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GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences Faculty Recognized as National Leaders in Physician Assistant Education

Reamer L. Bushardt, PharmD, PA-C, DFAAPA, senior associate dean for health sciences and professor of physician assistant (PA) studies, and Howard Straker, EdD, MPH, PA-C, assistant professor of PA studies, both at the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences, were elected and inducted to leadership positions at the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA)

PAEA is the only national organization representing PA educational programs. Founded in 1972, PAEA’s mission is leadership, innovation, and excellence in PA education. 

Bushardt was elected by members of PAEA to serve as director-at-large for the PAEA Board of Directors. He will bring his more than 15 years of experience as a PA in primary care and health professions education and more than 20 years of experience as a pharmacist, as well as his commitment to teamwork, creative problem-solving, track record for securing extramural funding, and talent for socially responsible entrepreneurism to this role. His priorities while serving as a board member are to: help increase diversity in the PA profession; strengthen the connection between PA education and healthcare employers; find new approaches to clinical education; advocate for competency- and outcomes-based accreditation; and ensure PA faculty have the right tools and guidance to flourish in their careers, among other goals. His term will begin in January 2020. 

Straker was inducted as president with a formal passing of the gavel at the PAEA Education Forum in Washington, D.C. He was elected in October 2018. He has more than 30 years of experience as a PA and more than 25 years as a PA and public health educator. As president, Straker will work to place PA education at the forefront of health care and education. His leadership will focus on increasing clinical training sites as well as leveraging technology in education. He is also passionate about building an infrastructure of excellence in PA education through products and services that respond to the needs of faculty and programs, not only in the PA profession, but in health care. He hopes to expand research on the PA workforce and continue a focus on diversity. Straker succeeds Lisa Alexander, EdD, MPH, PA-C, professor of PA studies at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, who was president of PAEA in 2018. Straker will begin his term in January 2020. 

Faculty in the Department of PA Studies at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences extend their work beyond training the next generation of quality physician assistants to being advocates and leaders in the PA field and in health care. GW faculty lead discussions, projects, and initiatives regionally, nationally, and internationally to enhance PA education, use PAs to improve and address gaps in the health care system, and advance health equity for patients. 

To learn more about the Department of PA Studies at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, visit