Congratulations PA graduates

September 12, 2014


It was a beautiful summer day on Saturday, Aug. 9 as the OHSU Physician Assistant Program graduated its 18th class. The PA Class of 2014 included 37 graduates – all of whom were in attendance to receive their degrees after completing the 26-month long program.

The day was shared and enjoyed with family, friends, faculty and clinical preceptors from the community. George Mejicano, M.D., M.S., senior associate dean for education, OHSU School of Medicine, attended as a representative of the School of Medicine.


PA Class of 2014

Frances Biagioli, M.D., professor of family medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, who previously served as a medical director of the program and also as immediate past-president of the Oregon Medical Association, received the Excellence in Academic Teaching award from the class. Rebekah MacNeill, MPAS, PA-C, OHSU PA Class of 2010 and a PA with Columbia Memorial Cardiology in Astoria, Ore., received the Excellence in Clinical Teaching award.

David W. Robinson, Ph.D., OHSU executive vice provost, delivered the commencement address. Dr. Robinson shared valuable words of advice and encouragement with the graduates as they begin their clinical careers. For Dr. Robinson’s long-standing support and contributions to the program, Director Ted Ruback, M.S., PA, presented him with the Director’s Award. Also the program gave a special recognition award to Robert Oster, assistant vice provost, for his “leadership in the design, construction and occupancy” of the Collaborative Life Sciences Building (CLSB).

Student awards went to Sagen Castellanos for outstanding academic achievement, Brian Russell Mills for excellence in the clinical year and Karie Ann Zweifel for demonstrating a high level of professionalism throughout the program.

The ceremony concluded with a student-prepared video highlighting their time in the program. A reception on the grounds surrounding the Mac Hall fountain followed.

At the time of graduation, 63 percent of the class had already secured a position working as a PA, 87.5 percent will be working in Oregon. Of those employed at graduation, 64 percent will be working in primary care.

Given the cyclical nature of academia, the PA Program welcomed 42 new students on June 30. They were the first students to move into the new CLSB. Seventy percent of the Class of 2016 are female and 57 percent are Oregonians. New students Marisa Gholson and Joseph Sedillo wrote about their first month as graduate students in the PA Program on the StudentSpeak blog.