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Physician Assistant Studies

Physician Assistant Students - Didactic Year 2007-2008

David Baker 

Name: David R. Baker
Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN
Academic Background:
A.S. in Chemical Methods and B.S. in Biology from Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW)

Healthcare Background: 1 year working at Community East Hospital in Indianapolis as a transporter; 3 years working as a diagnostic imaging assistant at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne, 1 year working as a CNA certified Unit Assistant in the Coronary Medical Intensive Care Unit at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne

Professional Goals: To practice as a PA-C. I am currently interested in cardiology and emergency medicine; however, I am looking forward to clinical rotations and am open to other areas of medicine that might interest me at that time.

Rebecca Church 

Name:  Rebecca Church
Tecumseh, MI
Academic Background: B.S in Nursing from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan.

Healthcare Background:  I worked as a Nurse Technician for one year at St John Hospital & Medical Center in Detroit.  I also have worked as a Medical Assistant for Northwest Ohio Cardiology Consultants in Toledo, Ohio, for one summer. 

Professional Goals: My goal is to excel as a dedicated and respected PA-C.  I have an initial interest in cardiology, or internal medicine, but this may change as I transition into my clinical rotations and experience the various areas of medicine.

Todd Drayer 

Name:  Todd Drayer
Bluffton, IN
Academic Background: A.S. in Chemical Methods, B.S. in Biology from Purdue University – Fort Wayne (IPFW)

Healthcare Background: Pharmacy Tech for 3.5 years at Matthew 25 Health Clinic.  EMT-B certified.

Professional Goals: I am unsure what specific area of medicine I would like to practice in, therefore my goal is to have a strong foundation of knowledge that will allow me to be flexible.  I am interested in helping underserved populations.

Lea Dunn 

Name:  Lea Dunn
Hometown:  San Diego, CA
Academic Background:  BA in Biological Psychology from Mills College in Oakland, CA.

Healthcare Background:  7 years in women’s health; 4 years in medical diagnostics.

Professional Goals:  For the last 10 years I’ve been working towards my goal of becoming a caring and compassionate physician assistant. So glad I’m finally here! Upon graduation, I plan to spend a few years honing my family practitioner skills around the world as a medical missionary, then settling down in the San Diego area to practice neurology.

Aimee Erney 

Name:  Aimee Erney
Hometown: Columbus, OH
Academic Background: B.A. Biology from Wittenberg University, Springfield OH

Healthcare Background: Patient Care Technician at Riverside Hospital for 1 year (General Medicine floor), ER volunteer, St. Johns nursing home volunteer/employee

Professional Goals: After completing the didactic and clinical portions of my PA studies at St. Francis, I am hoping to be a knowledgeable, professional, and personable health care provider. Although I am open-minded about what field I want to go into as a PA-C, family practice and pediatrics appeal to me the most.

Robin Cartwright 

Name:  Robin E (Goodwin) Cartwright
Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN
Academic Background: B.S. in Health Physics form Purdue University

Healthcare Background: 9mo at an ENT office as an audiology technician, volunteered several hours each week to ASK Ministries (a local free clinic), 1 summer break as an orthodontic lab technician, Eli Lilly & Co. internship

Professional Goals: To become a certified Physician assistant working under a knowledgeable physician in a positive environment.   My interests lie in Emergency medicine and surgery, but my clinical rotations may change my mind. 

Molly Hermann 

Name:  Molly Herrmann
Hometown:  Bluffton, IN
Academic Background:  I graduated from DePauw University with a B.A. in Psychology and a concentration in Classical History and Chemistry.

Healthcare Background:  I have worked as a clinical assistant in a neuropsychological clinic and as a patient care technician for an audiology clinic. I also have collaborated on research in the field of cross-haptic sensory perception and three-dimensional acuity as it relates to age.

Professional Goals:  After the completion of graduate coursework for the Physician assistant program at the University of Saint Francis, I hope to pursue a job position in a specialty field which allows me to continue to enrich my education and achieve my greatest potential as a practitioner. I am excited to become a PA-C and make a positive contribution to my community and the medical field.

Emily Johnson 

Name:  Emily Johnson
Hometown:  Goshen, IN
Academic Background:  Bachelor’s degree in Biology from DePauw University, Greencastle, IN

Healthcare Background:  EMT certified, volunteered as a Medical Assistant in a public healthcare clinic, worked one year as a Nurse Assistant in the Obstetrics unit at Goshen General Hospital, volunteered in a medical clinic in El Salvador

Professional Goals:  I hope to find a job as a PA-C in an environment where I am surrounded by colleagues who are dedicated to being educators, caring for the patient as a whole, and who believe in quality healthcare for all individuals.  Given the time and resources, I would love to start programs for the public based in preventive medicine.

Lauren Fehey 

Name:  Lauren (Keyes) Fahey
Hometown: Fishers, IN
Academic Background: B.A. from DePauw University in May of 2006, with a double major in Biology and Communications.

Healthcare Background: During my years at DePauw I gained medical research experience in molecular biology, aiding in mapping the 5HT2A serotonin receptor.   I furthermore had an internship with a Physician Assistant with OrthoIndy at Methodist Hospital, and took an Emergency Medical Technician training course. After graduation I also obtained my CNA certification.  Prior to my time at the University of St. Francis I worked full-time for a year as a patient care technician on 3South Cardiac Medical at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis.

Professional Goals:  I am currently pursuing my Masters of Physician Assistant to become a PA-C.  I am ecstatic to be a PA and would love to practice in the Indianapolis area.  My greatest hope is to build relationships with my patients, and make a significant contribution to the health care system.

Natashia Korus 

Name:  Natashia Korus
Hometown: Lindsay, NE
Academic Background: B.S. in Exercise Science from Creighton University, Omaha, NE

Healthcare Background: Physical Therapy Technician at Community Rehab Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, Omaha, NE

Professional Goals: As a PA-C, I want a job that challenges me to use the skills and knowledge I will acquire at USF.  Throughout my clinical rotations, I hope to find a specialty that upholds the same values as I hold.  At some point in my career, I would like to provide healthcare in an underserved country.

Brittany LaBonte 

Name:  Brittany Michelle LaBonte
Hometown: Franklin, IN
Academic Background: B.A. in Biology from Franklin College of Indiana

Healthcare Background: I worked for a year in a primary care facility through AmeriCorp and internships.

Professional Goals: I hope to be a knowledgeable and personable PA-C.  I am interested in orthopaedics and primary care but I’m still open to any area.  The clinical rotations will give me more experience in each area and lead me down the right path.
Robert Lang 

Name:  Robert R. Lang
Hometown:  Farmington, NM
Academic Background:   AA Outdoor Leadership and AAS Fire Science from San Juan College; BS Business Administration from University of Phoenix.

Healthcare Background:  Five years as a career Firefighter/EMT-I.  Taught EMT-B curriculum for San Juan College Fire Science Program and Farmington Fire Department. Tactical Medic for Farmington Police SWAT unit.

Professional Goals:  To be an exemplary Physician Assistant through ethical conduct, continuing education, and quality patient contact.

Thuy Le 

Name:  Thuy Le
Hometown:  Fort Wayne, IN
Academic Background:  Graduated from University of Saint Francis, IN with A.S. in Surgical Technology and B.S. in Biology

Healthcare Background:  Worked 2 years as a Surgical Technologist Trainee, 3 years as Surgical Technologist, and 9 months as Emergency Care Technician at Parkview Hospital.

Professional Goals:  To become a PA-C and specialize in Surgery; but, I also have interest in Emergency Room. At the same time, be involved in medical missionaries and volunteer in underserved areas.

Cory Martin 

Name: Cory Martin
Hometown:     Muncie, IN
Academic Background:   BS from Indiana University, Bloomington with double majors in Marketing and Internal Studies.  After graduating, I completed 2 years of pre-PA requisites before coming to join the PA program here at USF.

Healthcare Background:  1 Year as Clinical Technician/EMT in the ER at Community South Hospital-Indianapolis before attending University of Saint Francis for PA degree

 Professional Goals:     My goal is to be a competent, motivated PA, working in a practice that values integrity, excellence and family.  My PA interests were originally sparked for Orthopaedics, however, I anticipate my clinical rotations will shed more light on which area(s) is/are the best fit for me.

Melanie Millikan 

Name:  Melanie Millikan
Hometown: Churubusco, IN
Academic Background: Received undergraduate schooling as a 5 year PA student through the University of Saint Francis

Healthcare Background: Certified as a Nursing Assistant for four years. Worked nearly four years at Kingston Assisted Living, where I cared for geriatric residents with Alzheimer’s disease. Worked one year at Parkview Randallia, caring for patients in the Neurology Unit.

Professional Goals: My goal is to become a knowledgeable, caring, and respected PA-C working in a field that challenges me to learn more and progress in my knowledge and skill levels every day. I am interested in Surgery, but plan to explore many fields over the course of my studies at the University of Saint Francis.

Heather Peters 

Name:  Heather Peters
Hometown:  Seymour, IN
Academic Background: B.A. in Athletic Training from Franklin College, Indiana (2006)

Healthcare Background: Before becoming a Certified Athletic Trainer in 2006, I worked as a student athletic trainer for college athletics while shadowing various health care professionals, placing an emphasis on orthopedics and emergency care.

Professional Goals: My primary goal is to progress through the program to become the most well-rounded clinician I can be and to become a Certified Physician Assistant. Currently, I am interested in emergency medicine, although I am keeping an open mind and an open heart in regards to what area pulls me in.
Nathaniel Roach 

Name: Nathaniel D. Roach
Hometown: Odon, IN
Academic Background: AS in Physical Therapist Assistant, Vincennes University; BS in General Studies, IPFW

Healthcare Background: Physical Therapist Assistant for 10 years in acute care, extended care, intensive care, private practice and hospital based outpatient

Professional Goals: I am presently leaning toward practice in a surgical specialty whether in orthopedics or trauma, but am very open minded about all opportunities to practice as a PA-C.  I want to be a medical practitioner that not only patients, but other health care professionals trust and believe in.

Michael Summitt 

Name:  Michael Summitt
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Academic Background: BA-Biology from IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN

Healthcare Background: I have been an Army medic for 20 years.  I have also worked as a procurement tech for a tissue bank, and have many years experience with clinical labs, especially with molecular pathology.

Professional Goals: As of now, I plan to focus on internal medicine, with an emphasis on infectious disease or oncology.  I also plan to remain in the National Guard as a PA.
Heather Upchurch 

Name:  Heather Upchurch
Hometown:  Yorktown, IN
Academic Background: I graduated with a B.S. in biology and minor in chemistry from Ball State University.

Healthcare Background: I worked for a year as a certified nurse assistant in the transitional care unit at Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana.  I also job shadowed a PA in the emergency department.

Professional Goals: Right now I am focused on obtaining my PA-C.  My current areas of interest are pediatrics, family practice, and emergency medicine.  However, I am keeping a very open mind and hope to learn about several different areas of medicine during my clinical rotations.

Katie Vandenboom

Name: Katie L. VandenBoom
Hometown:  Waukesha, WI
Academic Background: BS in Biological Sciences with minors in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. 

Healthcare Background: I have been volunteering in hospital settings since high school doing mainly clerical work.  After college graduation, I became a Certified Nursing Assistant and worked at a long term care facility for nearly 10 months.  During that time, I also shadowed various PA’s and observed several surgical procedures.

Professional Goals: Upon graduation, I hope to find a job where my knowledge and values will compliment that of the physician.  My current interest is in the surgical field though I do not yet know which subspecialty would interest me…I hope to find that out during my clinical rotations.  I look forward to being in a field that is constantly evolving and building upon the knowledge I will have gained here at USF.
Aaron Willcott 

Name:  Aaron Willcott
Hometown: Leavenworth, KS
Academic Background: B.A. in Human Biology from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.

Healthcare Background: Two years I worked as a medical technician at the Eastern Kansas VA Healthcare Center.

Professional Goals: I want to heal the sick, care for the poor, and raise a family. I definitely look forward to the lateral mobility offered by being a PA-C.

Melissa Winebarger 

Name:  Melissa R. Winebarger
Hometown: Muncie, IN
Academic Background: B.S. in Biology with a double minor in Composite Speech and Chemistry from Bob Jones University, Greenville, SC

Healthcare Background:  I worked as a Nursing Aid in a Nursing Home/Rehabilitation Center for about a year before transferring to Ball Memorial Hospital where I worked as a phlebotomist.

Professional Goals: I desire to be a compassionate and competent healthcare provider who goes beyond the call of duty.  I want to positively impact society by investing my life into that of my patients and coworkers.  My interest is primarily in cardiothorasic medicine, surgery, and family medicine.  However, clinical rotations may show other areas of interest.  I am still very open to other fields.