MSM Physician Assistants Program Recognized for Diversity and Community Outreach Initiatives by the American Academy of Physician Assistants

Social justice, health equity, industry education integral to the programs initiatives.

PA Program Students

ATLANTA -- June 16, 2021 -- Morehouse School of Medicine’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program’s students were awarded the Outstanding Student Society award by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the national professional society for physician assistants (PA).

The Outstanding Student Society award recognizes one student society annually for outstanding service to the profession in the areas of public education and advocacy; public service and outreach; promotion of diversity; and professional involvement.

“Morehouse School of Medicine’s mission is to lead the creation and advancement of health equity,” said Pangela H. Dawson PhD, founding program director, Physician Assistants Studies, Department of Family Medicine at Morehouse School of Medicine. “Our students are trained to be compassionate and culturally-competent, and this is not only taught in the classroom. We are active members in the community, and this is an example of the work we do. I am immensely proud of our students and the recognition they have received from AAPA for their hard work and commitment.”

The Physician Assistants Studies Program students worked to meet the challenges of not only the pandemic, but ongoing health inequity and the effects on the local community. The students also sought to raise awareness and confront past and present racism. 

The Morehouse School of Medicine Henry Lee “Buddy” Treadwell PA Student Society led a march to the Georgia State Capitol to advocate for social justice and highlight disparities in health equity. Additionally, the students took part in the White Coats for Black Lives March with staff from Grady Memorial Hospital.

The students also worked to bring attention to diversity in the PA profession and support students in Morehouse School of Medicine’s program. During PA Week, held annually October 6 through October 12, the students hosted a townhall discussion on diversity in the PA profession. The Henry Lee “Buddy” Treadwell Inaugural PA Student Society Scholarship was launched, fully funded by students of the inaugural Class of 2021, to support students from minority backgrounds and rural communities. Last year, the society also launched a peer mentorship program for PA students.

In the community the student society hosted clothing and food drives for the homeless, screened high-risk people for COVID-19, and connected older community members at risk for the virus with resources such as food and transportation.

The American Academy of PAs, founded in 1968, is the national professional society for PAs. The academy represents a profession of more than 150,000 PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and the uniformed services. AAPA advocates and educates on behalf of the profession and the patients PAs serve, and seek to ensure the professional growth, personal excellence, and recognition of PAs. AAPA also enhances the ability to improve the quality, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness of patient-centered healthcare.

About Morehouse School of Medicine

Founded in 1975, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is among the nation’s leading educators of primary care physicians, biomedical scientists, and public health professionals. An independent and private historically-Black medical school, MSM was recognized by the Annals of Internal Medicine as the nation’s number one medical school in fulfilling a social mission—the creation and advancement of health equity. MSM faculty and alumni are noted for excellence in teaching, research, and public policy, as well as exceptional patient care. MSM is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctoral and master’s degrees. To learn more about programs and donate today, please visit or call 404-752-1500.


Nicole Linton