Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant Department News

  • For this year’s Physician Assistant week the PA Class of 2017 put together a booth with flyers and brochures which include information about PAs, what they are and what they can do. The goal is to promote PAs!  In addition, the class is having a bake sale. Proceeds will go to sending a fellow classmate to the AAPA conference in May!

    The class also sent a “Happy PA Week from Rosalind Franklin University PA Class of 2017” class photo to the surrounding PA schools as well as some of our preceptors. In addition the Class of 2017, is also volunteering at Feed My Starving Children this week.

    Can’t forget the fun! Spirit days will include:

    Stache Tuesday. During October, the guys will be growing out their mustaches. Stick-on mustaches for all the girls!

    Wednesday’s we wear pink (for breast cancer). October is breast cancer awareness month.

    Throwback ThursdayWear your favorite 80s or 90s gear!

    Pride Friday - Wear your class T-shirts. 

  • Program Director and Acting Chair Michel Statler, MLA, PA-C, Associate Program Director Ziemowit Mazur Ed.M., MS, PA-C, along with  Ramia Safi, current 4th year COP all presented at Collaborating Across Boarders on October 2, 2015. Dr. Scott Hanes was also part of this team that discussed Transition from multi-disciplinary to an interprofessional education model: successes and lessons learned along the way. Great job team!      

  • Mariclare Barrett (1951-2015)

    Mariclare Barrett passed away September 4th this morning in her home, surrounded by her loving family.  She joined the university in 1999, and was an Assistant Professor in the Physician Assistant Department.  She had been a PA since graduating from the Johns Hopkins University program in 1978.

    Mariclare is one of the most popular names among Irish families, traditionally given to the first-born daughter.  In Gaelic, it translates to “Child of our Longing,” and this was an appropriate name for her, as those of us who were fortunate enough to know Mariclare were always longing for more time together with her.

    She was, first and foremost, the mother of six fine sons.  She talked about them daily and found great joy in motherhood.  She was also a compassionate primary care PA, and looked after her patients the way she did her own family.  She enjoyed serving the underserved, whether it was delivering babies in the South Lawndale neighborhood or taking care of inmates at the Cook County Jail.

    Her favorite course to teach was Psychosocial Aspects of Healthcare, where she never conformed to traditional teaching methods.  She bravely announced to students that she had stage four breast cancer with metastasis to three organ systems, and that she was dying.  They would learn to talk to her about this in order to be better prepared to talk to other patients like her about illness and mortality.  Her students became better healthcare providers -- and better human beings -- because of their interactions with her.

    Mariclare was an amazing storyteller in the best Irish tradition, and her stories were often so outrageous that you couldn’t believe that they were actually true.  But they all were -- even the one about her turning a corner too sharply in a rental car and accidentally sideswiping Bill Clinton’s presidential limousine. Her experiences in life were remarkable because she took risks, and followed unlikely paths, and entertained improbable goals.

    Mariclare was an important addition to the PA faculty, and served in many roles, including the Assistant Program Director.  In 2014, she was the first PA inducted into Pi Alpha, the physician assistant honor society at Rosalind Franklin University.  She served on many university committees and taught a variety of subjects.  One of her most notable presentations was at the national PA conference, where she gave a workshop on “How to learn and remember every student’s name by the end of the first week of classes.”  May her memory continue to inspire us all.

  • An awards ceremony for the graduating class of 2015 was held on June 5, 2015 at Navy Pier. Honors were recognized from the Chicago Medical School, College of Pharmacy, School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Dr. William H. Scholl College of Pediatric Medicine, and The College of Health Professions. The Physician Assistant Department proudly congratulates the following Physician Assistant graduates for their recognition at this year’s award ceremony.

    Allie Metzler 
    The College of Health Professions Dean's Award for Scholarship
    Presented to the PA student with the highest grade point average.

    Robert Aitchison 
    The College of Health Professions Clinical Education Award
    Presented to the PA student for outstanding performance in clinical training. 

    Antonia Garland
    Lee Ann Myers Memorial Award
    Presented to the PA student who has chosen this profession as a second career. 
    This award was established by the family and friends of Lee Ann who died in 2001. 
    Ms. Myers was a 1998 graduate from the PA program.

    Taebee Chang
    Tara Pullara Memorial Award
    Presented to the PA student who shows exceptional ability as a compassionate 
    patient care provider. Tara's battle with cancer ended just prior to her graduation from 
    the PA program in 2009.

    Pawan Sethi, MD  
    Physician Assistant Clinical Preceptorship Award
    Presented to the physician or physician assistant selected by the students as the 
    clinician who has contributed most significantly to their clinical education.

  • Associate Program Director Ziemowit Mazur Ed.M., MS, PA-C is seen here with 1st year pharmacy students doing community screenings including cholesterol and blood pressure.

  • Danielle Coppalla, PT student and CHP Presidential Scholarship winner created This beautifully designed health and wellness website provides videos and health information about disease prevention with an interprofessional outlook on wellness to residents of Lake County about disease prevention while providing local resources. Videos which can be found below were an interprofessional effort by Ziemowit Mazur, Ed.M, MS, PA-C from Physician Assistant, Jeffery Damaschke, DPT, MS, OCS for Physical Therapy, Hope Biylk, MS, RD, LDN from Nutrition and Kristin Schneider, Ph.D from Psychology.


  • The PA Program hosted the spring IAPA (Illinois Academy of PAs) CME conference here on campus on Saturday, April 25. Director of Didactic Education Kristine Burgess, MS, PA-C and Director of Clinical Education Kristin Mahr, MSEP, MS, PA-C were the co-chairs for the CME event which was well-attended. RFUMS speakers included, Jason Radke, MMS, PA-C, Alex Kendall, MS, PA-C, Ziemowit Mazur, Ed.M, MS, PA-C, Jeff Greene, MPAS, PA-C, Program Director and Chair Michel Statler, MLA, PA-C, and Michael Shuman, PharmD (College of Pharmacy). Also held at RFU in conjunction with the IAPA CME was the annual student challenge bowl. Students from five PA programs in the state participated (RFUMS, Midwestern University, Rush University, Northwestern University, and Southern Illinois University). Coached by Director of Didactic Education Kristine Burgess, MS, PA-C. First place went to Southern Illinois University and RFUMS took third!
  • Members of the PA class of 2016 and students from DePaul University participated in the  American Diabetes Association Chicago EXPO  at McCormick Place, on Saturday, April 18, 2014.  The DePaul students performed Body Mass Index  screenings and measured waist circumference to assess for increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  Physician assistant students explained the significance of these measurements to the EXPO attendees, and  under supervision of faculty Jason Radke, MMS, PA-C and  Kristin Mahr, MSEP, PA-C, counseled about prevention and management of Diabetes Mellitus.                                                                                                                                                                         

  • A big congrats to our Director of Didactic Education Kristine Burgess, MS, PA-C who received the Outstanding Faculty Teacher Award in recognition of her teaching as well as many other contributions she makes for the didactic year.

    Dr. Scott Beatse, one of our clinical preceptors, was also recognized as CHP Outstanding Clinical Preceptor. Congratulations Dr. Beatse! 

  • PA Class of 2016 sent care packages overseas to our brave Army Soldiers. The Infantrymen were quite happy with the boxes of Girl Scout Cookies and said it was a great moral boost! Hooah Class of 2016!
  • Congratulations to first year Physician Assistant student JoLynn Reed who was named Interprofessional Community Clinic Volunteer of the Month!   A big thanks to Associate Program Director Ziemowit Mazur Ed.M., MS, PA-C and  Director of Didactic Education Kristine Burgess, MS, PA-C who recently joined the ICC volunteer force!

  • Associate Program Director Ziemowit Mazur Ed.M., MS, PA-C was re-elected this year as the Public Education and Marketing Committee Chair for Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants (IAPA). Ziemowit was also elected as a representative for IAPA for our national organization American Academy of Physician Assistant (AAPA) as House of Delegates representative for 2016/2017. Director of Clinical Education Kristin Mahr, MSEP, MS, PA-C and Director of Didactic Education Kristine Burgess, MS, PA-C are also members of IAPA.  In addition, they serve as RFUMS PA program representatives on the IAPA Board of Directors.    

  • PA Alum and scholarship winner Meredeth Campbell, was featured in the Daily Herald as she provided free screenings and medical advice at the   Community Care Connection mobile clinic's stop at the Round Lake Public Library.

  • Congrats to the Physician Assistant Team for being ranked among the top 10% of graduate physician assistant programs by  USA NEWS and World Report  for 2015! ! 

  • PA Program Associate Director Ziemowit Mazur, Ed.M., MS, PA-C  of the Community Care Connection, was a featured guest on North Shore Live - Cooper's Corner, a locally hosted public access program broadcasted in Highland Park. The show aired live Wednesday February 18. Ziemowit and Community Care Coordinator Michael Smith discussed breaking down barriers to access healthcare in the local community for those underinsured or uninsured. Great job Ziemowit!


  • First year PA Student Kelly Jo Smith was selected from a pool of competitive applicants  as Franklin Fellow and is responsible for designing and implementing community based projects on immunization education for parents and healthcare providers. Congrats Kelly Jo!

  • Check out this article on our own Rea Katz, PhD, PA-C in The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle!
  • The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has hit the Physician Assistant Department! Faculty members Marcia Stout, Kristine Burgess, Ziemowit Mazur,  and department chair Michel Statler all took the soak to raise awareness.


    • The onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is insidious with muscle weakness or stiffness as early symptoms. Progression of weakness, wasting and paralysis of the muscles of the limbs and trunk as well as those that control vital functions such as speech, swallowing, and breathing. 
    • Although the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, progression of the disease is variable and up to 20% of patients with ALS can live with quality for five years and more.  More than half of all patients live more than three years after diagnosis.
    • ALS can strike anyone, but it is not contagious.
    • While there is no cure, there are new treatments that slow the progression of symptoms.

    Source:  (ALS Association)

    Please donate today to support ALS research   

  • On Saturday August 23rd faculty member  Ziemowit Mazur, PA-C  along with PA students Wendy Tan, Luke Stock, Jessica Kozlowski, and alum Bernadette Miszczysz, PA-C  attended the Lives in Medicine conference. This Chicago-based organization was founded by and for Polish American students pursuing careers in medicine and seeking their own paths in healthcare. The goal of this conference is to encourage professionals and students to share their experiences of medical school application, acceptance, as well as residency and volunteer opportunities. Presentations on the Physician Assistant career and the admission process were given by Professor Mazur and Alum  Berna M. participated in the graduate student panel.