngology Clinic and is the Assistant Phase 2 Director for IPAP. In his off time he enjoys community work, sports, and outdoor activities. Education • Aug 2011 – Bachelor of Science Degree, University Nebraska Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas • Sep 2012 – Master of Science Degree in Physician Assistant Studies, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas • Jun 2017 – Otolaryngology Fellowship Certificate, San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, Brooke Army Medical Center Assignments • Sep 2012 – Jun 2016, Staff PA, 559th and 59th Medical Operations Squadron, JBSA-Lackland, Texas • Aug 2017 – present, Otolaryngology Element Chief, 55th Medical Operations Squadron, Offutt AFB, Nebraska Awards/Decorations • Air Force Commendation Medal, Two Oak Leaf Clusters • Air Force Achievement Medal, One Oak Leaf Cluster • Presidential Meritorious Unit Award • Outstanding Unit Award w/Valor Device, One Silver Leaf Cluster, One Oak Leaf Cluster • National Defense Medal • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal w/Bronze Star • Iraq Campaign Medal w/Bronze Star • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal • Korean Defense Medal • Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal • Air Force Expeditionary Service Medal with Gold Border, Two Oak Leaf Clusters

Lt Colonel Brandi Ritter

Lt Colonel Brandi Ritter

Major Jennifer King

Major Jennifer King

Title: RES/ANG Liaison Maj King is stationed with the 134th Air Refueling Wing, McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Louisville TN with her husband and 2 boys. She loves the outdoors, camping and hiking, tolerates running and is most comfortable with a good . book and a cup of hot tea (or a suture set...your pick). She has been a member of the 134th Medical Group since 2001 as both a Medical Technician and a PA and is profoundly grateful to her guard family for the opportunities and support over the years. Education • 2007 BAS IPAP University of Nebraska • 2008 MPAS IPAP University of Nebraska · 2013 AMP 201 Wright-Patterson AFB OH Awards/Decorations - · Meritorious Service Medal • Air Force Commendation Medal • Air force Achievement Medal

Major Ryan Kastern

Major Ryan Kastern

Major Breanne Kormendy

Major Breanne Kormendy

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