Meet Our Leadership

Kathryn Reed

President, Acting Treasurer

About Kathryn - President

Kathryn Reed is a certified physician assistant and is the founder and president of the National Society of Black Physician Assistants (NSBPA). She received her B.S in Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in 2014, graduating Cum Laude with a minor in chemistry. She then received her M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Pittsburgh in 2016. Kathryn has practiced in both family and internal medicine in Pittsburgh, PA. She now holds a faculty appointment for the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Physician Assistant Studies Hybrid Program where she is an Assistant Professor and Vice Chair for Equity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement. Additionally, Kathryn is a member of the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistant's Health Disparity Committee. In her spare time, Kathryn facilitates gentle yoga classes rooted in an anti-racism framework. Most recently, Kathryn was nominated for the AAPA's PA of the Year Award in 2021 and the 2020 Federal Executive Board’s Excellence in Government Award for her work with the NSBPA. She was also awarded the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Health and Rehab Sciences Rising Star Award in 2020.

Helen Gaim

Vice President

About Helen - Vice President

Helen studied at the University of Pittsburgh, earning her undergraduate degree in psychology with minors in chemistry and Africana studies. She then completed her master’s degree in physician assistant studies at Marquette University in 2017. She enjoys working with diverse patient populations and mentoring pre-PA students in her native Chicago where she has worked for the last two years. She is an avid Chicago sports fan, and can be found rooting for the Bulls and Bears in her spare time.

Erica Williams

Media Chair

About Erica - Media Chair

Erica graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in emergency medicine. She continued her studies at the University of Pittsburgh, receiving her master’s degree in 2017, and currently works in urgent care, which has been an incredible learning experience as a first job. Ultimately, she intends to pursue a career in OB-GYN and focus on improving maternal outcomes specifically among African-American women. In her spare time, she sings and plays the piano.

Mariah Gerald


About Mariah - Secretary

Mariah is the incoming secretary of the NSBPA. She received her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from Michigan State University in 2015. She completed her master’s in science in physician assistant studies from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2017. As a certified physician assistant, she currently practices primary care with focus on HIV at the Philadelphia FIGHT. When Mariah is not practicing medicine, she enjoys reading, completing puzzles, and dancing.

Advisory Board

Jacqueline S. Barnett


About Dr. Barnett - DHSC, MSHS, PA-C

Dr. Jacqueline Barnett is an associate professor and program director of the Duke University School of Medicine, Physician Assistant Program. She has been a PA and PA educator for nearly 27 years. She holds bachelors and master degrees from George Washington University, and a doctorate in organizational behavior and leadership from A.T. Still University. She is a previous National Public Health Service Scholar and Commissioned Officer in the Public Health Service. Her clinical practice experiences include pediatrics, primary care, urgent care, infectious disease and forensic medicine.

Nicole B. Burwell


About Dr. Burwell - MSHS, Ph.D., PA-C

Dr. Nicole Burwell is the Director of Pre-Clerkship Education and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine.

Kara L. Caruthers


About Kara - PA-C

Kara Caruthers is an Associate Professor and Associate Program Director at Meharry Medical College's Physician Assistant Sciences Program.