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Curtis Succeeds Bushardt as Chair

L. Gail Curtis, MPAS, PA-C ’81, DFAAPA

L. Gail Curtis, MPAS, PA-C ’81, DFAAPA, was appointed chair of the Department of PA Studies on Feb. 1, succeeding Reamer Bushardt, PharmD, PA-C, DFAAPA.

Curtis, associate professor of PA studies, assumed the program’s top leadership role when Bushardt was named senior associate dean for health sciences at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Suzanne Reich, MPAS, PA-C

In addition, Suzanne Reich, MPAS, PA-C, has been named PA program director within the Department of PA Studies.

Curtis graduated magna cum laude with honors from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington before coming to the Wake Forest PA program. She completed her master’s in PA studies at the University of Nebraska and joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1986.

She has worked in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and has served on national and state professional organizations. Curtis has published numerous articles and book chapters and presented on such topics as PA professional regulations, disorders in otolaryngology, women in medicine, substance use disorder and weight management.

Curtis has also served in numerous roles with the North Carolina Academy of PAs (NCAPA), receiving both the PA of the Year Award and the Outstanding Service Award from the NCAPA. She is recognized as a distinguished fellow of the American Academy of PAs (AAPA), has served as vice president and speaker of the AAPA House of Delegates, and will lead the academy as president beginning in July 2017.

Internationally, Curtis acted as consultant for the development of a PA program at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth, U.K., and at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland.

Reich, associate professor of PA studies, joined Wake Forest Baptist as a PA in cardiology in 1984 and practices clinically in Family and Community Medicine. She has been active internally and at the state and national PA education levels, and she is parliamentarian for the AAPA House of Delegates and a distinguished fellow of the AAPA.

Bushardt’s tenure with the program since 2010 included reaccreditation, the development of an academic partnership and launch of a new campus with Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., and increases in PA program applications, extramural dollars from grants and contracts, and faculty publications of peer-reviewed scholarly works. The program also earned a top 10 national ranking, currently ranking 9th in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Hosting the Nation’s Leading PAs

For the second year, the Department of PA Studies hosted a national Executive Leadership Conference, bringing PAs from across the country to the program’s home in downtown Winston-Salem. The department presented the conference Nov. 2-5, 2016, partnering with the American Academy of Physician Assistant’s Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management. Attendees learned leadership and management skills specifically designed for PAs and clinical administrators.

AAPA Vice President Michael Powe

AAPA Vice President Michael Powe led a discussion on “Regulatory & Reimbursement Necessities.”

Zachary Hartsell, MHA, MPAS, PA-C

Zachary Hartsell, MHA, MPAS, PA-C, associate medical director of the PA Program, presented the session “Putting Lessons into Practice and the Value of Reflection.”