Recognizing the P.A. Class of 2017

August 14, 2017

The OHSU Physician Assistant Program graduated its 21st class on Saturday, Aug. 5, celebrating the occasion in the Collaborative Life Sciences Building on Portland's South Waterfront. The P.A. Class of 2017 included 42 graduates, all of whom were in attendance to receive their degrees. The day was shared and enjoyed by family, friends, faculty and clinical preceptors from the community. 

 PA Class of 2017

Jeff Myers, M.M.Sc., M.I.H., P.A.-C., instructor of medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, interim section head of palliative care, and provider in the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, delivered the commencement address. Myers shared valuable advice on how to practice with compassion while avoiding burnout.

Ella Clark Nicholson, M.P.A.S., P.A.-C. '06, assistant professor of family medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, received the James M. Ryan, M.D., Memorial Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching. Alison McLellan, M.M.S., P.A.-C., director of academic education and associate professor at Pacific University (formerly with the OHSU P.A. Program) received the Excellence in Academic Teaching award.

Student awards went to Heidi Ann Straub and Melissa May Willitzer for outstanding academic achievement, Veronica Cecilia Crowder for excellence in the clinical year, and Brian A. Zaro for demonstrating a high level of professionalism throughout the program. Additionally, the program recognized Andrew Scott Fraser with a special recognition award for exceptional community service-related efforts. The ceremony concluded with a video retrospective, sharing highlights from the P.A. Class of 2017. Graduates, families and friends enjoyed a river view reception on the CLSB outdoor terrace immediately following the ceremony.

At the time of graduation, 62 percent of the class had reported securing a physician assistant position (67 percent in Oregon and 33 percent in Washington). Of those employed at graduation, 47 percent will be working in primary care. Ten have taken a position in a rural area.

The program faculty and staff are proud of the class' accomplishments and wish the graduates well in their upcoming careers.


Twenty-six months in the making? (Lauren Liebling on StudentSpeak)