In May 2019, the Cedarville University Board of Trustees authorized the development of a Physician Assistant program with a goal to enroll the first cohort of students by May 2023, pending required approvals. This authorization included hiring a program director, initiating the accreditation pathway, securing required faculty and staff, and allocating appropriate funding to ensure successful program development and launch.
However, this project has been long in the making. More than 20 years ago, Dr. Dee Morris, who currently serves as Professor of Allied Health in the School of Allied Health, approached Cedarville University’s academic leadership about the opportunity to start a PA program. At the time, the University had not even launched its first graduate program and priorities were focused in other areas, so the idea was not pursued.
In 2014, the possibility of a PA program was revisited and a preliminary proposal was prepared. However, due to transitions at Cedarville and the emergence of a new PA program at the University of Dayton, the idea was again tabled.
In 2017, as the University began to explore future graduate programs, PA professional education again emerged as a high-growth career field with strong alignment to Cedarville’s Gospel-driven mission and the University's existing healthcare programs.
Since December 2017, the potential to bring a PA program to Cedarville University has been intentionally studied, and the following steps have been taken:
|Market demand study||completed December 2017|
|Feasibility analysis (phase I)||completed April 2018|
|Meetings with key internal stakeholders (Cabinet, Graduate Task Team, Finance/Operations, Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy, School of Allied Health)||ongoing|
|Engaging outside expertise (other university PA program directors, alumni, medical professionals)||ongoing|
|Equipment and facility needs assessment||August-September 2018|
|Preliminary pro forma development||August-September 2018|
|Formation of the PA Exploratory Advisory Council||January 2019|
|Initial Advisory Council Meeting||March 29, 2019|
|Recommendation to and approval by Board of Trustees||May 2019|
|Hired inaugural program director||May 2019|
|Entered accreditation process||May 2019|
|Feasibility study (phase II)||September–October 2019|
|Program Director Begins||December 2019|
|Medical Director Begins||February 2020|
|Creation of the School of Allied Health||July 2020|
|Director of Clinical Education Begins||October 2020|
|ODHE Authorization & HLC Accreditation Applications Submitted||October 2020|
|ODHE/HLC Site Visit||April 2021|
|ODHE Approval Granted||June 2021|
|HLC Approval Granted||July 2021|
|Hired Principal Faculty||May 2022|
|ARC-PA Application Submitted||February 2022|
|ARC-PA Site Visit||May 2022|
|Hired Principal Faculty||June 2022|
|ARC-PA Commission considers Cedarville's Application for Accreditation-Provisional||September 2022|
|Accreditation-Provisional Status Granted||October 2022|
|Enroll First Cohort, pending approvals||May 8, 2023|
Inaugural Program Director
Cedarville 1999 alumnus Jason Grahame was hired as the founding director of the PA program. Jason previously was a practicing physician assistant at Jordan-Young Institute in Virginia Beach, and an Associate Professor and Associate Program Director for the Physician Assistant Program at Eastern Virginia Medical School. “This will be a unique opportunity to train and disciple PA students to meet not only the physical needs of patients but also the more critical spiritual needs in a loving, empathetic and discerning manner,” said Jason.
Read more in the Summer 2019 Cedarville Magazine »
Read more in Cedarville News »
As part of exploring starting a PA program at Cedarville, the Office of the President put together an exploratory Advisory Council composed of internal and external stakeholders from the local area and across the nation. These members provided the initial recommendation to the President to pursue the degree and have continued to provide feedback to the Program Director during annual meetings and upon request.
Members of the advisory council include:
Jeff Bates, Pharm.D.
Dean, School of Pharmacy, Cedarville University
Wallace Boeve, Ed.D., PA-C
Physician Assistant Program Director, Bethel University
Andy Black, PA-C
Physician Assistant, Bellbrook Family Practice
Chief Operating Officer, MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital
Steven Burdette, M.D.
Infectious Disease Specialist, Miami Valley Hospital
Angela Conrad, PA-C
Associate Professor, Eastern Virginia Med School
Gayle Cook, PA-C
Retired Physician Assistant
Gerald Erickson, PA-C
Physician Assistant; Former Academic Director, Lenoir-Rhyne Univ PA Program; PA Foundation Board Member
Steve Gaskins, PA-C
Physician Assistant Program Director, Sullivan University
Jason Grahame, MPA, PA-C, DFAAPA
Program Director, Associate Professor PA Program, Cedarville University
Misti Grimson, M.D.
Medical Director, PA Program, Cedarville University
Kathryn Hawley, PA-C
Director of Clinical Education, PA Program Cedarville University
Joseph Harvey, M.D.
Medical Director, Pioneer Christian Hospital
Evan Hellwig, Ph.D, AT, PT
Dean, School or Allied Health, Cedarville University
B. Matthew Hicks, M.D.
Orthopedic Surgeon, Fort Wayne Orthopedics
Lauren Hogue, PA-C
Physician Assistant Family Medicine, Genesis Medical Group
Jim Jacobs, M.D.
Jacobs and Van Cleeff Internal Medicine
Tom Mach, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academics, Cedarville University
Dominic McKinley, M.D.
Family and Primary Care Sports Physician, Guilford Orthopaedic
Rick Melson, Ph.D.
Vice President for Advancement, Cedarville University
Angie Mickle, DNP, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC
Dean, School of Nursing, Cedarville University
President, Healthcare Advisory Network, LLC
Dee Morris, Ph.D., PA-C
Professor and Coordinator of Allied Health Program, Cedarville University
June Pollydore-Adejokun, M.D.
Obstetrics and Gynecology Physician, Dukes Medical Center
Dan Sellers, PA-C
Physician Assistant, Providence Newbert Orthopedics
Kevin Snow, PA-C
Physician Assistant, OSF HealthCare; part of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
Janice Supplee, Ph.D.
Vice President for Marketing and Communications; Dean of Graduate Studies, Cedarville University
Lori Vasquez, PA-C
Community Bariatric and General Surgeons at Community North Hospital; Clinical Instructor for General Surgery for Butler University's PA Program
President, Cedarville University