Don Pedersen, PhD., PA-C., Dist. Service 2018
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Professor Emeritus, Dr. Don Pedersen has been involved with the Utah Physician Assistant Program (UPAP) since 1979, initially serving as Academic Coordinator. He was the Program Director from 1989 to 2010 after attaining a faculty appointment in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine (DFPM) in the University of Utah School of Medicine. He, more recently, served as the Chief of the Division of Physician Assistant Studies and is now an Emeritus Professor and active internationally with his wife Kathy in a program they created, called Global Partners (GP). GP seeks to broker resources of the University of Utah to meet needs of multinational corporations and humanitarian organizations through education and clinical care.
Dr. Pedersen has authored over 75 articles and book chapters relating to clinical practice and physician assistant education. Under his leadership UPAP became a graduate program in the School of Medicine offering the Masters of Physician Assistant Studies degree. Nationally, he is a past President of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) with 4 years of service on the Board of Directors. In 1998 he founded the Associations national, peer-reviewed Journal of Physician Assistant Education and served as the journal’s founding editor and publisher for the initial seven years of operation. He also created the Association’s Research Institute and through an endowment from their family foundation, he and Kathy created a small grants program, which bears his name, for educational research by PA program faculty on a national level. During his tenure with the Association he established a liaison position with the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) and served in this capacity for two years. He also represented the Association as the liaison to the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH).
Dr. Pedersen has served as the President of the Physician Assistant Foundation (PAF), the philanthropic arm of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). He completed eight years of service on the PAF Board of Trustees and was awarded Emeritus Trustee status. Through the PAF, he and Kathy established an endowed grant program in honor of Don’s father to award international humanitarian outreach grants to PAs, PA Programs and PA students. To date nearly 50 grants have been awarded to assist in over 15 countries on 5 continents. While President of the PAF, he also raised $80,000 for Hurricane Katrina relief, which helped to rebuild a Community Health Center Clinic in Mississippi. He completed ten years on the State of Utah Physician Assistant Licensing Board at DOPL, serving two years as chair. He recently completed 6 years serving on the Board of Directors of the Health Foundation of the National Commission on Certification of PAs (NCCPA), where he established the Kathy J. Pedersen Grant program to Combat Health Disparities. In 1997 he helped pioneer the Utah PA Program’s international clinical activities starting in Papua New Guinea, Thailand and now Nepal. He served as a founding member on both the AAPA International Working Group and the PA Historical Society.