PA of the Year

Each year, the AKAPA Board of Directors recognizes the outstanding services of an Alaska-based Physician Assistant with the PA of the Year award. This prestigious award is presented during the annual AKAPA membership meeting from nominations received prior to September 15. 

The AKAPA Board of Directors is looking for nominations of Alaskan PAs who are exemplary in their work as a physician assistant. Nominations will be accepted year round. 

Please nominate a PA you know who fits some of the following criteria:

  • A PA with an outstanding accomplishment
  • A PA involved in local, state or national activities that further the PA profession
  • And/or a PA involved in community service.

Nominees must be AKAPA members and not be a current AKAPA board member. The winner will be selected by the AKAPA Board of Directors, and announced at the annual membership meeting. 

Past Recipients

2018: John Riley, MS, PA-C, Anchorage, AK
2017: Sarah Hood, PA-C, Anchorage, AK
2016: Terri Bramel, PA-C, Anchorage, AK
2015: Patricia Hensch, PA-C, Anchorage, AK
2014: Pam Engle, PA-C, Anchorage, AK
2013: Ashley Marquardt, PA-C, Anchorage, AK
2012: Robert Thomas, PA-C, Anchorage, AK
2011: Jim Wojciehowski, PA-C, Anchorage, AK
2010: John Winklmann, PA-C, Anchorage, AK
2009:Wendy Hladick, PA-C, Unalaska, AK
2008: Steve Gage, PA-C, Sitka, AK
2007: Edward Hall, PA-C, Anchorage, AK

Nomination Form

Please download this form and return it before September 15 for consideration for PA of the Year. 

PA of the Year Award.pdf

2016 PA of the Year

John Riley is the 2018 PA of the Year!

The 2018 PA of the Year is John Riley, MS, PA-C for his many years of dedication to strengthening the field of education on the PA profession and improving health delivery systems for chronic disease care. 

John was unable to accept the aware in person, however had this to say: 

I’d like to thank the Academy for the 2018 PA of the Year Award.

I’d like to say a few things about the arc of my career as a PA. I started with  Alaska PA license #125 in 1985 after being hired at the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center mostly because the Medical Director Dr. John Schwartz was a fellow bird watcher not because I had sterling clinical credentials.

I learned the value of service from Dr. Schwartz observing the magical interplay between patient and clinician beginning with the trust and respect the patient gives the provider who has done nothing more than enter the room wearing a stethoscope and an ID. This was followed by an empathic and reassuring conversation that cemented the clinical relationship. There are few professional relationships that afford such depth and richness. It’s not just a job, it’s a sacred trust we are given and as PAs we must earn and maintain that trust. It’s hard at the end of a long day to maintain empathy, to maintain eye contact with the patient and not the computer screen, to really listen to the patient’s story instead of checking the history boxes, to not see the patient as a series of lab values and benchmarks but as a complex person struggling to do the right thing. It’s the relationship that nourishes us as clinicians. If the empathic relationship becomes lost to the numbers and checklists and rushing from room to room we will experience burnout and our empathy will fade. So remember the incredible gift of trust you receive from your patients and keep your empathic flame burning as you move through your day. Thanks for listening.      

Perhaps for next year this Award should be renamed the Retired PA Boot Out the Door Award.

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