Augsburg College health and wellness fair

Emma Hermes ’18, Clinton Billhorn ’18, Jessica Puchalski ’17
[L to R] Emma Hermes ’18, Clinton Billhorn ’18, Jessica Puchalski ’17
The Augsburg PA Student Society recently hosted a booth at the College Health and Wellness Fair. The Student Society distributed handouts about the process of getting into a PA program, as well as information about the role of a Physician Assistant within the healthcare system. Many undergraduate students and community members stopped by the booth to ask current PA students about their experiences and recommendations for the PA school admissions process. A current Augsburg PA student stated “We wish everyone luck in reaching their goals and hope that some prospective students learned more about the responsibilities and skills that PAs possess.”

Physician Assistant students volunteer at Community Meals over Labor Day Weekend

Claire Maccani ’18, Clinton Billhorn ’18, Emma Hermes ’18, Erin Ness ’18
[L to R] Claire Maccani ’18, Clinton Billhorn ’18, Emma Hermes ’18, Erin Ness ’18
A first year student said “we volunteered this weekend at Community Meals and once again had a positive experience.  Many of the guests had stories about how Augsburg has helped them.  They were very excited to see us, and the other volunteers were especially kind.”

The student volunteer went on to say that the guests engaged them in many good conversations about the students’ future healthcare careers.

There have plans in place to continue volunteering at Community Meals as the fall semester continues.

Online Registration is Now Open for 10th Annual “Run for Your Life” 5k

What: Augsburg PA Run for Your Life 5k
Where: Central Park Victoria West – Lions Shelter in Roseville, MN
When: Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.

Please visit for more information and event details.

The official 5k registration link is located at

Questions?  Email

Physician Assistant Graduates Featured in Spring Edition of Augsburg Now

Tom Towle ’14, Scott Harder ’15, and Christina Pekoske ’15
[L to R] Tom Towle ’14, Scott Harder ’15, and Christina Pekoske ’15
The spring 2016 edition of Augsburg Now, a publication of Augsburg College, is available now in print and on the web.  Several Augsburg College physician assistant alumni were featured in a portion of the magazine called Auggies Connect — a section dedicated to alumni highlights and stories.

Read more about how PA alumni are helping current Augsburg PA students by sharing their time and talents in clinic and in the classroom.

For more information about Augsburg Now, or to read other stories, visit:

MAPA Selects Longstanding Augsburg Clinical Instructor for Preceptor of the Year

On March 16 – 18, the Minnesota Academy of Physician Assistants held its 2016 Spring Conference in Brooklyn Park, MN.  Among the various annual recognitions awarded by MAPA, a new award was added for 2016.  MAPA sought nominations for this new award — Clinical Preceptor of the Year — in late 2015.

The Augsburg Physician Assistant Program put forth a nomination for the new award based on the graduating class of 2015’s chosen recipient of the Clinical Instructor of the Year (see story dated December 7, below).  Dr. Joseph McRaith was ultimately recognized as MAPA’s 2016 Preceptor of the Year as a result of Augsburg’s nomination.  Dr. McRaith has precepted many classes of Augsburg PA students in internal medicine, and we are so thankful for his commitment to our program.  Although Dr. McRaith was not available to receive his award on March 18, Dr. Quella graciously accepted the award on his behalf.

To read more about MAPA and the other 2016 award winners, visit:

Congratulations, Dr. McRaith!

Dr. Alicia Quella Receives 2016 AAPA Award

AAPA logo

“The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Awards Committee has announced the recipients of the 2016 AAPA Awards.  These awards are the highest recognition bestowed on Academy members and are awarded to PAs who have distinguished themselves in service to patients, the community, and the PA profession.”  — news release dated 3/18/16

Dr. Alicia Quella
Dr. Alicia Quella

Augsburg College Physician Assistant Program Director, Dr. Alicia Quella, received the 2016 AAPA Publishing Award for her in-depth analysis of PA compensation and influence of PAs and NPs on the healthcare market.

To learn more about the American Academy of Physician Assistants, visit:

Congratulations, Dr. Quella!


Faculty Member Skye Peltier Attends EAHAD 2016

Skye Peltier
Skye Peltier

The 9th Annual Congress of the European Association for Haemophilia and Allied Disorders was held in Malmö, Sweden in early February.  Augsburg Physician Assistant Instructor Skye Peltier, PA-C, attended the conference.  Peltier has worked in hematology in both Minneapolis, Minnesota and Portland, Oregon.

For more information about the European Association for Haemophilia and Allied Disorders, visit:

Augsburg Announces Nineteenth Class of Physician Assistant Studies Graduates

On December 18, 2015, thirty students completed commencement exercises to receive a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.

During the ceremony, Shelby Winzent ’15 spoke on behalf of her fellow classmates as the class representative. Dr. Dave Dvorak, emergency medicine physician and long-standing lecturer for the program, delivered the commencement address. Dr. Joseph McRaith received the Clinical Instructor of the Year Award, as voted upon by the graduates [see story dated December 7, below].

The faculty and staff of the program congratulate these men and women on their achievements. We wish them well as they prepare to sit for the national certifying exam in the upcoming weeks and months.

The class of 2015 is the nineteenth class to graduate from Augsburg’s PA Program since its founding in 1995.

Class of 2015
Class of 2015

Augsburg PA Program Holds Fall 2015 Challenge Bowl

Team Scoliosis Claims Championship!
Team Scoliosis Claims Championship!

Students from the Class of 2015 and Class of 2017 took part in the annual Fall Challenge Bowl at the Augsburg College PA Program. The Fall Challenge Bowl is an opportunity for students to review material prior to final exams and to participate in a friendly competition. In addition, this is a unique, innovative opportunity for Augsburg PA students from the graduating class and the first year cohort to interact and network. The winning team this fall was Team Scoliosis comprised of Tess Lauer ’17, Meagan McGovern ’15, Abigail Zagar ’15, Lisa Hanson ’17, and Cynthia Matthees ’15.

The Fall Challenge Bowl is modeled after the National Medical Challenge Bowl which is held annually at the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) annual conference. The competition is slightly modified to help meet the needs of Augsburg PA student as they prepare for final and comprehensive exams each semester.

For more information about the National Medical Challenge Bowl:

Graduating Students Select Dr. Joseph McRaith as Clinical Instructor of the Year

Dr. Joseph McRaith
Dr. Joseph McRaith

Each year, Augsburg PA students nominate and vote on their favorite preceptor from the clinical year. The award is given at graduation to demonstrate our appreciation for the preceptors in our community. This year, we are happy to announce Dr. Joseph McRaith as the winner!

Dr. McRaith specializes in internal medicine and practices as a hospitalist under Rotilie, Toman, & McRaith, LLC. A graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School, he completed his residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. McRaith is affiliated with HealthEast Care System and Allina Health in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He is a valued clinical instructor at Augsburg College and has precepted many classes of physician assistant students.

A graduating student who nominated Dr. McRaith had the following to say about his excellence as a provider and preceptor:

“While I was on the medicine service with Dr. McRaith, he let me learn at my own pace while seeing my own patients. At the same time, he supervised me and made sure that I understood the rationale behind each treatment plan. He pushed me to my full potential and helped me realize my passion for inpatient internal medicine.  During the whole rotation, I felt like my opinions mattered and that I was actually treated as more than just a ‘student’. All of my classmates who have rotated with Dr. McRaith and his group have nothing but good things to say, even those who are not interested in internal medicine.”

Congratulations to Dr. McRaith!