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OHSU Physician Assistant Program graduates 35 students, celebrates 15th graduating class

pa-graduation-2011The OHSU Auditorium was a lively spot on an otherwise quiet Marquam Hill campus Saturday, Aug. 13 as the OHSU Physician Assistant Program graduated its 15th class. The PA Class of 2011 had 35 students - all of whom were in attendance.  

The day was shared with many family, friends and key OHSU personnel who have had an impact on their education throughout the program, including Mark Richardson, MD, MBA, Dean, School of Medicine. “I was so pleased to attend the ceremony and now will be watching with pride as these extraordinary men and women embark on their careers as physician assistants,” said Dr. Richardson.

Two faculty members received awards from the students: Greg Larsen, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, and Chief of Cardiology at the Portland VA Medical Center, received the Excellence in Academic Teaching award; Gary Frei, MD, Affiliate Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, a surgeon who works at the Bend Memorial Clinic, received the Excellence in Clinical Teaching award.

Ann Davis, PA-C, who is the Senior Director of State Advocacy and Outreach for the American Academy of Physician Assistants gave the commencement address. She was happy to welcome the group by enthusiastically stating, “We have been waiting for you!” She spoke to the students about their duty to the profession, their community and themselves.

Student awards went to Nino Boissonneault and Lee Tomatsu for academic achievement, Jessica Sanderson for excellence in the clinical year, and Cameron Collings for his high level of professionalism throughout the program.

This marks the final graduation ceremony as Medical Director of the PA Program for Fran Biagioli, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine. She will be stepping away from this role at the end of August. PA Program Director Ted Ruback, MS, PA, presented the Director’s Award to Dr. Biagioli to acknowledge her role in the continued development and success of the program and for her steadfast advocacy on behalf of its faculty and students.

Chip Taylor, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, will replace Dr. Biagioli as the new Medical Director.

The ceremony concluded with a student slide show highlighting their time in the program. A reception on the grounds surrounding the Mac Hall fountain followed.

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