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PA Class of 2022
News

SIU Physician Assistants honored in White Coat ceremony

Published Date:

A White Coat ceremony on July 30 marked the 25th anniversary of the Physician Assistant Program at SIU School of Medicine.  The event at the SIU Student Center in Carbondale honored 38 new clinicians who had completed physician assistant training.

During the ceremony, members of the Class of 2022 received certificates and long white coats, which symbolize their responsibilities as new clinicians to uphold the health, safety, welfare and dignity of their patients. The graduates then presented short white coats to the incoming members of the Class of 2024. The new Physician Assistant students started the 26-month-long program in late May in Carbondale.

Don Diemer, DHSc, PA-C, physician assistant program director, welcomed the assembled professionals, students, family and friends. The keynote speaker was Jennifer Orozco, DMSc-PA-C, president of the American Academy of Physician Associates. Orozco discussed the importance of self-care and of talking openly about mental health. “Consider what brings you joy,” she told the class. “Focusing on yourself can ultimately improve the care you can provide for your patients. You are the future of physician assistants, and the future is bright.”

Ellie Uecker, PA-C, president of the Class of 2022, spoke on behalf of the graduates. She commended her classmates for their resilience as they studied and trained under the unusual conditions of the last two years. “Take strength from the evidence that you’ve done all this and succeeded because you are capable,” Uecker said.

Following presentations of student and mentor awards, the graduating class recognized a trio of faculty for their educational contributions: Kristen Schloemann, PA-C, PBL Facilitator of the Year; Joeli Diemer, PA-C, Teacher of the Year; and curriculum coordinator Paula McNeill as Staff Member of the Year.

The Physician Assistant Program uses problem-based learning, simulated patient experiences and classroom lectures to train students. The first year of instruction takes place on the second floor of the SIU Center for Family Medicine at 300 West Oak Street, Carbondale. During the second year, learners train with faculty mentors at clinics throughout southern and central Illinois, as well as Southeast Missouri. This summer, the Physician Assistant Program presented degrees to its first class of physician assistants who completed a Doctor of Medical Science degree to advance their PA expertise.


View the White Coat ceremony video here and pictures here.
A list of 2022 award recipients and the PA graduates follows.
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PI ALPHA INDUCTEES
Maryanna Catrine
Kassandra Heren
Deeksha Jain
Sofia Quintana
Elizabeth Sternberg
Elizabeth Uecker    
Mary Nash-Swink (honorary)

PRECEPTOR OF THE YEAR AWARDS
Belleville    Mattison Perez, PA-C
Cape Girardeau    Anthony McPherron, DO
Carbondale    Alicia Markley, PA-C
Champaign    Aubrey Hudson, PA-C
Decatur        Chrissie Albers, DMSc, PA-C
Mattoon        Melvin Fleming, MD
Olney        Marcia Street, APRN
Peoria        Tony Hsu, MD
Quincy        Halley Anderson, DO
Springfield    Nate Gregoire, PA-C

CHARMAINE PORTER AWARD:  Lucas Martinez
TEACHER OF THE YEAR AWARD:  Joeli Diemer, PA-C
PBL FACILITATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD:  Kristen Schloemann, PA-C
PA PROGRAM STAFF MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARD:  Paula McNeill

SIU PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT CLASS OF 2022
Nicole Beavers, Mt. Zion, IL
Chandler Boyd, Sandy, UT
Sean Brant, Indianapolis, IN
Maryanna Catrine, Springboro, OH
Carly Chandler, Catlin, IL
Alyssa Coletta, Schaumburg, IL
Kaitlin Coltharp, Aurora, IL
Kailey Evasic, South Lyon, MI
Lucas Hackmann, O'Fallon, IL
Kassandra Heren, St. Louis, MO
Haley Hinch, Mulberry Grove, IL
John Holbrook, Algonquin, IL
Amanda Holleb, Vernon Hills, IL
Haley Inman, Anna, IL
Deeksha Jain
Caylee Jarrett, Murphysboro, IL
Luca Juuhl, Clarkston, MI
Craig Kozak, Denver, CO
Kade Kress, Orem, UT
Mariam Lakhdhir, Wheeling, IL
Ashton Lee, Harrisburg, IL
Lucas Martinez, Bloomingdale, IL
Sabrina Minasian, Fenton, MI
Kenneth Padilla, Romeoville, IL
Hannah Palmer, Marion, IL
Sofia Quintana, Saint Charles, MO
Kelsey Reitzloff, Northville, MI
Lilee Robinson, Harrisburg, IL
Madison Rybak, Dardenne Prairie, MO
Sadie Sawyer, Cerro Gordo, IL
Samantha Stadts, Carterville, IL
Elizabeth Sternberg, Deerfield, IL
Amanda Thate, Darien, IL
Mackenzie Thompson, Manistee, MI
McKenzie Tonks, Ogden, UT
Elizabeth Uecker, Mason, OH
Hannah VanDeburgh, Lanark, IL
Abbigail Webster, Columbia, MO

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