AAPA, PAEA Announce 2021-22 Research Fellows

AAPA-PAEA Research fellowship develops leaders to represent, advance, and elevate PAs in health professions research

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (September 8, 2021) — The American Academy of PAs (AAPA) and the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) are pleased to announce the members of the 2021-2022 cohort of AAPA-PAEA Research Fellows. The fellowship offers promising PA researchers the opportunity to contribute to the growing body of PA education and workforce research.

The fellows will examine PAs in clinical trials settings, the underrepresentation of PA students from diverse backgrounds in admissions, and PA student mistreatment reporting to PA programs.

“The pandemic has shed greater light on issues related to health equity and the lack of diversity of the profession,” AAPA CEO Lisa M. Gables, CPA said. “The research done by this coming year’s AAPA-PAEA Research Fellows will give educators and employers a better understanding of the barriers currently facing PAs and PA students so that we can build a stronger, more diverse PA workforce to address the need for increased access to healthcare.”

The 2021-22 fellows are:

  • Alice Eggleston, MPH, PA-C, of Atlantia Clinical Trials
  • Yolanda Freeman-Hildreth, PhD, PA-C, of the University of Detroit-Mercy
  • Nick Hudak, MPA, MSEd, PA-C, of Duke University

“The AAPA-PAEA Research Fellowship is core to advancing our mission. It offers a unique opportunity for our organizations to work collaboratively to develop the PA research workforce while advancing the profession,” PAEA CEO Mary Jo Bondy, DHEd, MHS, PA-C said. “We are delighted to partner with AAPA to support these fellows and their scholarship.”

About the Fellows

  • Eggleston is the first non-faculty fellow and will be working with AAPA on her project, Physician Assistants in the Clinical Trials Setting. The study aims to understand what roles PAs play in clinical trials, the characteristics of PAs practicing in clinical research, and what benefits or barriers PAs encounter while working in the clinical trials setting.
  • Freeman-Hildreth’s project, Singled Out: The Influence of Implicit Bias on Underrepresented Minority Student Recruitment and Retention, examines the underrepresentation of students from diverse backgrounds in admissions. The study will explore the influences of implicit faculty bias and students’ perception of inclusiveness on underrepresented minority (URM) recruitment and retention.
  • Hudak is studying the relationships between mistreatment policy factors (i.e., policy presence, content, dissemination) and the frequency at which students report mistreatment to their programs. Findings from his study, Policy Effect on Physician Assistant Student Mistreatment Reporting, will establish an evidence base to inform policy-driven practices to better support students and improve clinical learning environments.

For more information about the fellowship, visit the 2021-2022 AAPA-PAEA Research Fellowship Guidelines.


Media Contacts:
Jenni Roberson, 703.380.2764

Brent Buesking, 703.651.8540

About the American Academy of PAs

AAPA is the national membership organization for all PAs. PAs are medical professionals who diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient’s principal healthcare provider. Learn more about the profession at aapa.org and engage through Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

About PAEA

PAEA is the only national organization representing physician assistant educational programs in the United States. Currently, all of the accredited PA programs in the country are members of the Association. PAEA provides services for faculty at its member programs, as well as to applicants, students, and other stakeholders. Learn more about the PA education at PAEAonline.org and engage through Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.