Come Home to MEDEX

We've planned something special for our 50th Anniversary

50th Anniversary Banner says 50 Years of PA Education 1969-2019

You are invited to the 50th Anniversary Celebration of MEDEX Northwest

  • Tim Quigley

    Tim Quigley, MPH,


    MEDEX Seattle

    Tim is the course chair for Behavioral Medicine at MEDEX Northwest, which makes him the perfect choice to emcee our 50th Celebration. He started his academic career at Wichita State University’s PA department in 1995, and joined the MEDEX faculty in 2010.

  • Jennifer Erickson

    Jennifer Erickson, MPH, PA-C


    MEDEX Tacoma Site Director

    A Combat Medic in the Washington State National Guard, Jennifer’s life is marked by service. She’s a graduate of MEDEX Seattle Class 41. As the MEDEX Tacoma Site Director, her dedication to the next generation of PAs is resolute.

  • Tony Skaggs

    Tony Skaggs, MPAS, PA-C


    University of Texas, San Antonio
    Department of Physician Assistant Studies
    Associate Program Director

    A veteran of the Coast Guard, Tony is fondly remembered for his laughter and years on the Clinical Team at MEDEX in Seattle.

  • Terry Scott

    Terry Scott, MPA, PA-C, DFAAPA


    MEDEX Program Director (2014 to Present)

    Attracted by the program’s mission, Terry Scott entered MEDEX as a student in 1991. As the current Program Director, Terry is charged with the general health and maintenance of the organization, along with the proposed expansion to a Hawaii campus in 2020.

  • Ruth Ballweg

    Ruth Ballweg, PA-C, Professor Emeritus


    MEDEX Program Director (1985 to 2014)

    Ruth Ballweg served as Program Director of MEDEX Northwest for 29 years, overseeing the development of campus sites in Spokane, Yakima, Alaska and Tacoma. As Professor Emeritus, Ruth continues to consult nationally and internationally.

  • David Lawrence

    David Lawrence, MD


    MEDEX Program Director (1972 to 1977)

    Dr. Lawrence assumed the role of MEDEX Program Director from Dr. Richard Smith in 1972. Later, he served as CEO and Chairman of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals from 1991 until his retirement in 2002.

  • Theresa Schimmels

    Paul James, MD


    Professor & Chair, UW Medicine Department of Family Medicine

    As the chair of family medicine in the UW School of Medicine, Dr. James oversees nine DFM sections including MEDEX Northwest. In 2017 James came to UW after 16 years at the University of Iowa, where he was an endowed chair in rural medicine and chair of the Department of Family Medicine. He is a professor of occupational and environmental health.

  • Theresa Schimmels

    Theresa Schimmels, PA-C, BCHS, DFAAPA


    Commissioner for the Washington Medical Commission
    Dermatologist - Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, WA

    A graduate of MEDEX Spokane Class 1, Theresa continues to teach residents, medical students and PA students, precepting for clinical year MEDEX students.

  • David Acosta

    David Acosta, MD


    Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C.

    David Acosta provides strategic vision and leadership for the AAMC’s diversity and inclusion activities across the medical education community. He served as the chief diversity officer at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

  • Howard Straker

    Howard Straker, EdD, PA-C, MPH


    Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies, George Washington University

    Howard Straker is PAEA president-elect and will serve as president in 2020. He directs the joint degree PA/MPH program at George Washington University. Howard helped to establish the first MEDEX Alaska site in Sitka in 1995.

  • Sarah Bigelow-Hood

    Sarah Bigelow-Hood, PA-C


    Family Practice, Anchorage, AK

    Sarah holds the Past President position on the Alaska Academy of Physician Assistant Board, serves as the Alaska Representative for the AAPA House of Delegates, coordinates a monthly Journal Club for PA’s and is a preceptor for the MEDEX Anchorage PA Program.

  • Don Pedersen

    Don Pedersen, PhD, PA-C


    Professor Emeritus, University of Utah School of Medicine

    Don Pedersen was the Program Director for the Utah Physician Assistant Program from 1989 to 2010. He is the past president of PAEA with 4 years on the Board of Directors. Don is a founding member on both the AAPA International Working Group and the PA Historical Society.

  • Phoumey Bounkeau, MS, PA-C, PhD

    Phoumy Bounkeua, MS, PA-C, PhD


    Clinical Health Care Investigator

    A former WAPA president, Phoumey was the founding member of the PA for Asian Health Caucus. He led the Medical Missions to Lao PDR, contributing to the training of their healthcare manpower.

  • Misbah Keen

    Misbah Keen, MD, MBI, MPH


    Executive Vice Chair, Department of Family Medicine

    Dr. Keen practiced family medicine for more than 5 years in Othello, WA alongside with the MEDEX “Othello Pioneers”. This is where his interest of meeting the health care needs of our communities through training of the next generation of competent clinicians took root. He joined UW in 2007 and his current responsibilities are in areas of academic leadership, medical student and PA education.

  • Lori Konopka-Sauer

    Lori Konopka-Sauer, BS


    Managing Director, PA History Society

    Since 2013 Lori has managed the day-to-day activities of the Society, its staff and finances, the 12-member volunteer Board of Trustees, two Historians, board committees, the PAHx website, communications, and all special projects including the traveling banner exhibit on display at the MEDEX 50th Celebration.

  • Steve Turnipseed

    Steve Turnipseed, PA-C


    Graduate of MEDEX Class 1 from 1969

    The first African American physician assistant, Steve was a founding member of the African American Caucus of the AAPA and WAPA president in 1976. He has been in continuous clinical practice since 1969, currently working with the nonprofit Benevolence Health Centers in California.

  • Eileen Ravella

    Eileen Ravella, PA-C


    Current President, Washington Academy of Physician Assistants

    Eileen works for Kaiser Permanente urgent care in Olympia, WA. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma PA Program in 1984, and has precepted MEDEX students since moving to this region.

  • Tony Adkins

    Tony Adkins, PA-C, MPH, MCHS

    Dance Master

    Pediatric Neurosurgery Assistant, Children’s Hospital of Orange County

    A graduate of MEDEX Spokane Class 14 in 2012, Tony has gained fame as the “Dancing Doc”. Videos of him dancing with patients have gone viral with millions of views.

A Message from the MEDEX Program Director

Photo of MEDEX Program Director, Terry ScottWe are pleased to host the MEDEX 50th Anniversary Celebration. With this website we are inviting alumni, former faculty, staff and supporters from across a half-century of MEDEX PA education. No matter where you might live and work, take steps now to assure a place with your colleagues on October 5th at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA. This event is a springboard for a glorious future.

At MEDEX we are thankful for a rich history, and for those who paved the way for the PA profession. You can expect that these individuals will be dutifully honored at the 50th Celebration, including those who have passed before us.

Our graduates are leaders, an educated and diverse workforce equipped to meet the healthcare needs of an equally diverse population. MEDEX remains on the front lines of medical education with a modern curriculum that takes the lead at UW Medicine. We understand our role as a change agent in healthcare.

Recently we met the challenge of an ARC-PA accreditation visit, so we’re looking ahead. What then will MEDEX become in 10 years? Or the next 50 years?

There are other big plans in discussion stages right now. The future looks bright, and we are counting on you as a key piece of the vision. See you on October 5th.

Terry Scott, MPA, PA-C, DFAAPA
MEDEX Northwest Program Director