I came to the PA profession while in my thirties. I graduated from American University in 1968 with a BA in sociology and spent one year in a master’s degree program there, but did not earn a degree. I subsequently went to nursing school in Albuquerque, New Mexico (AA degree) and met my first PA in 1979. Having met him I knew that this was where I wanted to go and was accepted to MEDEX class XV. Upon graduation I worked for one year in a family practice clinic attached to Yessler Terrace Housing Project in Seattle and then joined the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in 1984. I was part of the first group of PAs to work in bone marrow transplantation in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. Over the next thirty years I have had the opportunity to work in several other academic centers and returned to Seattle in January of 2000 to be the director of the PA/NP service first for the ‘Hutch’ and later for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance as well. Over the last thirteen years I have combined clinical work with leadership that built a system in medical oncology that employs over 90 PAs and NPs. We have been successful in developing models of utilization that highlight the capacity of PAs to provide a very high quality of care to a range of complex patients, both inpatient and outpatient, who require the services of an integrated and focused medical team.
I have joined the faculty of MEDEX for a number of reasons, but primarily to work with the rest of the faculty and particularly Ruth in helping to provide focus and opportunity for PAs across UW Medicine. Utilizing my experience within medical oncology as a basis for helping to develop new utilization models as well as working on productivity, reimbursement, student placement and compensation challenges will be where the majority of my time is spent. I expect to have some ongoing teaching and mentoring responsibilities that have yet to be defined.
I am very pleased to have the opportunity at this point in my career to return to where it all started for me, and I hope to contribute to the MEDEX mission of leadership in PA education and utilization.