The Faculty & Staff Awards Ceremony at each Education Forum is a chance to highlight and celebrate the great work of our colleagues at programs across the country. From clinical education to leadership development, all of this year’s winners have made the PA education community a better place to teach, to learn, and to thrive. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners, who you can watch and read more about below.
Article of the Year Award
Marijke Timmermans, PhD
Radboud University Medical Center, The Netherlands
This year’s article of the year, “Determinants of the Sustained Employment of Physician Assistants in Hospitals: A Qualitative Study,” is an effort to increase understanding of the barriers and facilitators in the initial employment of PAs, as well as the sustainability of their employment. The authors surveyed medical staff at hospitals in the Netherlands, where PAs have been used since 2001.
Timmermans and colleagues showed that employing PAs allowed for continuity and efficiency of care and took the burden off residents and physicians. Disadvantages of employing PAs included patients not knowing what a PA is and requesting to see a physician. The study also found that support of hospital management was crucial in the decision to employ PAs.
Research Achievement Award
Gerald Kayingo, PhD, MMS, PA-C
University of California—Davis
Gerald Kayingo is one of the most prolific researchers in PA education today: he has contributed to more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles, worked on 13 grant-funded projects, penned six book chapters, and, most recently, written his first book: “The Health Professions Educator: A practical guide for new and established faculty.” On topics ranging from patient-centered medical homes to PA curriculum development, his research has contributed to and enriched many aspects of PA education and the profession.
Yet he still finds time to mentor his colleagues, supervise dissertations, and serve in several national leadership positions, including on the JPAE Editorial Advisory Board. He was inducted into the Uganda National Academy of Sciences, and last year was named a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow.
Excellence Through Diversity Award
UT Southwestern School of Health Professions PA Program
Increasing diversity is nothing new to the UT Southwestern School of Health Professions PA program, which has been working to address disparities for more than two decades. Faculty and students work with the local area health education center to increase minority representation in the health professions, visiting schools, summer programs, the Minority Medical Student Conference, and other events to speak with underrepresented students.
They choose clinical rotations likely to expose students to diverse patients, such as VA and rural hospitals. The program also works tirelessly to build relationships with historically black colleges and universities in order find qualified and diverse applicants. The program believes that diversity of program personnel influences applicants matriculant decisions. More than 40 percent of the program’s staff and faculty are underrepresented minorities. And, the last five cohorts have been as well.
Fourteen years ago, fewer than 60 PAs were employed by Cleveland Clinic. Today there are close to six hundred, many of whom also precept students or teach at PA programs. The Clinic has provided support in some form to all PA programs in Ohio, and others outside of the state. They are a major provider of clinical sites for many programs, with over one hundred and seventy preceptors on staff, and also help identify experiential learning opportunities in the community.
Under the leadership of executive director Josanne Pagel, the PA Services department coordinates workshops, a leadership conference, and PA Week activities for their preceptors. They coordinate an annual student event that includes a popular challenge bowl, followed by a day-long workshop on topics ranging from clinical skills to interview and resume tips. Cleveland Clinic has shown that they clearly understand the value of PAs and are committed to their education from the time students enter PA school.
Clinical Education Award
Amanda Moloney-Johns, MPAS, PA-C
University of Utah
Acquiring and keeping clinical sites and preceptors is hard work, but according to her colleagues, Amanda Moloney-Johns has mastered that art. Through a range of innovative projects, such as free CME sessions for preceptors, a preceptor listserv, and an online toolkit, Amanda has helped double the University of Utah PA program’s clinical sites. Colleagues credit her success to intuitiveness for matching students to sites, knowing when preceptors need a break, and developing systems for quality improvement and evaluation for sites and preceptors.
She started the school’s Interprofessional Clinical Project, pairing medical students with clinical-year PA students in a family medicine clinic to introduce them to the team approach. She also was the only PA faculty to be named a fellow of the School of Medicine’s Academy of Health Science Educators.
Administrative Support Staff Award
Doris Dalton, MPA
University of Utah
Twelve years ago, former University of Utah program director Don Pedersen made what he says was one of the best decisions of his career, hiring Doris Dalton as his administrative assistant. She quickly proved herself invaluable and was given complete responsibility for the program’s admissions process.
Dalton revamped the admissions process to be more holistic, streamlined, and paperless — without losing the personal contact that students appreciate. She has worked tirelessly to make the program more diverse, and supports the students through holiday parties, impromptu barbeques, and moral support.
Doris is now using her expertise to help programs across the country, by serving on the CASPA Advisory Committee, as chair of the CAS Enhancements Committee, and on the PAEA Recruitment and Admissions Council.
New Faculty Award for Professional Excellence
Sarah Deyo, MMSc, PA-C
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University PA Program
In the two years Sarah Deyo has been a faculty member of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University PA Program, she has accomplished a remarkable amount. Sarah graduated from the program in 2009, and after about five years as a practicing PA, guest lecturer, and ER preceptor, she returned in 2015 as assistant professor. She was soon promoted to program director.
She quickly identified aspects of the program and curriculum most in need of attention. She introduced simulation for the first time, collaborating with an interprofessional team of students. She moved exams fully online, ensuring students had exposure to electronic testing before taking the PANCE. And she is a champion of service learning, encouraging students to get involved in their community and leading that charge by example.
Rising Star Award
Kevin Wyne, MPAS, MSc, PA-C
University of Wisconsin, Madison
With his innate ability to create a supportive, accommodating, and motivating classroom environment, Kevin Wyne has strengthened the University of Wisconsin, Madison PA program in just a few short years. In his first week, Kevin received a grant to develop an online interactive case scenario that has been highlighted by the university as a great example of technology in the classroom.
Under his direction, the program’s Professional Seminar series increased its focus on diversity and cultural competency, and he helped establish a post-graduate Academic Fellow Scholarship Program, where recent graduates can gain faculty experience as a step toward serving as PA faculty or preceptors. He also revamped the program’s annual service learning trip to Belize and brought other health professions students into the fold.
Master Faculty Award
Donald Coerver, PhD, PA-C, CHSE
University of Washington
In his 20 years at the MEDEX Northwest PA Program, Donald Coerver has held almost every faculty administrative role related to didactic education, including course development, management and teaching, and test-writing and evaluation. And not just for PA students — he has taught interprofessional classes as well.
Among other milestone achievements, Don was instrumental in bringing simulation technology to MEDEX nursing, pharmacy, and medical students, and created several opportunities for MEDEX faculty to receive training. Don teamed with other faculty to develop simulations in cardiac emergencies, physical exam skills, suturing, and gynecology; often for interdisciplinary teams.
His colleagues credit him as being a wonderful example of an engaged, highly motivated, funny and challenging teacher, a claim that is supported by his consistent high rankings in course evaluations.
Leadership Development Award
Patrick Auth, PhD, PA-C
“It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.” These wise words by Robert Greenleaf frame the servant-leadership philosophy that Patrick Auth strives to live by.
This philosophy is evident each day as he asks students and colleagues to imagine the positive impact they can have as servant-leaders on the patients they care for, their community, and the PA profession.
Patrick leads by example and is driven by the needs of others. His colleagues say he inspires them to achieve their goals and to aspire to even greater ones, and that he has an innate ability to involve other members of the team, encouraging their participation and serving as a role model.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Thomas Piemme, MD
George Washington University, Professor Emeritus
In the history of the PA profession, there are few who can claim to have done as much as Thomas Piemme to ensure its growth and success.
Tom has been an advocate for the PA profession since he was appointed as professor of medicine and director of the division of general medicine at George Washington University in 1970. Demand for PAs from the division led Tom to found its PA program, which accepted its inaugural class in 1972.
Shortly afterward, Tom began his leadership in the PA education community, as the second president of PAEA, then called APAP. With his help, APAP and AAPA opened their first joint national office. He was also central to the creation of the NCCPA, serving as founding president in 1974, and developing a key relationship with the National Board of Medical Examiners, who previously had designed certifying exams only for physicians. This partnership ultimately culminated in the development of the PANCE and PANRE.
Since the 1970s, Tom has testified before various state legislatures regarding PA licensure and before both houses of Congress to advocate for expanded PA program funding. Colleague Kevin Lohenry said, “Dr. Piemme’s constant energy and enthusiasm for the profession is infectious and likely led to our success in many conversations with leaders from the government.”
Even after his retirement from GW in 1998, he continued to serve the PA community, including as president of the PA History Society. He also co-authored a book titled “The Physician Assistant: An Illustrated History,” which is used in many PA programs.