MEDEX Northwest ClassNotes


Charles Hall, PA-C (Seattle Class 4), writes, “I had a grand time in the MEDEX Program , felt that I helped move the ‘needle’ to help the cause. Have missed many that I knew along the way — would love to hear from those I knew or knew me.”

Ruth A. Ballweg, PA-C (Seattle Class 11), former Director of the MEDEX Northwest Physician Assistant Program for 29 years, is working to develop the PA career as Director of International Affairs for the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Her most recent contacts and travel include India, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Tracey Lee Smith, PA-C (Seattle Class 32), writes, “I opened Progressive Pain Partners as a new pain practice February 4, 2019. We focus on holistic pain management using standard of care modalities.”


Steve Fischer, PA-C (Seattle Class 16), writes, “Retired 12-31-2018 after 35 years of family practice PA, the last 28 with Moscow Family Medicine.”

Hector Camacho, PA-C (Seattle Class 33), writes, “Many years are passing by but the memories of that wonderful stage of my life at the UW, Seattle and my MEDEX fellows, never will.”

Hector Gutierrez, PA-C (Seattle Part Time Class 3), writes “18 years with TeamHealth, and Lourdes Medical Center.”’


Theresa Schimmels, PA-C (Spokane Class 1), writes, “It’s been 20 years since MEDEX Northwest moved to Spokane to offer Physician Assistant training. That means we are having our 20th class reunion this year! We are looking for Spokane Class 1 classmates to join us the weekend of August 17 for a no-host get together. Please contact me at for more information. It’ll be a fun time!

I’m still glad I went back to school to become a PA. I’d do it all over again in a minute! I’m working at the Mann-Grandstaff VAMC in Spokane as a dermatology PA, going on my second year. After 20 years in practice (4 in family practice, 16 in dermatology) I’m loving being back with Veterans! In my personal life, my daughter and her husband and their two children live just minutes from me in Spokane Valley. Being a grandparent is one of the best things ever! I keep busy with work, my two blue heelers/heeler mixes, continue to travel, kayak, spend time with friends and family, and learn new crafting skills either for my yard, garden, crocheting, embroidery, or just sitting back with a good book and a glass of good beer or wine.

I will not make it to the MEDEX 50th, unfortunately. I hope every has a great time. Congratulation MEDEX Northwest and UW on your 50th Anniversary. Cheers to 50 more!”

Christina Rust, PA-C (Spokane Class 18), was featured in a Ruralife cover story on February 25, 2019.


Yakima Class 7

Major Daniel Hankes, PA-C (Yakima Class 7), writes, “After spending the last 20 months as the Division PA of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), I am now the Chief of Soldier Health Services for Blanchfield Army Community Hospital. I’m back to seeing more patients — which means I’m loving the new job! This article describes a nice encounter I had with NFL Titans quarterback, Marcus Mariota —which also references my beloved alma mater!”

Yakima Class 8

Barbara H. BurrowesBarbara H. Burrowes, PA-C (Yakima Class 8), writes, “This October, I will have worked for Denver Health for 10 years, all of them for their school-based health clinic program. The idea is to bring care to where the kids are, so they miss minimal school while addressing healthcare needs. Because we have multiple payor funding, we can provide services to all comers, including the uninsured, at no cost to them. It has been a good fit for me, and I feel like I am making a difference in my community.”

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