History of GDPA

The Georgia Dermatology Physician Assistants, GDPA, was the first state chapter of dermatology PAs in the country as well as the first specialty groups of PAs in Georgia.

The GDPA was begun after a group of Atlanta area Dermatology PAs determined a need for a statewide group to support the increasing number of PAs practicing in the specialty of Dermatology in the state of Georgia.  Our first meeting was held in April of 2002 during which those present elected Douglas DiRuggiero PA-C as our first President.  Douglas went on to lead our organization during our early formative years and helped to establish our then Annual Supervising Physician Appreciation Dinner and Annual Supervising Physician of the Year award.

In 2009, the GDPA was incorporated in the state of Georgia and applied to become recognized as a non-profit corporation with the IRS which we achieved in 2010.  March 14, 2010, the GDPA became an Affiliate State Chapter of the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants.

In 2009, the GDPA co-hosted our first state CME conference, Dermatology University, with the Florida Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants.  Since 2010, the GDPA has hosted our own Annual Dermatology PEARLS Conference, which is held each Fall in Atlanta, GA. In 2020, the Dermatology PEARLS conference was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The GDPA remains committed to continued leadership and innovation to benefit our members and our popular Networking and Social Events were launched in 2018 as an additional member benefit.

Our Past Presidents:

  • 2002-2006 | Douglas DiRuggiero PA-C
  • 2006-2009 | Matthew Brunner PA-C
  • 2009-2010 | T.J. Chao PA-C
  • 2010-2012 | Matthew Brunner PA-C
  • 2012-2012 | T.J. Chao PA-C
  • 2012-2016 | Norma Gordon PA-C
  • 2016-2018 | Rhea Douglas PA-C
  • 2018-2019 | Laura Browning PA-C
  • 2019-2022 | Lisa Weiss PA-C
  • 2022-2024 | Jenny Laminack PA-C