2020 District Director Candidates
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Long Island District Director 

Lauren Keller, MS, PA-C

In my time involved with NYSSPA I have worked hard to increase the engagement of current members, as well as to help recruit new members to the organization. I have created a successful dinner series in my district and lobbied on behalf of all PAs in the state to improve the laws that govern us. This is a crucial time for our profession; the fight for OTP is now more important than ever in the mist of our current pandemic. PAs are needed to step up and take on rolls that we haven't had to before. Amidst this crisis we can show both our patients and the medical team how valuable we are, as we step up to fight the challenge at hand. 

NYC District Director 

Joseph Ciavarro, PA-C, MBA

My name is Joe Ciavarro, PA-C, MBA, and I am running to serve New York’s PAs as NYSSPA’s NYC District Director and am seeking your vote. I write this personal statement in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis in New York City, and as a new Site Director of PAs in the Mount Sinai Health System, I have seen how desperate our state’s healthcare system is for services that PAs can provide. This has been an incredible opportunity for our profession to unite and show that “PAs Can Do That”, while at the same time it shines an even brighter light on the legislative and administrative barriers that New York PAs face. In my first volunteer position with NYSSPA, I worked with the Government Affairs Committee to advocate and lobby for several pieces of state legislation, many of which align with the OTP guidelines set by AAPA. Since then, I have served as Chair of the NYSSPA Membership Committee as well as the Political Action Committee. With the support of our Board, my committees saw NYSSPA through a surge of membership as well as an unprecedented PAC fundraising event over the 2019 Fall CME Conference, which raised nearly $8,000 in one week.
Working with NYSSPA has afforded me many other opportunities, including guest speaking at New York City health careers events, lecturing in radiology at Mercy College, and presenting at a regional CME Conference. This proves to me that New York PAs need NYSSPA as much as NYSSPA needs New York PAs. Whether it’s through being elected as your New York City District Director, or continuing to volunteer to chair the Membership and Political Action Committee, I will continue to serve the PAs of New York and work to advance our profession such that we can provide the best possible care for New Yorkers.

Melissa Rodriguez, DMSc, PA-C

Every day since starting my PA career, I have felt blessed to be a part of such a great profession. Throughout the years, there have been several legislative victories that we should be proud of as a profession. Still, we continue to identify barriers, and I plan to help move our PA agenda forward and remove the unnecessary barriers that impede care to those most in need. PAs inhabit a space in healthcare where we have a broad primary care base but can also specialize in acute care, surgical specialties, oncology management, and even leadership roles. We also have a team-focus, which is proven to reduce medical errors and improve patient safety. While PA practice is vastly diverse, we are uniquely situated to be the solution to the current healthcare crisis due to our versatility and clinical knowledge. By participating in AAPA’s leadership and advocacy summit and the NYSSPA Lobby Day for consecutive years, I was able to see first-hand what it takes to advocate for our profession. Fortunately, I was also able to witness the intense work our PA leaders contribute to our profession each day, mainly through the Government Affairs Committee and the Executive Leadership Conference. I will use what I have learned thus far to advance our legislative goals, work on removing barriers to care and prioritize improving public understanding of the crucial contributions PAs make in healthcare each day.

Western NY District Director 

Laura Malysza, PA-C

Over the last 10 years of my professional career as a Women’s Health clinician, I have taken a progressive role in leadership and advocacy for the PA profession not only in my workplace but also area hospital systems and communities. For the last 5 years I have served as Director of OB GYN Outpatient services at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, establishing the hospital’s vital office locations within the areas most underserved neighborhoods, maintaining operations as well as clinical responsibilities during this time. With a career focus on combing clinical work, administration and education I have also served as Adjunct Professor and Clinical Preceptor for our area PA Programs in Western NY since 2012.   

My service in leadership positions have allowed me to participate in the revision of multiple hospital policies and practices that proved to expand the PA role in health care delivery. As our District Director I would act to innovate our engagement efforts, prioritizing our regions PAs, Employers, Hospital Systems and Academic institutions to increase NYSSPA visibility in our community. I am confident that with my experience and ability to collaborate with community partners, we will be able to promote change and continue to enhance the ways in which we bring the NYSSPA vision and goals to the Western New York region.



P: 917-679-4005
E: info@nysspa.org