February 21, 2020
2019 PA Student of the Year is ‘a Natural Leader’
PA Student Heidi Rossow Helps to Advance the PA Profession
April 15, 2019
By Sarah Blugis
For Heidi Rossow, the 2019 recipient of the PA Student of the Year Award, a career in medicine is about people – their stories and their lives.
“Not only does medicine allow you to genuinely connect with other human beings,” she says, “it also gives you the opportunity to make an impact on someone else’s ‘story’ for the better.”
The PA Student of the Year Award honors a PA student who has demonstrated exemplary service and leadership as a PA student.
Rossow graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in pre-professional biology in 2015. In August of 2017, Rossow enrolled in the Jefferson College of Health Sciences PA Program, based in Roanoke, Virginia. Once there, she hit the ground running. Right away, she ran for and was elected President of the Capt. Sean Grimes PA Student Society.
In that role, she presides over monthly meetings, manages committees, attends PA Program Advisory Board meetings, liaises with faculty, and much more.
Her fellow students and academic professors describe Rossow as “the embodiment of the professional student” and “a natural leader,” someone who encourages the involvement and professional development of others. She clearly values her fellow students: They are one of the most rewarding parts of being a PA student, Rossow says.
“Within my cohort of just 42 students, backgrounds range from dietician to paramedic to submarine officer,” Rossow says. “Having each other’s experiences to learn from beyond the PowerPoints and textbooks has made PA school an even more rewarding experience as a whole.”
On top of her studies and extracurricular activities, Rossow also finds time to give back. She volunteered with a Community Youth Program, where she worked with local at-risk youth after school hours to assist with homework and studying, or even just a fun activity. She also served as a Wellness Advocate at the Bradley Free Clinic, where she assisted with nutritional and physical activity education, and mentored one patient through the 12-week program.
Rossow is becoming a PA because she believes “a team-oriented approach to medicine provides patients with improved access to the best possible care and health-related outcomes.” She understands the importance of advancing the PA profession, and has jumped right in.
Since joining the American Academy of PAs (AAPA), Rossow has served as a reference committee scribe for the AAPA House of Delegates (HOD) and as a member on four different committees, two of which focused on AAPA Student Academy Assembly of Representatives resolutions. This year, at the HOD meeting in Denver during AAPA 2019 in May, she will serve as a student delegate.
“While I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished thus far personally, I’m even more proud to have such a large network of inspiring colleagues across the country,” Rossow says. “These superstar professionals and students alike inspire me to do better every single day for my future patients.”