Physician Assistant Studies Program Celebrates Graduates at Certificate Ceremony

Fifty graduates of the M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies program received their graduation certificates in a ceremony on August 12 at Philadelphia University, celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2011.

“This ceremony marks an end, as well as a beginning: the end of a long, arduous and exhilarating educational journey, and the beginning of a successful career of service in the medical field,” said Matt Dane Baker, PA-C, DHSc., executive dean of the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts, at the ceremony.

The graduates gathered with friends and family and the faculty of the physician assistant studies program at the ceremony, which featured Jon Regis, M.D., of Reliance Medical Group as the keynote speaker. Regis holds bachelor’s and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina and completed his residency at Hahnemann Hospital and Medical Center in Philadelphia. After his education, Regis worked for Cooper University Medical Center and Episcopal Hospital in Philadelphia before assuming his current role as president of Reliance Medical—a multi-specialty medical practice committed to the provision of primary care medical services in Atlantic, Camden and Mercer counties in New Jersey.

Lawrence Carey, PharmD, program director of physician assistant studies, said Regis’ extraordinary dedication to medicine is an inspiration to young medical professionals.

The PA program also presented the Outstanding Performance as a Medical Educator and Student Preceptor Award to Richard DiMonte, D.O., and Thomas Kelly, PA-C. “Dr. DiMonte and Tom Kelly are true advocates of the PA profession,” Carey said. “They have been instrumental for 15 years in organizing and supporting our students in learning primary care medicine.”

Several students were also honored for their achievements, including:

  • Timothy Leicht, recipient of the PA Studies Program Directors Award for Clinical Excellence
  • Sarah O’Neil, recipient of the Dr. Edward E. Dowden Award for Academic Excellence
  • Katie Dullea, recipient of the Dr. Joel Chinitz Award for Community Service
  • Alexandra Vuolo, recipient of the Class President’s Award for Student Service

“We will miss this class very much,” Carey said, “as they have accomplished much in their two years here. Based on the character and dedication of these new master’s degree recipients, they will be extraordinary health care providers.”

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