Ruth Ballweg, MPA, PA-C

Professor; Senior Advisor for Advocacy, Health Policy & Global Development

I graduated from the MEDEX program with Class 11 (1978) and returned to practice in Ashland, Oregon as the community’s first PA. My undergraduate degree is from Southern Oregon State College and I also earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington (1997). Barry University, in Florida, awarded me an honorary doctorate in 1999 in recognition of my political and policy leadership in the PA profession. After working clinically in both family practice and public health, I joined the MEDEX faculty in 1981 and became the Program Director in 1985. The program has expanded significantly since then and I’m proud to have participated in most of those changes. I’ve been very involved in PA professional organizations and have served as President of the Association of Physician Assistant Programs, the Washington Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Society for the Preservation of PA History. My activities include work with a number of physician organizations to promote the effective utilization of PAs. I’m an active participant in the leadership functions of the UW School of Medicine and serve on the Executive Admissions Committee for the school. Community involvement is a high priority, and I currently serve as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Group Health Cooperative. My interests include healthcare access, women’s health care concerns and rural health issues. I lecture on these topics across several MEDEX courses. I’m a mom and a grandmother, too. My daughter and her husband live in the Seattle area and my son and his wife live in southern California. Between my family and business travel I like to joke that my home town is an Alaska Airlines 737 with a population of 110 and an altitude of 32,000 feet.


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