Salt Lake City-Area Physician Assistant Recognized for Advancing Profession at University of Utah School of Medicine

Jun 01, 2010, 05:00 ET from American Academy of Physician Assistants

American Academy of Physician Assistants Names Donald M. Pedersen, Ph.D., PA-C, Outstanding PA of the Year

ATLANTA, June 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Donald M. Pedersen, Ph.D., PA-C, of Salt Lake City, Utah, received the American Academy of Physician Assistants' 2010 Outstanding PA of the Year Award at the organization's 38th Annual Physician Assistant Conference in Atlanta yesterday. Pedersen has shaped PA education at the University of Utah School of Medicine for more than three decades, headed the implementation of the university's Master of PA Studies degree, and pioneered the program's international clinical activities in Papua New Guinea and Thailand.


"I have dedicated my career to helping others in the profession gain the education and skill they need to provide health care in Utah," said Pedersen. "Students in PA programs today are the medical professionals who will fill the gaps in patient care tomorrow. I'm honored and humbled by this recognition from AAPA, as it is this work that has inspired me throughout my career."

Pedersen is currently a professor at the University of Utah and has authored more than 60 publications relating to clinical practice and PA education. He is also the past president of the Association of Physician Assistant Programs (now the Physician Assistant Education Association) and the PA Foundation, where he continues to serve as a board member and an emeritus trustee. While PA Foundation president, Pedersen established the R.K. Pedersen Global Humanitarian Outreach Grant Program to provide funding for PAs around the world who are working on sustainable, capacity-building projects involving health education and clinical care. Pedersen is the PAEA's liaison to the Global Health Education Consortium and is a trustee of the School of Medicine Alumni Association.  He is a former PAragon PA Educator of the Year (1998). He is also a recipient of the Utah Medical Association Distinguished Service Award and has been recognized by the AAPA board for his humanitarian outreach after the 2004 Asian tsunami and for his efforts to raise money for Hurricane Katrina relief.

In recognition of his accomplishments, Pedersen received the Outstanding PA of the Year Award, which honors a PA who has demonstrated exemplary service to the PA profession and the community and has furthered the public image of PAs. The award is one of five PAragon Awards, made possible with support from Pfizer Inc., that are presented annually by AAPA to recognize members who have demonstrated distinguished service to patients, the community and the profession. Other awards include: Federal Service PA of the Year, Humanitarian PA of the Year, PA Service to the Underserved Award and the Physician-PA Partnership Award.

AAPA is the only national professional association that represents PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of U.S. territories, the armed forces and federal services. Founded in 1963, AAPA works to increase the professional and personal growth of the entire PA workforce by providing comprehensive support and advocacy for physician assistants so that they may, in turn, provide patients with increased access to quality, cost-effective health care. Learn more at

SOURCE American Academy of Physician Assistants