News » Lisa Mustone Alexander, EdD, MPH, PA-C, and Howard Straker, MPH, PA-C,...

Lisa Mustone Alexander, EdD, MPH, PA-C, and Howard Straker, MPH, PA-C, Elected to Key Leadership Positions at the Physician Assistant Education Association

Congratulations to Lisa Mustone Alexander, professor of physician assistant studies at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), upon being elected president of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA). Also, congratulations to Howard Straker, assistant professor of physician assistant studies and of prevention and community health at GW SMHS, who was elected to a second term as secretary of the PAEA. Both Alexander and Straker were elected at the PAEA Educational Forum held recently in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

PAEA is the only national organization representing physician assistant (PA) educational programs in the U.S. Currently all accredited PA programs in the country are members of the Association. PAEA provides services for PA faculty, as well as to applicants, students, and other stakeholders. The Association was founded in 1972 as the Association of Physician Assistant Programs, with its current name adopted in 2005.

As president, Alexander will work to ensure that as the number of PA programs continues to grow across the country, PAEA will expand its efforts to support faculty development and educational innovation. She has served on numerous PAEA committees and task forces, the PAEA Board of Directors, taught in various faculty development workshops, and most recently as a PAEA research fellow during her university sabbatical. In June, she completed a seven-year term as a board member and past-president of the Physician Assistant Foundation. Alexander’s dedication to physician assistant education, her experiences inside and outside the association, and the strategic direction she is proposing for the PAEA all contributed to her election.

“The issues facing PA educators include the scarcity of clinical sites, the need to increase diversity in our faculty and student bodies, inculcating professionalism across the curriculum, incorporating technology, and promoting excellence in our teaching and scholarship,” said Alexander. “I am honored to work on these and other issues that will enhance the reputation of each and every member program.”

Straker, completing his first term as secretary, served as the board representative to the Governance and Curriculum Assessment councils, where he acted as a liaison to the volunteer faculty serving on the councils. The PA Program at GW SMHS recently honored him with its Distinguished Public Service award for his commitment to the program’s mission of outreach and social justice. As secretary of PAEA, Straker will work to optimize growth in the PAEA and PA profession. He will continue to advocate for more research about the PA workforce, to inform policymakers and funders about PAEA and PAs, and to continue to make PAEA an important voice in the PA profession and in health care. He also feels passionately about increasing diversity in the PA profession.

“Optimizing growth requires continued focus on diversity across several areas. I will continue to support our strategic plans in this area. I value diversity and inclusion as a means to achieve excellence — diversity of perspective and diversity of composition. We have to shift from looking at diversity as an endpoint to seeing diversity and inclusion as the process by which we achieve quality health for our organization and for society,” said Straker.

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