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Team Spotlight:

Julian Kehaya, PA-C | Eastern Carolina Emergency Physicians (ECEP)

May 28, 2024

Julian Kehaya Headshot

Based in Wilmington, North Carolina, Julian Kehaya, PA-C is an experienced emergency physician assistant working as part of the Eastern Carolina Emergency Physicians (ECEP) team. ECEP supports the Novant Health System where Julian recently received the Remarkable Light Award for providing excellent patient care.  

 Julian became a paramedic in 2014 and continued service through 2017. He earned his master’s degree in physician assistant studies from Wingate University in Wingate, North Carolina. He is also an active member in the American Academy of Physician Associates and the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (NCAPA).  

Julian is very well deserving of this award. We have worked together for several years, he always does the right thing and treats everyone with respect and courtesy on top of being an excellent clinician.

– Carrie Fales, MD, President of Eastern Carolina Emergency Physicians  


Interview with Julian Kehaya, PA-C

Q: When did you decide to become a physician assistant?

They say our parents know us better than anyone, so it’s not a big surprise that it was my mother’s idea for me to look into a career as a Physician Assistant. After taking an EMT course and shadowing Rebecca Westendorf, one of the PAs at Cape Fear Heart Associates here in Wilmington, NC, I was hooked. I will never forget the first time I saw contrast injected into a beating heart in the Cath-lab. I gave up everything I had been working on in life to completely change course. It was a lot of sacrifice and hard work to go back to school, become a paramedic, and build myself into a candidate for PA School.  

I was drawn into emergency medicine specifically while working as an EMT and Paramedic with both Leland Volunteer Fire Rescue Department and D-shift, field operations, with New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Dr Carrie Fales, our current ECEP president, was my Medical Director at the time! She, and the physicians at the ER, along with my colleagues in EMS, were why I was determined to return to New Hanover after PA school and continue a career in emergency medicine.  

Q: What is your favorite part about working with Eastern Carolina Emergency Physicians (ECEP) and Emergency Care Partners (ECP)?

It’s all about the people you work with! We have a great group of doctors, APPs, nurses, and staff at our EDs, and the team in our ECEP office is amazing. We rotate through a couple of different emergency departments, each with its own “flavor,” so to speak. I really like the variety of our work and environment.  

Q: What do you find most exciting about your job?

As an APP working in the ER, we are tasked with a primary goal of evaluating and treating lower acuity patients. I get a lot of excitement and enjoyment from identifying and treating sick patients who don’t fit perfectly into the triage system. I also really love procedures! Suturing, reductions, I&D, etc.; it’s always satisfying to fix a problem. There’s a lot of instant gratification at work too. Where can you work that you have access to all the labs, imaging, and specialists you could ask for? The resources available to us are truly amazing, and we immediately get results for our patients.  

Q: Outside of work, how do you like to spend your time?

I love to spend time with my wife and kids: on the boat, at the beach, or surfing. I try to take a surf trip every couple of years to combine my love of surfing with travel.  There’s also sailing, fishing, spearfishing, and so many other things I love to do on the water here in Wilmington. We are not far from the mountains and typically get up that way once a year for some hiking, fishing, and time in the woods. 

About Eastern Carolina Emergency Physicians (ECEP):

Eastern Carolina Emergency Physicians (ECEP) is a premiere provider of emergency care in the greater Wilmington, North Carolina region. ECEP has served its local community for over a decade providing high-quality patient care and maintaining a relationship based on trust with the patients and communities we serve. At ECEP, the goal is to maintain a reputation of integrity and excellence in the provision of quality, compassionate, patient-focused emergency medical care through a team of highly qualified emergency physicians.  

About Emergency Care Partners (ECP):

Emergency Care Partners (ECP) is a leading provider of emergency medicine and emergency department management services for hospitals across the U.S. with current operations in, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, and Illinois. ECP currently sees more than 1.4M patient visits annually and is supported by a clinical workforce of 1,000+ physicians and mid-level providers. ECP employs a differentiated model relative to other platforms in the industry, highlighted by the ability to maintain ownership through its physician partnership model and for regional/local groups to maintain their branding and clinical autonomy while benefitting from ECP’s national resources. 

Contact our team to learn more about our physician leaders or partnership and career opportunities with one of our partner groups.