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Physician Assistant Alumni Update

St. John’s Physician Assistant faculty, staff, and students wish our program’s alumni a very happy new year.

According to Louise Lee, Program Director, the support of dedicated graduates helped make the past year an especially productive one. “I thank each and every one of you who have participated in activities such as the alumni event this past summer, the mentoring program, and the White Coat ceremony and sponsorship,” said Lee.“Every moment you give— and dollar you donate—goes a long way here at St. John’s. It’s very much appreciated by us, and especially our students, who are touched by your generosity and care.”

SJU Physician Assistant students and faculty have had a busy semester. The program hired a superb addition to its faculty “family.” Alyssa Quinlan, PA-C, joined in August and has been a great asset to both faculty and students. We are very excited to have her at St. John’s.

Through Academic Service-Learning, students have volunteered at multiple events both on campus and within the larger community. They have given their time and newly acquired expertise regarding health issues relevant to people of all ages including hypertension, balance and fall risk, Alzheimer’s disease, and breast cancer.

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Annual Wellness Fair

Physician Assistant students were on hand to help screen blood pressure at the University’s annual Wellness Fair on September 17. A record number of participants came to check their blood pressure and ask questions related to healthy living and lifestyles, including the prevention of hypertension and heart disease, weight control, exercise, stress relief, and improved sleep.


Community Service

On September 20, students joined Pamela Gregory- Fernandez, Associate Professor, Industry Professional, in the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. This is the association’s signature fundraising event and raises more than $1.4 million annually.

The American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk followed on October 18 at Jones Beach State Park. In addition to volunteering during a highly rigorous academic year, students were able to generate a high level of awareness among their peers, family, and friends to raise more than $1,000.

Every month, PA students join Gregory-Fernandez for interactive presentations on balance and fall prevention at the Holliswood JASA Senior Center. Students also worked with the St. John’s chapter of Women in Science to lead a workshop during a STEM event for middle school children held on a Saturday at St. John’s. Finally, PA students attended the first of several blood pressure screenings at a St. John’s women’s basketball game on December 3. They are looking forward to holding more screenings at games during the men’s and women’s basketball season.


NYSSPA Recognizes 20th Anniversary of SJU’s PA Program

This year’s annual fall New York State Society of Physician Assistant (NYSSPA) Conference in Tarrytown, NY, was a particular success for the St. John PA program. Professors Irene Eng, Danielle Kruger, and Pamela Gregory- Fernandez were in attendance to exhibit an encore poster presentation titled, “Interprofessional Education Initiatives Incorporated into the Doctor of Pharmacy and Physician Assistant Programs.”

During this event Gregory-Fernandez also delivered a presentation on “Interprofessional Education Collaborative in Physician Assistant Education” and served as a panel presenter regarding “Hot Topics in PA Education.” In addition, she was named co-chair of the newly formed NYSSPA subcommittee Interprofessional Education in Physician Assistant Education. Stacey Singer-Leshinsky, Associate Professor, Industry Professional, was also invited to present and gave a very successful lecture entitled “EKG…as Easy as ABC.”

Finally, we were particularly proud and excited to be recognized by NYSSSPA for our 20th anniversary at the annual Clara Vanderbilt Gala Dinner Dance. The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences funded the first annual NYSSPA Physician Assistant Alumni Reception to honor this special achievement. Please join us on October 7-9, 2016 for an Alumni and Friends Reception For more information, visit


National PA Day and PA White Coat Convocation

St. John’s hosted a White Coat Convocation Ceremony, which is a fantastic way to reinforce and encourage pride in a student’s chosen career path, on National PA Day on October 6. The keynote speaker was St. John’s alumna Maureen Reagan, PA-C, MBA, who shared her expertise and zeal for the PA profession. For the first time this year, PA alumni sponsored the white coats and participated in a special “pinning ceremony.”

Program Director Lee thanked alumni who participated in the new initiatives. “It’s been a pleasure as a new SJU family member to meet so many skilled alumni and witness your dedication to our profession, future colleagues, and alma mater.”

We would like to thank all those who sponsored a white coat and encourage alumni to consider participating in this year’s ceremony at 7 p.m. on October 8, 2016. To sponsor a white coat or for more information on the White Coat Convocation, please contact Diana J. Patino-Castro at [email protected].


Alumni Mentoring Program

We would like to thank this year’s alumni who participated in the Alumni Mentoring Program as volunteer mentors. On October 20, more than 80 mentees and mentors from the pharmacy and physician assistant program had an opportunity to network at a Meet and Greet reception. Alumni had a chance to discuss the mentee’s career interests, offer insights about their own undergraduate experiences and career progression, and develop goals and plans for future meetings.

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Upcoming Events

PA Career Fair
May 13, 2016

Continuing Education Seminar
“Evolution of Opiates to the Perfect Storm...Heroin”
Detective Pamela Stark, Nassau County Police Department Community Affairs
June 9, 2016

Health Science Award Night
June 14, 2016

PA Alumni Chapter Summer Reception
June 2016

PA White Coat Ceremony
October 3, 2016