Burke Primary Care
Class of 1974
William “Bill” Vaassen was born and raised in rural southern Wisconsin. After two years of college, he enlisted in the United States Air Force where he served as a medic for four years. In 1972, after his discharge, he was accepted into the Duke Physician Associate Program. Since his graduation in 1974, he has practiced in Burke County which is located in the Foothills of North Carolina. His first fourteen years of practice was in a thriving primary care office. In 1988, searching for a more family-friendly lifestyle, he started the first Physician Assistant-owned practice in North Carolina, specializing in occupational health. He continues to practice as an owner of Burke Primary Care in Morganton, North Carolina.
Bill has been active in his community. He served as president of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) in the elementary school where his sons attended. He founded the Burke County PTO Council which organized the county schools’ separate PTOs into an active voice to the School Board and the Superintendent. He has been chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, a volunteer at the local free health clinic, and a youth sports coach for fifteen years.
Involvement in his profession began as an American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) member after his graduation from Duke University in 1974. He served as a delegate to the AAPA on several occasions.
Mr. Vaassen is a charter member of the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (NCAPA) where he has held various offices, which included president in 2004. He also served on numerous committees and continues to serve on the Finance Committee and Conference Planning Committee. He was chairman of the Stead Task Force in 2003, which was charged with locating a building site, working with the architect in the building design, and raising funds for the Eugene Stead Center which was also to be the home of the NCAPA.
He is a longtime member of the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) and currently serves on the NCMS Liaison Committee to the North Carolina Industrial Commission.