It’s a Celebration: CHS Turns Out for PA Academic Residency Program Celebration

By Sara Pisoni and Ryan Clark
CHS Contributors

There was relief, reflection and excitement as students, faculty and staff came out to the Origin Hotel last week for the Physician Assistant Studies Academic Residency Program celebration.

A special celebration was held last Friday for the program’s second class (10 people) while one student was also present from the first class. Students completed residencies at four different locations and in six specialties.

“It is a remarkable achievement that we are celebrating tonight, and I will enjoy listening to those that have been responsible for it, as well as honoring those of you who we are so proud of,” said Scott Lephart, PhD, Dean of the College of Health Sciences.

Virginia Valentin, PhD, and chair of the department of Physician Assistant Studies, noted that less than 3 percent of PAs in the U.S. have completed a residency program, and that students like these will help provide care for all of Kentucky.

“This program is unique. This program provides an academic-focused, clinical training in specialized areas so that physician assistants are workforce ready,” she said. “This (college) is a place where both innovation and people can thrive.”

PA academic residency programs educate and prepare graduates for transition into their specialty practice and meet the community needs for advanced practice providers, explained Sibu Saha, MD, MBA and UKPA Program’s Medical Director and Chief, Transition to Practice and Advanced Training Programs. The five pillars of the program are didactics, clinicals, monthly group lectures, teaching and research and scholarly activity.

Saha also reflected on the journey of the program and its development, which began with meetings in 2018, and is now accepting applications for its fourth cohort this spring. While there are 72 PA residency programs, only eight are accredited.

Organizers also recognized David Fahringer, MSPH, PA-C, and Program Director of Post Graduate Education, for his 35 years of service to the college and his upcoming retirement at the end of the year.

Residents Included:

Linzi Watson
Cardiac Surgery, Baptist Health Louisville

Brooke Todd
General Surgery, Baptist Health Lexington

Sallie Randall
Hospital Medicine, UK Healthcare

Madeline Moore
Critical Care, UK Healthcare

Kendra Hughes
General Surgery, St. Elizabeth

Danielle Crum
General Surgery, Baptist Health Louisville

Megan Craft
Neurology, UK Healthcare

Shae Cenkus
Acute Care Surgery & Trauma, UK Healthcare

Wayne Caldararo
Hospital Medicine, UK Healthcare

Deborah Barnett
General Surgery, St. Elizabeth