Physician Assistant Program to present new class with white coats
School of Medicine & Health Sciences
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Thirty-three health professionals begin the clinical portion of their studies next week to earn the Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
The White Coat Ceremony is at 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 16, in the Reed T. Keller Auditorium at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Kate Larson, PA-C, will present the keynote address, focusing on the role of the physician assistant in primary care. Larson, a UND PA alumna of the Class of 1995, is a practicing primary care physician assistant in Garrison, N.D. She also serves as treasurer for the North Dakota Board of Medical Examiners. Welcome remarks will be given by SMHS Senior Associate Dean for Education Gwen W. Halaas, MD, MBA; and Wayne Swisher, PhD, interim dean of the UND School of Graduate Studies.
“The presentation of the white coat is symbolic of the new profession the students are entering,” said Department Chair Jeanie McHugo, PhD. The coats will be worn by students through the clinical phase of their training and denote their involvement with the Physician Assistant Program at UND.
The individuals in this class come from a wide variety of professional healthcare disciplines, which through class interaction will strengthen each student’s ability to return to his or her rural clinical site as a well-rounded primary care provider.
The PA Program admits health professionals who have years of experience working as nurses, respiratory therapists, radiology technologists, paramedics, military healthcare providers and related professions. This group averages nine years of previous professional healthcare experience upon matriculation into the program.
Enrolled students come from throughout the United States, from Idaho to Florida, but this particular class is very regional, with almost 50 percent of the students from the tristate area of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Students range in age from 26 to 52 years, with an average age of 35; the class includes 18 men and 15 women.
Students have completed their first two semesters of basic sciences and now will spend their first four weeks in Grand Forks before returning to their home communities, where most of their training will take place under the supervision of physician and physician assistant preceptors. Over the next 18 months, they will return to UND for several weeks at different junctures for education and training.
Physician Assistant Class of 2016
Derryk Allen , Mount Pleasant, Utah
Brittany Anundson , Bismarck, North Dakota
Andrew Bader , Nixon, Nevada
Allison Barnett , Douglas, Wyoming
Chad Briley , Kissimmee, Florida
Caitlyn Cameron , Hawley, Minnesota
Grant Coauette , Fosston, Minnesota
Kevin Conboy , Rapid City, South Dakota
Franchesca Cook , Kirksville, Missouri
Matthew Coy , Minneapolis, Minnesota
Kevin Davis , Justin, Texas
Jesse Fladmark , Woodbury, Minnesota
Cory Heiser , Tioga, North Dakota
Cory Jacobs , Wadena, Minnesota
Stephanie Jacobs Uselman , Fargo, North Dakota
Lacey Jandrin , Kaukauna, Wisconsin
Amber Johnson , Duluth, Minnesota
Brett Johnson , Deadwood, South Dakota
David (Ryan) Kesterson , Houma, Louisiana
Amber Kirtley-Perez , Boise, Idaho
Lane Lindeman , Florence, Wisconsin
Jennifer Polniak , Moberly, Missouri
Pamela Rangen , Rugby, North Dakota
Adria Ridl , Wahpeton, North Dakota
Patrick Riley , Superior, Wisconsin
Eric Sadler , Evansville, Indiana
Kristina Sandstedt , Columbia, Missouri
Jason Smith , Valley City, North Dakota
Whitney Thompson , Park River, North Dakota
Sarah Viscarra , Lawton, Oklahoma
Shannon Webster , Staples, Minnesota
Henry Woida , Pinconning, Michigan
Suzanne Zayan , Howell, Michigan
University of North Dakota. "Physician Assistant Program to present new class with white coats" (2015). UND News Archive. 916.