September 21, 2021
Apply Today for PA Foundation Scholarship
May 10, 2018
By Kate Maloney
The PA Foundation’s scholarship program has awarded almost $2.3 million in scholarships to PA students, benefitting more than 1,400 future PAs. The scholarship program is made possible in part by PAs like you – donors who are passionate about giving back to the profession and helping their future colleagues with their educational costs. Meredith Quinene, a recipient of a PA Foundation scholarship in 2002, is one of those PAs who benefitted from such generosity. She continues working today to give back to the profession she loves.
Quinene’s guiding principle as a healthcare provider is a quote from Hippocrates: “Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.” She tries to keep it at the forefront of her mind as a PA and a PA educator, since, in her experience, “the rapidly changing and constantly progressive nature of the medical field can sometimes overshadow the individual patient.”
Quinene was always interested in health and education and their impact on individuals and populations. She spent three years teaching public school science, viewing it as an ideal marriage of her two passions. While teaching, she was treated by a PA who took a great deal of time educating her on her treatment plan. Almost immediately, Quinene realized the PA profession was the fit she had been looking for. It would allow her “to fluidly integrate increased healthcare exposure while maintaining all of the aspects of education that I love,” she says.
She had already started PA school when one of the faculty members at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio PA program told her about the PA Foundation and the scholarships available for PA students. She applied and received a scholarship in 2002, helping her complete her PA education and start practicing.
Since graduation, Quinene has worked in a variety of specialties. Her first job was at a military hospital in Germany, where she’d moved with her husband, an active duty service member. There she worked in both emergency room fast track and primary care; the majority of her patients were military personnel who’d been injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. This unique patient population exposed her to a very different kind of primary care, one in which mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder were more prevalent. Given her experience treating Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, she then moved on to a position working in a traumatic brain injury clinic before coming back to the U.S. and transitioning to a position with the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center in Washington, D.C.
Though she very much enjoyed her work with service members and veterans, Quinene found herself missing the educational aspects of her previous high school teaching job. She moved back to the civilian healthcare space, working in an ENT clinic. She says she found that “the civilian world allowed me to continue my love of both managing and educating patients.” It was after her time at the ENT clinic that she chose to return to the classroom and joined the faculty of her alma mater. She is currently an assistant professor and associate academic coordinator at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, and chairs or sits on a number of different committees.
Quinene credits her PA Foundation scholarship with helping her to complete PA school and become a practicing PA. She says that receiving financial support through the Foundation’s scholarship program was extremely helpful for her family’s finances, as she has since gone on to earn both a master’s and a doctorate degree. Quinene is grateful for the support and has tried to embody the PA Foundation’s mission “by providing compassionate healthcare across the globe and using my knowledge and experience to educate the upcoming generation of PAs.”
Find out more about the PA Foundation scholarship program, and consider applying today.
Kate Maloney is AAPA’s senior manager of corporate communications. Contact her at [email protected].