Lindsay Abernethy, MMSc, PA-C, has been selected to serve as the interim program director of the School of Medicine’s Master of Medical Science-Physician Assistant program. The appointment is part of a recent restructuring within the Department of Graduate Health Professions in medicine and the PA program.
Abernethy takes over the role held previously by Katherine Ervie, who served as program director from the inception of the program in 2012 until January 2021. Abernethy will direct the clinical curriculum and provide overall leadership of the PA program.
She first joined the School of Medicine faculty in 2018 as an adjunct assistant professor. She previously served as assistant director of clinical education with the South University Physician Assistant Program in Savannah, Georgia.
Abernethy received her master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Emory University. Before joining UMKC, she was the first physician assistant to practice medicine on the island of Anguilla, where she provided family and emergency medicine care. Upon moving back to the United States, she found her niche in occupational and urgent care medicine. She continues to serve the Kansas City area through clinical practice one day a week.
Other staff and faculty changes include Laura Begley, Ph.D., serving as assistant dean for Gradate Health Professions; Sara Cox, MPAS, PA-C, as director of didactic education; and Stephanie Painter, MPA-PA-C, serving as director of assessment and student learning.
Begley joined the School of Medicine in 2009 as program assistant for the school’s Master of Science in Anesthesia program. She spent seven years as program coordinator for the Office of Allied Health and most recently was appointed associate director of the Department of Graduate Health Professions. She will provide leadership in accreditation and assessment, as well as supervision of student support personnel.
Cox has been part of the school’s PA program faculty since 2018 and will work to ensure that didactic curriculum content meets the program’s defined goals, student learning outcomes and accreditation standards.
Painter joined the School of Medicine in 2020. She will oversee the assessment needs across the program’s didactic and clinical curriculum to assess students for mastery of defined learning outcomes and competencies.
Two additional staff also have joined the department: Darlene Hirst as adjunct assistant professor in the PA program and Amber Blair as a student support specialist.
Edwin Kreamer, M.D., continues to serve as medical director for the physician assistant program and Julie Banderas, Pharm.D., will continue to serve as assistant dean and department chair for Graduate Health Professions in Medicine.