Welcoming New PAEA Board Members 

Left to Right: Kara L. Caruthers, MSPAS, PA-C, Robert D. Hadley, PhD, PA-C, Shalon R. Buchs, MHS, PA-C, Shaun Grammer, DMSc, PA-C

This year, we were pleased to welcome four new board members to our PAEA Board of Directors. From addressing health inequities, to evaluating and improving the PA faculty pipeline, these dedicated educators have a finger on the pulse of PA education and are ready to address pressing issues and member needs. These individuals are not only incredible educators, but also servant leaders ready to work on behalf of PAEA members in the coming year and beyond. Meet them below:

Kara Caruthers

Kara L. Caruthers, MSPAS, PA-C

Immediate Past President Assistant Program Director Meharry Medical College

President Elect Kara Caruthers is excited to serve on the PAEA Board of Directors in this unique and significant time of change occurring in not only in education, but also in the PA profession. “With change comes growth, and PAEA is poised to grow in ways that benefit PA programs, PA educators, and PA students during this very interesting time,” she said. “I hope through my service on the Board, every PA educator can see themselves as leaders of our profession.”

Caruthers anticipates that in 2021, the PA profession will continue to address many of the same issues that came to light in 2020. “COVID-19 definitely impacted PA education and will continue to do so in 2021,” she said. “How we deliver educational content, what we deem necessary for admissions requirements, how we foster critical thinking in our students, and how we provide ‘Health for All’ utilizing technology, which is not accessible for all, are key for the next generation of PAs.”

Over the next year, Caruthers aims to support PAEA’s mission and vision. “The response to the pandemic and the widespread exposure to racial injustice and inequities demonstrated that the PA education community is at the forefront of the change that is needed for us to realize the vision of Health for All,” she said. “I would like to see us continue our medical education leadership by addressing and correcting the inequities that are common in medical curriculum, offering more development tools for new PA educators, and expanding our reach to the next generation of PA educators and leaders.

Robert Hadley

Robert D. Hadley, PhD, PA-C

Director at Large Associate Professor Emeritus Radford University PA program

Director at Large Robert Hadley is most looking forward to his term on the PAEA Board of Directors because it affords him the opportunity to be part of planning the future of PA education and ultimately the PA profession.

He believes clinical sites will continue to be a core issue for programs, requiring creative solutions. “There is a critical need for qualified faculty, so the pipeline needs to be evaluated and improved,” he said. “It has become very clear over the past several years that increasing diversity and improving equity in PA training and in the PA profession must be addressed. Creative solutions are badly needed.”

Hadley plans to use his first year on the Board to learn. “I have a lot to learn,” he said. “A big part of my learning will be related to my role on the Board verses my prior roles in other volunteer positions. I look forward to being a contributing voice in the Board’s strategic planning for our profession.”

Shalon Buchs, MHS, PA-C

Director at Large Associate Professor and Director for Continuous Quality Improvement Florida State University

Director at Large Shalon Buchs has served PAEA for several years in various capacities, through committees, mission advancement commissions, and facilitating workshops. Now, she is thrilled to take on a new role as Board member. “I feel extremely fortunate to have been granted the opportunity to serve on the Board,” she reflected. “I’m excited to learn more about the organization itself, how it functions, and how to improve the member experience and meet the needs of PA programs and PA students. More than anything, I am always excited to serve in any capacity. I believe this position can create a ripple effect to serve many.”

Considering the landscape of healthcare, Buchs expects many topics will impact PA education in the coming year. “I believe diversity, equity, and inclusion will continue to impact PA education in a big way; it has been a topic for some time, but I expect us to continue to hold it at a high level of priority in 2021,” she said. “I also anticipate the ongoing effects of the pandemic will continue to impact PA education, from the way curriculum is delivered to the ongoing concern for clinical sites, strain on faculty from the workload associated with the changes, and the financial squeeze many institutions have felt because of COVID-19’s impact. It seems the mode of delivering healthcare may be changing more rapidly than we previously anticipated given the pandemic. We moved to telehealth and the overall use of different forms of technology in medicine very quickly. That may need to be considered within PA education moving forward.”

Buchs plans to use her new role to absorb as much information as possible. “I recognize as a new Board member there will be an enormous amount of information to absorb about the Association and the processes that accompany my fiduciary responsibility; I hope to soak all of this up,” she said. “I genuinely want to understand how, from this position, I can best assist in serving our members and ultimately the students, patients, and our profession.”

Shaun Grammer

Shaun L. Grammer, DMSc, PA-C

Director at Large Program Director University of Nebraska Medical Center PA program

In his new role as Board member, Director at Large Shaun Grammer is eager to serve the entire PA education community and advance the mission of our educational profession. He is also looking forward to interacting and connecting with others in the PA community.

Grammer believes 2021 will be a year of recovery for PA programs across the nation who were impacted by COVID-19. “The pandemic has affected programs in many different ways, and I think it will be critical to help them recover,” he said.   

In the coming year, Grammer most hopes to represent members by learning about program needs and advocating on key issues and topics.

Please join us in thanking them for leading our organization and serving our profession.