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IAPA conference highlights SIU physician assistants achievements

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In October 2023, the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants (IAPA) hosted its Fall CME conference in Rosemont, its first since 2019. The group welcomed Physician Assistants from across the state, providing a platform for networking, honing skills and expertise in patient care and fostering a spirit of camaraderie.

Amidst the presenters and attendees, SIU School of Medicine's PA program shone brightly. Dr. Katy Scott, associate director of the SIU Medicine PA program, shared her knowledge in a presentation on "Managing Obesity in Primary Care." PA Thom Rosen, an active board member of the IAPA and a current student in the SIU DMsc program, delivered a compelling presentation on "Back Pain Management and Evaluation." Dr. Jacob Ribbing, director of doctoral education – and a graduate of SIU PA program – was serving his final months as IAPA president. He spotlighted events showing the profession's growth and development, and celebrated the dedication of Illinois’ PAs.

The IAPA bestowed several awards upon these deserving PAs, recognizing outstanding contributions and positive impact on the communities they serve. Among the honorees, SIU graduate Ryan Lane earned the PA of Region 6 Award.

Diemer & BeckerStacy Becker, DMSc, PA-C, received the inaugural Diemer Advocacy and Leadership Award, in recognition of her commitment to providing exemplary learning experiences for emerging PAs and advocating for the profession nationally. Becker is a graduate of the inaugural cohort in the SIU DMSc program. The award is named after Dr. Donald Diemer, a pioneer in PA education who has devoted decades to improving PA patient care and leadership. He is director of SIU’s Physician Assistant program. (The duo are pictured at left.)

Ribbing & OrozcoDr. Jacob Ribbing received the first-ever Jennifer Orozco Emerging Leader Award. In a relatively brief time, Ribbing has forged a career of service to his rural community, advocacy for patients and PAs, and shown a commitment to paving the way for future PA leaders. The award's namesake, Dr. Jennifer Orozco, is another alumna of the SIU DMsc inaugural cohort. She teaches and is a clinician at Rush University, and has served as president of both IAPA and the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). (Ribbing and Orozco are pictured at right.)

The IAPA annual conference celebrated and emphasized the organization's commitment to professional growth and team building. For the SIU alums and educators among the nearly 4,500 PAs in Illinois, it ensures that their dedication and achievements will never go unappreciated. 

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