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Physician Assistant Program Celebrates 24th Graduating Class

by Janelle Hill Aug 18, 2022

The physician assistant program is lauding its latest graduates for their care and compassion. 

The program’s 24th graduating class, comprising 73 students, received their white coats and certificates of completion before taking the Physician Assistant Professional Oath during a completion ceremony in the DeSales University Center on August 13. 

“I think you know how proud we as a faculty are of you, but just so your friends and family also hear it for the record: our graduates have impressed us with their grit, their compassion, and their commitment to improving themselves while supporting each other. We are proud of you today, and we will continue to be proud as you forge your paths as health care professionals.” 

 Melissa Gilroy M'12, D.C., assistant professor

This year’s ceremony was also extra special for Kathy Ehrhardt, M.M.S., who has been part of the PA program since its inception in 1997. Not only is she celebrating her 25th anniversary at DeSales, the ceremony marked her first as director of the PA program. Ehrhardt also praised Wayne Stuart, M.D., who has retired after 16 years with the University. 

“He has been our program director for 10 years and has been instrumental in many things—starting the DeSales Free Clinic and serving as the medical director since 2007, moving the program to the Gambet Center, facilitation of the expansion of the program from 40 to 80 students per cohort, facilitation of the expansion of our program in faculty and staff. … and being the best boss ever.”

Congratulations to this year’s graduating class and the following student award winners: 

  • Medical Director Award: Courtney Fedor M’22 and Nichole Miller M’22.
  • Clinical Medicine Award: Hannah Supplee M’22.
  • Dr. Karen Walton Award for Excellence in the Didactic Year: Andrea Ross M’22.
  • Fr. Peter Leonard, OSFS, Award for Excellence in the Clinical Year: Rose Bonagura M’22.
  • Self-Directed Learner Award: Emma Fink M’22. 
  • Program Director Award: Brianna Lonergan ’21, M’22. 
  • Chris Bruce Award as chosen by the Class of 2022: Victoria Leh M’22.