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Physician Assistant Studies

Physician Assistant Students - Didactic Year 2008-2009

Saif Khalid Ahmedi 

Name:  Saif Khalid Ahmedi
Houston, Texas
Academic Background:  B.S. in Respiratory Care from University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Healthcare Background: 1 year of Respiratory Care clinical experience at John Sealey Hospital in Galveston, TX.  11 months of work experience as RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist) for ICU night-shift at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, TX.  CRT, RRT, Licensed RCP(Texas).

Professional Goals: I am currently inclined towards Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine due to my Respiratory Care background and ICU experience.  However, my interests may change after doing clinical rotations as a PA student.  I hope to become a competent and compassionate PA-C.

 Perry Beko

Name:  Perry Beko
Hometown:  I grew up in Kokomo, Indiana.  My parents just recently moved to London, Ohio. 
Academic Background:  Graduated from Franklin College in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Athletic Training and a Minor in Fitness.  Passed the Board of Certification (BOC) to become a Certified Athletic Trainer in April 2008. 

Healthcare Background:  Worked as a student athletic trainer at Franklin College from 2005 to 2008.  The sports that I covered were men’s soccer, indoor track & field, football and softball.  2007 summer internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital working in the Emergency Room.  2007 winter internship at Johnson Memorial Hospital working in the Emergency Room.

Professional Goals: Become an Orthopedic PA

 Elizabeth A. Brunner

Name:  Elizabeth A. Brunner
Hometown: Skokie, IL
Academic Background: Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at Western Illinois University

Healthcare Background: Certified Athletic Trainer for 2 years, Physical Therapy Aide for 2 summers, Student Athletic Trainer for 3.5 years, Shadowed Physicians and Physician Assistants in the areas of General Medicine and Orthopedics

Professional Goals: My goal is to become a certified Physician Assistant that will provide quality care for all patients. I am interested in the field of Orthopedics, but I feel my clinical rotations will help me find the area of medicine that best suits me.
 Zachary Clemens

Name:  Zachary Clemens
Hometown: Goshen, IN
Academic Background: BS in Biology and Chemistry from Manchester College in North Manchester, Indiana; MS in Biology from Purdue University (IUPUI).

Healthcare Background: One year as a Cardiovascular Technician/IV Team member at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis; medical-missions trip to Nicaragua; trained as an EMT

Professional Goals: I look forward to a fulfilling healthcare career as a PA-C in a positive, patient-oriented environment.  My initial interests lie in cardiology and oncology, but I anxiously await the experiences that the clinical rotations will bring.

 Emily C. Elko

Name:  Emily C. Elko
Hometown: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Academic Background: BS from Purdue University - Fort Wayne,  MS from Johns Hopkins University, both in Electrical Engineering

Healthcare Background: Pharmacy Technician for Lehigh Valley Hospital in Pennsylvania; Volunteer for Same-Day Surgery and GI Clinic observing patient exams, surgeries and diagnostic tests.

Professional Goals: To be a physician assistant that improves the daily quality of life of my patients by working in a physician’s office and volunteering in my local community.

 Desiree Elliot

Name:  Desiree Elliot
Hometown: Spring Lake, Michigan
Academic Background: B.A. in Biology from Kalamazoo College in Michigan (2007). 

Healthcare Background: Worked 6 months as a resident aid for an assisted living community while in school.  After graduation I worked for 7 months full time as a phlebotomist.

Professional Goals: Right now I am very interested in Cardiology and in emergency medicine.  I am still unclear if that is the direction I wish to continue in, and am looking forward to next year when I am on clinical rotations for some clarification.  I also would like to volunteer in underserved areas, especially those in which I could use my Spanish speaking skills.

 Lisa Gibson

Name:  Lisa Gibson
Hometown: New Haven, IN
Academic Background: I received my undergraduate schooling at the University of Saint Francis through the 5 year PA program.  I also received a minor in Spanish from the University of Saint Francis.

Healthcare Background: I worked as a CNA at Matthew 25 Health and Dental Clinic and as a Home Health Aide in the Fort Wayne area. 

Professional Goals: Upon graduation my goal is to practice as a PA-C.  At the present time, I am unsure of which area of medicine I would prefer to work in.  I hope that my clinical experiences will prepare me to work in any specialty that I choose. 

 Anthony Todd Glass

Name:  Anthony Todd Glass
Hometown: Greenville, SC
Academic Background: B.S. in Biology from East Tennessee State University 2001; M.A. in Bible from Bob Jones University 2004                                               

Healthcare Background:   EMS—Medical Transport, Greenville Memorial Hospital—OR Team Technician

Professional Goals: To practice medicine as a PA-C possibly in either the family practice or pediatrics field. However, I am open to using my skills in any area of medicine because my desire is to holistically help those in need. In all I desire to show Christ to others through compassionate care.

 Jennifer Gorst

Name: Jennifer Gorst
Hometown: Rice Lake, WI
Academic Background: Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison

Healthcare Background: I worked as a personal living assistant and most recently as a phlebotomist. I also volunteered at the UW Children’s Hospital.

Professional Goals: Currently, I am working on obtaining my Master of Science degree from the University of St. Francis and becoming a certified physician assistant. I am looking forward to gaining knowledge and experience through the clinical rotations before deciding which discipline is the best fit for me. During my time at St. Francis I am looking to building strong relationships with my peers and faculty.

 Katie Griggs

Name:  Katie Griggs
Hometown: Plant City, Florida
Academic Background: Graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology and Cellular Science


Healthcare Background: After graduating from UF, I moved to southeast Los Angeles in order to serve the poor. I volunteered as a CNA at St. Francis Medical Center where I was able to provide care in an exceptionally poor and underserved area.

Professional Goals: My ultimate aspiration is to serve the sick and the poor with high quality, compassionate care. I anticipate the day I will be able to utilize all the knowledge and skills I am learning here at USF to fulfill that desire. As to which field I am interested in… I just don’t know yet.

 Peter Hartmann

Name: Peter Hartmann
Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
Academic Background: B.S. in Business Administration, Minor in Computer Information Systems

Healthcare Background: I was a radiology department transporter for the past 9 months, prior to moving to Fort Wayne.  I have also spent the past two school semesters volunteering at children’s hospital in their child-life and patient discharge services.

Professional Goals:  I would hope to find myself in a discipline that aligns well with my current skill set, while also challenging me to continually grow.  There is still much to learn and see.  At this point I feel it best to keep an open mind as I move forward with my education.
 Crystal Heminger

Name:   Crystal Heminger
Hometown:  Fort Wayne, IN
Academic Background: I attended Purdue University in West Lafayette where I obtained my bachelors degree in athletic training and a minor in pre-allied health.

Healthcare Background: Upon graduating from Purdue, I worked for a year as an outreach certified athletic trainer before moving into a clinical athletic training position at Orthopaedics Northeast.  I worked there for a year alongside physicians and PA-Cs while treating patients before I came to Saint Francis.

Professional Goals:  My professional goal is to obtain my masters and become a knowledgeable and qualified PA-C.  As of now, my main interest is in orthopaedics and surgery. However, I am very excited for my clinical rotations to investigate other areas of medicine.
 Kate Hoipkemier

Name: Kate Hoipkemier
Hometown: South Bend, IN
Academic Background: B.S. in Biology and minor in Chemistry Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC

Healthcare Background: I worked as a CNA for 3 summers in a nursing home; shadowed an orthopedic PA and a cardiologist PA; volunteered at a hospital during the school year   

Professional Goals: At this point I am unsure as to what area of medicine I plan to pursue after school, but I intend to use my medical training to help meet the physical needs of individuals in a compassionate way. In the future I plan on going to a foreign mission field and apply my skill as a PA there.

 Carmen Johnston

Name:  Carmen Johnston
Hometown:   South Bend, IN
Academic Background:  Grace College BA Biology/Premed ‘02

Healthcare Background:  Working as a Certified Nursing Assistant in a retirement community ’04-‘06.  Became an employee for Kosciusko Community Hospital as a Physical Therapy Aide in their outpatient Rehabilitation clinic ’06-’08.

Professional Goals: Missions and underserved areas currently have my interest, but I hope to grow in these decisions in the next two years.  I would also like to balance this rewarding career with a family life.

 Amy Luksus

Name: Amy Luksus
Hometown: Anderson, IN
Academic Background: BS in Biochemistry from Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, IN.  & Certification as a NREMT and an Indiana EMT

Healthcare Background: 1yr on an ambulance as an EMT, 6 mo. as a Home Health Care Provider, and 1 ½ yrs in St. John’s Hospital ER as an EMT.

Professional Goals:  To become a certified Physician Assistant with a concentration in Family Medicine.  Upon graduation, I hope to team up with a country doctor to practice in an underserved rural area in the western U.S.

 Sarah Ogle

Name:  Sarah Ogle
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Academic Background: Graduated from Miami University with a B.A. in Zoology and a thematic sequence in chemistry of life processes in May of 2008

Healthcare Background: State Tested Nurse Aide, In-patient care volunteer, PA shadowing experience at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Orthopedic Clinic, Miami University Peer Health Educator

Professional Goals: I am currently undecided on a preferred specialty but have given the most consideration to concentrations in family practice, pediatrics, or internal medicine.  My ultimate goal is to find employment in a clinic where I have the resources to address not only patients’ immediate physical needs but also their emotional and mental.  I hope to provide attention and care to all aspects of patients’ health in a way that enhances the quality of the care they receive and increases their awareness and understanding of their health.
 Heather Raesky

Name: Heather Raesky
Hometown: Lima, Ohio
Academic Background: Received undergraduate education as a 5-year P.A through the University of Saint Francis

Healthcare Background: During my winter and summer breaks during my undergraduate career I worked as a certified nursing assistant at Plus Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, and at Baton Rouge Assisted Living in Lima, Ohio.  I also had the opportunity to shadow a cardiac P.A at St. Rita’s and Lima Memorial Hospital in Lima, Ohio.

Professional Goals: My goal is to use the knowledge I have obtained to help care and treat patients to the best of my ability.  I am leaning towards emergency medicine, but keeping my mind open until rotations are over.

 Barry Stalter

Name:  Barry Stalter
Hometown: I was born and raised in Fort Wayne.  I currently live in Noblesville, IN with my wife, Kim, and two daughters; Ella (3 ½  y/o), and Clara (4 mo.).  
Academic Background:  B.A. from Anderson University in athletic training and psychology.  M.S. from Michigan State University in kinesiology (emphasis in exercise physiology).  

Healthcare Background: Certified Athletic Trainer for 9 years.  Administered fitness assessments for a population in need of chronic disease management for the last 6 years. 

Professional Goals: To take the knowledge and tools that I obtain from physician assistant school into the healthcare setting where I can serve with an improved level of patient care.  There are several specialties that are of interest to me, including orthopedics, family practice, pediatrics, cardiology, and more.
 Ashly Stoudt

Name:  Ashly Stoudt
Hometown: Carson City, MI
Academic Background: B.S. in Biomedical Science from Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI

Healthcare Background: I worked as a Nurse Aid on a pediatric, medical and surgical floor for 2 years. I have shadowed various physicians and physician assistants in family medicine, pediatrics and general surgery. I also completed training as an EMT-B and CNA.

Professional Goals: My professional goals include using my knowledge and training to accomplish my passion of providing quality healthcare as a PA-C. I currently hope to pursue a career in family medicine or OB/GYN where I am able to form valued relationships with my patients and fellow colleagues. However, I am keeping an open mind to various areas of medicine that may interest me during future clinical rotations.

 Whitney C. Strong

Name:  Whitney C. Strong
Hometown: Bath, MI
Academic Background: I earned a B.S. in Psychology from Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI.

Healthcare Background:  I worked as a Universal Caregiver in an assisted-living facility for one year. I volunteered in the Orthopedic/Neurology unit at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, MI for a semester in college. Additionally, I worked for a year and a half on a research project assessing short and long term effects of alcoholism on children in high risk families.

Professional Goals: Once I complete the PA program here at St. Francis and become a PA-C, I hope to find a job where my caring and compassionate side can flourish. I am interested in either Family Practice or specializing in Pediatrics, but am well aware that my rotations could change my initial interests.

 Brittney Tonner

Name:  Brittney Tonner
Hometown: Berne, IN
Academic Background: Received undergraduate schooling as a five year physician assistant student through the University of St. Francis

Healthcare Background: I worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant for one year at Christian Care Retirement Community. I also used this certification for one year when working with mentally handicapped individuals at Bi-County Services. Additionally, I became a home health aide, and worked for New Horizons Health Services Provider in a variety of homes.

Professional Goals: My primary goal is to increase my knowledge and develop my skills through the program at St. Francis. My objective is to combine these attributes with my compassion for others and develop into a skilled and caring PA-C.

 Kyle Jordan Tooley

Name:  Kyle Jordan Tooley
Hometown: Poseyville, IN
Academic Background: Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science/Pre-Physical Therapy from the University of Evansville.

Healthcare Background:  I worked as a physical therapy technician from Aug. 2003-May 2007.  Also, I worked as a patient care technician at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Evansville, IN from July 2006-April 2007.

Professional Goals: I have always had an interest in orthopedic medicine and surgery, but I am excited to explore other options as I progress through the program.

 Lisa Tovey

Name: Lisa Tovey
Hometown: Grand Haven, Michigan
Academic Background: B.S. in Human Biology from Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University in 2007

Healthcare Background: 2.5 years- ER Tech, 2 years- Personal Care Assistant, 1 year- Wellness Coordinator/Medication Assistant in an assisted living community, 9 months- Autistic Therapist, 9 months- Medical Assistant in a pain clinic and 6 years- Assistant to the Medical Examiner Investigator for Ottawa County in Michigan.

Professional Goals: My goal is to excel as a compassionate, motivated and well-rounded Physician Assistant who is highly respected and depended upon by the community. I want to work in a challenging environment with knowledgeable co-workers who value quality patient care, continued education and who positively influence the healthcare system and community.

 Jessica A. Tyrell

Name:  Jessica A. Tyrell
Hometown: Belleville, MI
Academic Background: B.S. in Dietetics from Michigan State University in E. Lansing, MI

Healthcare Background: I have worked as a Registered Dietitian for the last 9 years. My experience has been in a variety of clinical and community settings including long-term care, rehabilitation, hospitals, and WIC clinics.  I also worked as a Maternal and Infant Support Dietitian for 1 year and have a certification in Adult Weight Management.    

Professional Goals: My goal is to become a competent, professional, and compassionate PA-C. I am interested in many different areas of medicine including research, pediatrics, and OB/GYN. However, I look forward to my clinical rotations to better determine what may be the best fit for me.  I am excited to start this rewarding and challenging career as a Physician Assistant!

 Nicole Venvertloh

Name:  Nicole (Nikki) Venvertloh
Hometown: Springfield, IL
Academic Background: B.S. in 2008 from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign in Kinesiology, Minor in Chemistry

Healthcare Background: EKG Lab assistant/Tech for one year,Vice President of the Special Populations Department of the McKinley Student Health Center for a year

Professional Goals: I want to be a dependable and reliable PA-C. I want to work in a field where I am constantly learning and growing in the profession. Initially I am drawn to emergency room medicine but this may change as I continue through the program.