I grew up in a very rural, farm community in Wisconsin and have experienced the impact of the lack of good quality healthcare in these settings. There were no PAs in my community, and in fact, I wasn’t even aware of the profession until the second year of my undergraduate career. Prior to my formal PA training, I served in various health roles during my undergraduate study by working with the student health services and athletic trainers on campus. I volunteered at a local hospital and trained as a certified nursing assistant. I was involved in various leadership roles leading to my nomination to the University of Wisconsin—Platteville Lifetime Achievement Award as well as acceptance into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
I have worked as a physician assistant for 10 years in the fields of family medicine, reproductive endocrinology, and orthopedic surgery. Involvement in PA education comes from a passion to uphold and aide in further development of the PA profession. PAs have come a long way in our medical community thanks to past and current PAs proving that we can provide a high level of care with integrity and independence. Despite these amazing advancements, there continues to be room for improvement of our profession and I see education as the gateway. I believe in teaching and mentoring students to become high performing, technically competent, empathetic, and culturally sensitive providers. I believe that it is our job as educators to guide future PAs, that the tools they need to be leaders include the foundation of utilization of evidence-based review, self-assessment and awareness, interprofessional leadership, and ability to adapt to an ever-changing medical environment.