PA Gives Back to Recent Grads, Community and International Aid

Jason Prevelige Supports Early-Career PAs

July 5, 2018

By Kate Maloney

2018 Connecticut HOD Delegation
2018 Connecticut HOD Delegation: (L-R) PA Johanna D’Addario, PA Sarah Clark, PA Deanna Zimkus, PA Jason Prevelige

Jason Prevelige, MHS, PA-C, is a busy man. He works full time as the lead advanced practice provider in the emergency department at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, Connecticut. He spends days off working at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Waterbury and serving his community as a volunteer firefighter. He has held several positions in the Connecticut Academy of PAs, including a two-year term as president, and has spent half of his PA career as a member of AAPA’s House of Delegates. While always a vocal state-level advocate, Prevelige recently wanted to get involved at the national level, and volunteered for AAPA’s new Early-Career PA Commission.

Although Prevelige admits he is past his early-career days, he says, “the Early-Career Commission jumped out at me because I am still evolving into what I will become as a PA. I think I can offer something to those less experienced PAs.”

He works with several younger, newly-minted PAs and enjoys helping them navigate their way through a career that requires constant adaptability and growth. To his surprise, Prevelige was asked to chair the Early-Career Commission. Eager to share things that he learned as he was coming up, Prevelige agreed to chair the Commission, but credits “the entire Commission that has taken time to reflect on their own careers and use their experiences to help provide some guidance for those newer PAs.”

Jason Prevelige
Jason Prevelige as a volunteer firefighter.

As an undergrad, Prevelige knew exactly what he wanted to be: an elementary school teacher. After a personal surgery, though, he had an epiphany and realized that medicine was the career for him. While he wasn’t sure which track he was going to take, he immediately refocused his undergrad classes on medical prerequisites. His senior year, Prevelige crossed paths with PAs during his stint as a technician in a detox facility.

“I was intrigued,” he says. “I asked them about their career paths, their knowledge and abilities, and quickly decided PA school was the right decision for me.” Prevelige was lucky enough to find his job while on rotation during PA school at Quinnipiac University. “They offered me a job before my rotation ended,” he shares. “I’d had two great rotations there, so I jumped at the opportunity.” Three years ago, his department chair approached him about taking on a lead position for advanced practice providers, and he gladly accepted.

Prevelige currently holds an official leadership role, but he is quick to point out that as PAs, all of us lead every day. Leadership is something that Prevelige has sought out in many different areas of his life – he serves as chief of his volunteer fire department, he’s held almost every available position at the Connecticut Academy of PAs, and he worked with several colleagues to form a non-profit humanitarian aid organization, where he now sits on the board of directors. “In all of these settings, I’m either leading by example or am passing along direction to ensure our patients are safe or our staff is safe or our clinic in Nicaragua is safe.” For those hoping to get involved at Prevelige’s level, he advises, “Pay your dues to a professional organization. Then, call or email and say ‘Hi, I’d like to get involved. What can I do?’ I promise that every group wants to hear that offer.”

Jason Prevelige receives the 2018 Connecticut Academy of PAs Initiative Award from ConnAPA President Deanna Zimkus
Jason Prevelige receives the 2018 Connecticut Academy of PAs Initiative Award from ConnAPA President Deanna Zimkus, PA-C.

As chair of the Early-Career Commission, Prevelige hopes to encourage more PAs to consider leadership tracks and opportunities. “We are a great profession,” he says. “We are well-educated and highly trained. It is crucial that we lead ourselves as a profession. No one knows a PA and our needs better than a PA. We also understand healthcare and have much to offer the systems we work in.” While he’s passionate about leadership, Prevelige admits he’s not entirely sure where his own career will take him.

“I enjoy working clinically and I enjoy teaching, so I don’t think I’ll ever give either up completely. But I do see myself evolving more into an administrative position as time goes on.” Prevelige just recently enrolled in an MBA program.

Jason Prevelige works two jobs, commits to numerous and time-consuming volunteer activities, and has a three-year-old son. Why does he juggle so much? “I love being a PA,” he says. “I enjoy evaluating and treating complicated cases and working collaboratively with my colleagues. But at the end of the day, it is really that sincere ‘thank you’ after I treat a patient and I’ve been able to relieve them or improve their day. It’s my favorite part of being a PA.”

Kate Maloney is AAPA’s senior manager of corporate communications. Contact her at [email protected].