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Gonzalez Named Honorary PA

The Kentucky Academy of Physician Assistants (KAPA) recently honored Dr. Lori Gonzalez, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences, with the distinction of Honorary Physician Assistant for life.

Gonzalez was chosen for this recognition, KAPA’s highest honor, due to her unwavering support of the profession. 

“Dean Gonzalez has stepped forward in promoting the Physician Assistant (PA) profession in Kentucky,” stated Steve Gaskins, a PA and chair of KAPA’s Government Affairs Committee Chair.  “She has given her time and respected voice to speak on our behalf.”

In 2008, Gonzalez requested the creation of a white paper related to PA practice in Kentucky.  She also addressed those who regulate the PA profession at the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure and was instrumental in KAPA achieving an improvement of practice for new graduate PAs wishing to practice in Kentucky. 

“The physician assistant profession is one that should be highly valued in Kentucky,” said Gonzalez.  “As the shortage of health care professionals continues to increase, PAs will play a pivotal role in providing access to quality health care throughout all areas of our state.  I am honored to receive this distinction from the Kentucky Academy of Physician Assistants and will continue to represent the PA profession, as well as all allied health professions, throughout Kentucky.”

According to KAPA, the Honorary Physicians Assistant recognition is not term limited and is not an annual award.  It is reserved for those who, though not being members of the profession by training, have shown great support for the PA profession above and beyond their call of duty.

“We greatly appreciate Dr. Gonzalez championing our needs,” said David Kesheimer, KAPA President.  “She endeared herself to the practicing Physician Assistants while greatly benefiting future professionals, as well as the patients seeking treatment that PA’s will now be able to accommodate.”

About the PA profession
Physician Assistants function under the supervision and responsibility of a licensed physician.  The University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences currently has the only PA program in the state.  The college educates students in both Lexington and Morehead.  Physician assistants serve in a variety of clinical settings, such as primary care practices, geriatric long-term care facilities, hospitals, correctional institutions and community-based clinics. Program graduates also are competitive for positions in clinical research, health care administration and higher education.

To find out more about the College of Health Sciences, visit

Image: Lori Gonzalez named Honorary PA

Lori Stewart Gonzalez, dean of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Kentucky, is presented with a plaque recognizing her service to the Physician Assistant (PA) profession and naming her as an Honorary PA. Shown with Gonzalez are David Kesheimer (far left), President of Kentucky Academy of Physician Assistants, Steve Gaskins, chair of KAPA’s Government Affairs Committee Chair, and Rusty MacSwords (far right), KAPA director at large.

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