A sense of loyalty

Physician assistant graduates combine efforts to give back and increase alumni involvement.

By Jessica Jinah Song

Members of the class of 2012 at the UF College of Medicine’s School of Physician Assistant Studies worked diligently during their first year to raise money to serve the less fortunate, plan fun activities as a class and throw a graduation banquet.

As their journey to becoming PAs came to an end, the class of 2012 graduates realized they had some remaining money.

“We thought what better way than to contribute toward the PA Alumni Fund to enable gatherings and activities for current and future Gator PAs.” said Lauren Kelley, MPAS ’12, former class president and currently a surgical physician assistant resident at Yale University.

The idea of the new UF PA Alumni Fund originated when Liz Brownlee, MPAS, PA-C ’03, noticed the lack of PA alumni gatherings and activities. As an assistant professor at her alma mater, Brownlee and other PA faculty members collaborated with the college’s alumni affairs to introduce the fund to the class of 2012.

“Having an alumni group is like having ownership and having something that belongs to us,” Brownlee said. “The ultimate goal is to increase awareness and cohesiveness toward the alumni base and the PA professionals.”
The purpose of the fund is to provide financial support for UF PA alumni events, national and state-level conference sponsorships and continuing medical education opportunities. So far, more than $3,600 has been raised, including the gift from Kelley’s class and the class of 2010.

“We have seen firsthand from our medical school that alumni are huge assets in networking, supporting and giving back to a program that helped them reach their goal,” Kelley said. “As a class, we’re hopeful that with the support of our most recent UF PA alumni and many before us, we can assist with expanding our student and alumni activities.”