AAPA Announces 2017 Award Recipients

Congratulations to the Honorees

The AAPA Awards Committee in April announced the recipients of the 2017 AAPA Awards, which honor those PAs who have served patients, communities and the profession with great distinction.  The awards are the highest recognition bestowed on Academy members and will be formally presented during the AAPA Conference 2017 in May.

Epifanio Elizondo
RADM Epifanio Elizondo, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA

Eugene A. Stead Jr. Award of Achievement

The Eugene A. Stead Award of Achievement is the Academy’s most prestigious award recognizing an individual for lifetime achievement that has had a broad and significant impact on the profession.

RADM Elizondo served as the highest-ranking PA in military history and has been a public health leader during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. A former surgeon general wrote that Elizondo “always exceeded my expectations and served the nation with grace, humility, and professionalism.” More 

David Day

AAPA/PAEA Preceptor of the Year Award

The Preceptor of the Year Award is selected by both AAPA and the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA). It is presented to a PA who demonstrates a commitment to excellence in the clinical education of PA students as a mentor, role model and instructor.

Day has mentored more than 50 future PA leaders in addition to several nurse practitioner students while working in primary care and emergency medicine in western Kansas. One student who was with Day in 2015 said that of all her rotations, her time with Day allowed for the most hands-on experience. More 

Pauline Gross
COL Pauline Gross, U.S. Army, SP, PA-C

Military Service PA of the Year

With its Military Service PA of the Year Award, AAPA honors the commitment of military PAs to exemplary healthcare service and leadership in their community, to veterans and their families, and to the medically underserved at home and abroad.

COL Gross is currently Command Surgeon of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command in San Antonio, Texas. She has been a groundbreaker in expanding the role of PAs in the military, culminating in her appointment as the first PA in this role. “Whenever I had the chance,” COL Gross says, “I tried to put myself out there. There were countless times when I thought that if we PAs aren’t going to do it, who else will?” More

Marta Klein
Marta Klein, PA-C

Humanitarian of the Year

The Humanitarian Award is presented each year to a PA who demonstrates exemplary service to the PA profession and the community, especially by providing accessible, quality healthcare to the medically underserved.

Klein, who works with the Evangelical Covenant Church, found ways to improvise and implement programs to address the extremely high rates of pediatric malnutrition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Klein says her accomplishments are possible because of the people around her in villages and at the hospital and the missionaries she works with. More


Alison C. Essary
Alison C. Essary, DHSc, MHPE, PA-C

Publishing Award

The publishing award is given to a PA who has published a new clinical or research article expressing original or scientifically rigorous ideas.

Essary’s article, “Women, Family, Medicine, and Career Choice: An Opportunity Cost Analysis,” was published in the JAAPA. Her scientific work has broken new ground in the fields of healthcare accessibility, patient-centered care, and gender issues in the family practice setting. More