New Hampshire Physician Assistant Spearheads Humanitarian Efforts To Deliver Medical Care To Thousands Abroad

May 21, 2012, 06:00 ET from American Academy of Physician Assistants

American Academy of Physician Assistants Honors Portsmouth PA with Humanitarian PA of the Year Award

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When Jack Gardner, PA-C, of Portsmouth, N.H., left a successful business career 12 years ago to become a physician assistant, he did not anticipate the number of lives he would touch as he pursued his dream to provide medical care to those in need.

Today, Gardner spearheads humanitarian efforts worldwide and has provided desperately needed medical care to more than 10,000 people in Central America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. To honor his accomplishments, the American Academy of Physician Assistants will recognize Gardner with the Humanitarian PA of the Year Award for his outstanding commitment to human rights at AAPA's Annual PA Conference in Toronto, Ontario on May 28.

"Jack is an inspired PA and a dynamic humanitarian who is able to make complex situations understandable," said Nicaraguan Pastor Julio Cortez, of Centers of Hope Mission International. "In spite of these formidable gifts, he is a humble and approachable person who loves to share his extensive knowledge with others."

Gardner is passionate about mentorship and encourages other PAs and healthcare providers to participate in medical missions and practice medicine in developing countries. To date, he has recruited and brought 19 healthcare providers to developing countries.

Gardner devotes a great deal of his effort to helping developing countries improve their own medical infrastructure.  For example, he coordinated $40,000 worth of donated medicines, $150,000 worth of medical equipment and recruited key personnel to train Malagasy midwives to handle high mortality problems. He was also instrumental in developing a sustainable healthcare model in Honduras through the Village Health Worker program, where people living in remote locations are trained to recognize, treat, or refer patients with medical problems that place them at high-risk of death. This Village Health Worker Model is now being expanded to several other developing countries.

The Humanitarian PA of the Year Award is one of five PAragon Awards presented annually by AAPA to recognize members who have demonstrated distinguished service to patients, the community and the profession. Other awards include the Federal Service PA of the Year Award, Outstanding PA of the Year, PA Service to the Underserved Award, Physician-PA Partnership Award and three Publishing Awards.

About the American Academy of Physician Assistants
Founded in 1968, the American Academy of Physician Assistants is the national professional society for physician assistants. It represents a profession of over 84,000 certified PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories and within the uniformed services. AAPA advocates and educates on behalf of the profession and the patients PAs serve. It works to ensure the professional growth, personal excellence and recognition of physician assistants and to enhance their ability to improve the quality, accessibility and cost-effectiveness of patient-centered healthcare. Visit to learn more.

SOURCE American Academy of Physician Assistants