MEDEX Northwest Class Notes

Catch up with your classmates! Class Notes are a great place to see what your fellow alumni have been up to, whether it’s professional news like new positions or award and publication announcements, or personal updates about marriages, kids (and grandkids) or retirement. Whatever you want to know about your fellow UW School of Medicine alumni, Class Notes are the place to start.

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Thomas A. Barale, PA-C (Seattle Class 21),

writes, “I’m the sole medical provider at a gold mine in a remote area in Alaska. Took time off this summer to go to Ukraine to train Ukrainian soldiers in TCCC (Tactical Combat Casualty Care). I instructed about 500 soldiers during my time there. Incredible experience, so rewarding that after a while the incoming Russian artillery became only a minor distraction.”

Digby Kirby, PA-C (Seattle Class 24), writes, “I am still very close to my best friend from MEDEX, Patrick Davidson, who works in the Spokane VA. I am retired after a very fulfilling career as an emergency medicine PA. I recently reconnected with my PA preceptor at Medex, Vee Yoong, and his wife Maureen. Vee is currently practicing in Washington.”

Susan Terran, PA-C (Seattle Class 27), writes, “For 48 years now, still working full-time at a remote rural FQCHC, the only provider who sees prenatals and infants but have birth to age 104 patients. I am both a “COVID vulnerable” person at age 72 and an essential healthcare provider, wearing mask and gear all day, worried every night. Sticking with it until our county levels rise to my defining level of risk. (Don’t know yet what that is.) Doing virtual visits when I can, but many patients need hands-on care. Yes, our lives are different now. I think of you all often; ‘Stay safe’ is the new wish for everyone.”

Woman in a red zip up fleece holding a purple book

Elizabeth Lykins, PA-C (Seattle Class 28), writes, “The past couple of years have been challenging for all of us, but these challenges have given me the unique opportunity to reflect on my life and who I really want to be. I have chosen to share my expertise in a broader scope than that of being a medical provider in urgent care, in central California. While I continue to practice medicine, I have authored a mindfulness-based book of meditations, entitled Reflections on Transcendence, featuring the fine art paintings of the late Steven D. Lyons, and am the publisher of mindfulness-based, quarterly digital magazine, Magnificent Metamorphosis Magazine (available on the App Store and Google Play). My mission with these publications has been to offer simple tools that empower others to come to the realization that happiness comes from within and is not dependent on life circumstances. This endeavor has certainly changed the way that I view difficult circumstances. Living life one moment at a time has become my best teacher.”

Hector Camacho, PA-C (Seattle Class 33), writes, “My physician experience in both my home and birth countries has given me the great joy of biculturalism. Interestingly, in my home country, most of my patients are North Americans, and while practicing medicine in the USA, I took care mostly of underserved Mexican and Central Americans. Thank you, MEDEX NW. So proud of being a UW graduate.”

Brian E. Granvall, PA-C (Seattle Class 34), writes, “After spending all of 2020 in a PAPR, traveling to various ICUs around the country during the height of COVID-19, I decided a change of pace was in order. I am now a solo provider at a remote Arctic oil production camp in Alaska. The work is good, and the people are great. I now have a great deal of time at home with the family and continue to drum up neverending projects around the house. I’ve also started a small furniture-making business, Locust Grove Woodcraft. If you are in Boise or need a sweet piece of furniture, drop me a line.”

Hector Gutierrez, PA-C, in scrubs

Hector Gutierrez, PA-C (Seattle Part Time Class 3), writes “On the front lines in emergency medicine, miss all of you and stay safe!”


Christopher D. Dietrich, PA-C (Anchorage Class 4), writes, “This picture is at the most recent Alaska PA Medical conference and is of the board members of AKAPA (Alaska Academy of PAs). I am in awe of the leaders around me in this picture coming from all unique factors in playing a role in the future education of PAs and providing advocacy for advancing equity and barrier concerns in the northwest region.

The following pictures are of me advocating for several medical bills passed in Alaska for advancing medicine equity.

Also shown are some MEDEX classmates; all the PAs are preceptors for students with MEDEX in Alaska, discussing the future advocacy of PA regulation and statutory advancements for Alaska.

L–R: Meghan Hall, PA-C; Chris Dietrich, PA-C Class of 2014; Jennifer Fayette, PA-C Class of 2014; Cherise Hug, PA-C Class of 2014; Kari Bernard, PA-C, previous MEDEX clinical faculty; Betsy Douds, PA-C; Jenny Thomason, executive director of AKAPA; Wendy Smith, PA-C.


A member of the first MEDEX Kona graduating class, Carey and fellow ’22 classmates recently supported the second Kona graduating class by attending their graduation ceremony. “It was very special to continue celebrating the future of MEDEX PAs. It was fun to chat with a few of the graduates afterward and to hear about where they might end up in practice. A couple members from my class were also able to fly over for the day and make a mini one year reunion out of it.” – Carey Colbert, PA-C (Kona Class 1)