I grew up northwest of Chicago and attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign studying molecular and cellular biology. However, I really began my journey to become a physician assistant at age 17, starting as a certified nursing assistant. Through college I worked in various settings as a CNA including a hospital medical/surgery unit, assisted living, nursing home, and mother/baby unit. Additionally, while getting my bachelor’s degree I became an EMT-B, volunteering for the university’s emergency medical services. I attended The George Washington University physician assistant program and graduated with a Master of Health Sciences. Following graduate school, I worked for a small family medicine private practice outside of Detroit. My husband and I moved to the Pacific Northwest where I began working in family medicine at the Group Health Puyallup Medical Center. I left my full-time position at Group Health to join UW MEDEX Tacoma Faculty but remain on staff as a primary care locums provider.
I was encouraged by a colleague in 2012 to consider becoming a primary care preceptor for MEDEX. Having always liked academia and having a general love of learning, I accepted the challenge and immensely enjoyed the opportunity to mentor physician assistant students. My experience as a preceptor led to expanding my engagement in teaching, giving guest lectures primarily in my areas of interest; women’s health and pediatrics. I hold a deep passion for primary care and am a firm believer that every patient needs a support person to help navigate the complex world of medicine. Additionally, I believe it is a true privilege to be a health care provider and hold my colleagues, especially my midlevel peers to a high standard. I decided to make the leap to teaching on a more permanent basis in order to take a more active role in shaping competent, hard-working, and caring health care providers (as well as hoping to lure more future providers into primary care). When not working I enjoy time with my two young children, try to get some exercise, and spend time outdoors hiking, camping and skiing.