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VAPA Awards

Physician Assistant of the Year

Brian Terzian, PA-C

Brian Terzian has contributed to the growth of the PA profession as a guest lecturer for the Shenandoah University PA Program, preceptor and mentor for PA students, facilitator of monthly clinical integration cases and a practitioner of evidenced based medicine.

He is well respected for his professional relationship with collaborating physicians and all colleagues in the Winchester ED. Brian's opinion and knowledge are valued. As an example, his nominator stated, "Brian not only empowered his students, but he also empowered his patients by providing them with information to make informed healthcare decisions and lead healthier lives." He is knowledgeable about community resources available to his patients and inspires peers to educate patients.

PA Student of the Year

Naid Allassan, PA-S

Since starting PA school in August 2016, Naid has taken on many leadership roles within PA professional organizations. Naid represents Jefferson College of Health Sciences in the assembly of representatives of the Student Academy of the AAPA. In this role, she participates in monthly conference calls with representatives from PA programs throughout the nation. She planned and executed a fundraiser to help mitigate the costs of attending the national AAPA conference. This helped to limit the financial barrier that 12 of her classmates faced when deciding whether to participate in the national conference. Naid also successfully presented and defended a resolution on the floor of the SAAAPA annual meeting in Las Vegas this year. Naid is involved with several AAPA caucuses including the African Heritage Caucus of AAPA, the Fellowship of Christian PAs, and Physician Assistants in Research. She participates in conference calls with these organizations and serves in two leadership positions. Naid volunteered on the floor of the House of Delegates, and was presented two awards from the AAPA for outstanding student leadership and for overcoming adversity. One of Naid's passions is advocacy, and in the past year, she has participated in VAPA's White Coats on Call event, and on her own, travelled to Capitol Hill and met with members of the House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Health. She has created her own committee within our PA student society and organizes monthly events to help boost student morale. Naid is very involved in her community and since starting at Jefferson PA program, she has volunteered over 100 hours with various organizations in the Roanoke Valley including, the Bradley Free Clinic, the Rescue Mission Free Clinic, He a ling Strides of Virginia and the Roanoke Homeless Assistance Team. In August of 2017, she will participate in a medical mission trip to Lome, Togo for two weeks for a vaccination clinic at Canaan Children's Village orphanage. Naid is fluent in 4 languages, and she has spent several months studying medical terminology in the Togolese native language of Ewe to provide more meaningful healthcare. Naid's dedication to advocacy and community engagement singles her out as PA Student of the Year.

Preceptor of the Year

Dr. Philip O'Donnell

Dr. Philip O'Donnell is an accomplished physician and medical director of the Shenandoah University PA program. He offers numerous lectures, providing students with a strong foundation in cardiology. Not only does he participate academically, he is also a staple at volunteer and social activities, supporting the mission of the program and the cohesiveness of the student body. He is a champion of the program, working to increase clinical opportunities for the students. The Shenandoah PA program is fortunate to have such an invested figure and fantastic clinical resource as its Medical Director.

Dr. O'Donnell is approachable, encouraging, and challenging. He requires critical thinking, fosters the development of students' clinical skills to an extent many do not have the good fortune of experiencing during a 5-week rotation. The necessary balance between encouragement and constructive candor make an eager student strive to improve. He takes advantage of teaching moments whenever they arise. He likewise makes a concerted effort to ensure the richest rotation experience for his students. Dr. O'Donnell clearly acknowledges the value in experiencing the range of conditions, presentations and environments involved in cardiology, and works to bring this to the students he precepts. A student's desire for learning is supported by endless stacks of EKGs for interpretation, then later review; discussions of related comorbidities, concepts of billing and documents to complete a well-rounded rotation.

PA/Physician Partnership of the Year

Dr. Jennifer Dean and Alissa Mills, PA-C

On any given day, their respective schedules will be full of a variety of interesting pediatric hematology and oncology patients. Jennifer Dean has a passion for treating patients with long-term complications of pediatric oncology therapies. Dean and Mills are the backbone of the Long Term Follow Up (LTFU) clinic at Pediatric Specialists of Virginia. LTFU is remarkable because of this team. Off therapy pediatric oncology patients are followed annually in this multidisciplinary clinic. Several specialty providers from around the area arrive early to the clinic to review the patient chart that has been prepared by this MD/PA team. There is much care and coordination prior to a patient visit. Patient flow is seamless with the leadership of the team. Every patient receives excellent care and the experience is exceptional because of the preparation time spent. Clinic staff clamor to be LTFU members due to the excellent organization of the team. Dr. Dean and PA Mills have admiration and respect for each other and each provider is held in high regard by all patients and families.

The following quotes are a few examples of the excellent care provided by this team:

Dr. Dean: 'Dr. Dean kindly stepped in to see our daughter when the doctor we had originally been scheduled to see was still at the hospital. This was our first time meeting Dr. Dean, and her kind manner immediately put our 1 year old at ease- incredibly rare for her around medical staff! Thank you, Dr. Dean!' 'Dr. Dean was very patient with my son.' 'She did a great job.'

Alissa Mills: 'The experience with PA Mills is always wonderful. All the staff and nurses are AMAZING! I LOVE HOW THEY GIVE MY SON (AND ALL OTHER KIDS) SUCH SPECIAL ATTENTION!

This team is involved in philanthropic service to the community:

-Growing Hope-honorary Medical Advisor since 2010
-Gavin Rupp "I Promise" Scholarship Committee member

As a team, they have had several research projects, culminating in joint poster presentations:

June 2012: 12th International Conference on Long-Term Complications of Treatment of Children and Adolescents for Cancer

Poster Presentation "Loss of Immunity to Vaccine Antigens Following Cancer Treatment" June 2013 13th International Conference on Long­ Term Complications of Treatment of Children and Adolescents for Cancer

Poster Presentation "Hypertension in Childhood Cancer Survivors" June 2013 13th International Conference on Long-Term Complications of Treatment of Children and Adolescents for Cancer

Poster Presentation "Obesity in Childhood Cancer Survivors"

Dr. Dean has presented Grand Rounds to many area hospitals, speaking on 'Late Effects in Childhood Cancer Survivors.' They have provided the Keynote address at the Life with Cancer, Local Support Center, Annual Survivor Conference. Dr. Dean and PA Mills are active researchers for Children's Oncology Group, collecting data for pediatric oncology trials and international research.

Individually they are incredible providers; they are the finest example of excellent patient care and MD/PA teamwork!

Humanitarian of the Year

Sharon Maiewski, PA-C

Sharon Maiewski has an inborn passion for giving of herself to others so that they may better themselves. She embodies service as she dedicates herself to improving access to quality healthcare for underserved patient populations. Sharon's genuine concern for the well-being of others shines through in every aspect of her life and as a physician assistant.

PA Maiewski is a professor with the James Madison University PA program. Sharon has been providing guidance to students and colleagues for almost 20 years. She shares her passion of caring and quality healthcare with each of her students, ensuring that there is a balance between the science and art of medicine. As she crafts the practice of future clinicians, she is providing the world with passionate, skilled, and caring physician assistants that will reach far and distant communities. Sharon's life work has been to passionately give of herself to others so that they may better themselves.

Sharon is committed to service and leadership, selflessly providing her skill and knowledge to those in the community who are most in need. For almost two decades, Sharon has volunteered at the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic (HRFC) providing compassionate care to those within the community that usually cannot access healthcare. Without her service, the HRFC would have been considerably strained to provide for the more than 1,000 individuals who annually seek services from them. Over 30% of HRFC patients represent an ethnic minority and 69% earn less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Sharon's volunteerism does not end with the HRFC. Sharon also co-leads a weekly program known as the "Suitcase Clinic," where she and other clinicians provide access to healthcare and basic medications to the nearly 100 homeless citizens of Harrisonburg. The Suitcase Clinic allows those in most need to have their medical concerns addressed. And if this was not enough, Sharon also serves on the Board of Directors for a local non-profit known as Our Community Place. Our Community Place empowers the Harrisonburg community to connect and transcend stereotypical bounds, like income or ethnicity that have historically limited collaboration and understanding between neighbors. Sharon assists with community event planning and leads the organization in fulfilling its mission providing dignity to every citizen of Harrisonburg.

Updated: December 14, 2017