Gretchen M. Paruch, MHS, PA-C, DFAAPA
Chair and Founding Program Director
|Master in Health Science Pacific University|
|Bachelor of Science and PA Certificate Long Island University/The Brooklyn Hospital Center|
|Bachelor of Arts Marietta College|
|Associates of Arts Centenary College for Women|
The history of the physician assistant profession
Gretchen (Picking) Paruch has spent her PA career promoting the development of the physician assistant profession and the training of physician assistants. In recognition of this lifelong endeavor, in 2007, Arcadia University established the Gretchen M. Paruch Award for Humanitarian Service which is presented yearly at the University’s Award Convocation.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Long Island University/The Brooklyn Hospital Center (LIU/TBHC) Physician Assistant Program in 1977. She practiced clinically in both family practice and surgery in New York City for two years, before joining the faculty of her alma mater in 1979. While at LIU/TBHC she served as the Pre-professional Coordinator for 18 years. In 1996, she and her husband, a surgical Physician Assistant, relocated to New Hope, Pennsylvania when she joined the faculty of the newly established Department of Physician Assistant Studies at then, Beaver College, now Arcadia University. She was quite instrumental in the initial stages of the development of the program, including the introduction of early “hands-on” clinical experiences for first year PA students.
Ms. Paruch completed her Master’s Degree Program for Physician Assistants offered by Pacific University in 2003 and is distinguished as being a member of their first class.
In the fall of 2010 she came out of retirement to join the faculty at Salus University as the Academic Coordinator of the Physician Assistant Program. Ms. Paruch held that position until she relocated to Louisville, to head the development of the Physician Assistant Program at Sullivan University College of Health Science.
She continues to be dedicated to quality PA education as well as ongoing program development and improvement. Her major area of interest includes the history of the Physician Assistant profession and is serving a second term as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Society for the Preservation of Physician Assistant History. She is proud of her early roots in the profession and endeavors to preserve the history of the profession for future generations of physician assistants. Her other area of interest is the role of non-physician clinicians in the delivery of health care which was the subject of her Master’s thesis.
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