Pioneering Healthcare Team Helps Generations Of El Pasoan Families With Chronic Illness Thrive

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

American Academy of Physician Assistants Honors Local Endocrine Specialists with Physician-PA Partnership of the Year Award

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 35 years ago, a local physician and physician assistant joined forces to help care for the growing number of El Pasoans struggling with diabetes and other chronic endocrine disorders. Together, Dwight Deter, PA-C, and Wilbur J. Strader, MD, founded the Southwest Endocrine Consultants, which is now one of the most highly-regarded diabetes and endocrine practices in the Southwest.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants will honor Deter and Strader with the 2012 Physician-PA Partnership Award for a career of providing the best possible care to patients through the unique relationship between physicians and physician assistants. The award will be presented on May 28 at AAPA's Annual Physician Assistant Conference in Toronto, Ontario.

"Caring for our patients is our love and what has kept us going all of these years, and we're deeply honored to receive this recognition from our peers," said Strader. "The collaboration, rapport and kinship we have developed through this partnership is widely appreciated by our patients and, over time, has helped our community become healthier."

"Diabetes, thyroid and other endocrine diseases are lifelong and can be complicated. However, the team approach that we have been able to implement has enabled us to improve so many lives," said Deter.  Addressing growth hormone deficiencies in childhood is just one of the callings for the practice. After observing numerous El Paso children go undiagnosed and untreated for growth hormone deficiency which results in abnormally short height, the pair intervened. Deter and Strader provided many lectures for school nurses on how to identify children with growth disorders. They provide evaluations and treatment for children with this treatable disorder whether they have health insurance or not.

"Since children with growth hormone deficiencies have a small window of opportunity for successful treatment, we would rather treat them for free rather than turn them away," said Deter. "It is extremely rewarding to see a child respond to treatment, increase their growth velocity, and improve all of the other aspects of their health due to our timely intervention."

Strader and Deter also educate physicians, PAs and other health care professionals across the country. Over the past 20 years, the two have given several hundred lectures at local, state and national meetings to keep their colleagues up to date on treating endocrine diseases along with new and emerging therapies. "Having the opportunity to share our knowledge and experience with others so that they can improve the lives of their patients is another exciting aspect of what we have been able to accomplish," said Deter. 

Their clinical and educational efforts will continue when their practice joins the endocrine section of the Texas Tech University Health Science Center, Paul Foster School of Medicine, in El Paso on June 1.

Today, Southwest Endocrine Consultants is a thriving practice served by two board-certified endocrinologists, Strader and Dr. Robert L. Young, and three PAs -- Deter; Elvis Jacome, PA-C; and Tracy Short, PA-C. Their provider model for patient care is the basis for more than 100 physician-PA teams now caring for the El Paso community in a variety of health specialties.

The Physician-PA Partnership 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, Humanitarian PA of the Year, Outstanding PA of the Year, PA Service to the Underserved 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 more than 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