Alexandria, VA – Members of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) re-elected Stephane VanderMeulen to a second term as Director at Large on its Board of Directors. VanderMeulen currently serves as Academic Coordinator for the University of Nebraska Medical Center Physician Assistant Program in Omaha. Voted in during the Association’s recent Annual Education Forum in New Orleans, she will begin her second two-year term in January 2012.
A native of Nebraska, VanderMeulen received her Master of Physician Assistant (PA) Studies from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and is a doctoral candidate in the Gerontology program at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. She has been a member of PAEA since 2005, serving on the Association’s Nominations and Awards, Government Relations, Governance, and Finance Committees, as well as serving as chair of the Awards Committee. She has been the recipient of several awards, including the 2011 GRAY Scholarship in Gerontology from the University of Nebraska and the 2010 Nebraska Academy of Physician Assistants Service to Colleagues Award.
Noting that during the past year the PAEA Board of Directors has undertaken an initiative to promote diversity and inclusivity throughout the physician assistant profession, VanderMeulen said, “It is imperative that these efforts continue until diversity is no longer a token effort, but is inextricably woven into the fabric of our culture. Diversity should be who we are, not what we do.”
VanderMeulen said she has been fortunate to be part of PAEA’s leadership during this exciting time. She emphasized that all PAEA members should become involved in professional advocacy on the local, state, and national levels, saying that “the future landscape of health care delivery is quite uncertain in this era of health care reform.” Expressing concern about the decrease in primary care providers, she said it is imperative that PAEA collect better data in this area to help reverse this trend, so we will be able to meet the increased demand for primary care in our country.
Physician assistants (PAs) are licensed health care professionals who practice medicine as members of a team with their supervising physicians. Established in 1972, PAEA is the only national organization in the United States representing PA educational programs. Its mission is to pursue excellence, foster faculty development, advance the body of knowledge that defines quality education and patient-centered care, and promote diversity in all aspects of PA education.