MEDEX Northwest ClassNotes


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.”


Dawanda PesickaDawanda Pesicka, PA-C (Seattle Class 35) recently ran the NYC Marathon, raising over $3,000 for Building Bridges Worldwide, a nonprofit that helps impoverished communities around the globe. It was her first marathon after completing several halves. Next up, she is running a half-marathon in Scotland this spring. She currently works in a surgical subspecialty in Seattle.


Margarita Shanks, PA-C (Seattle Class 42), writes, “Life since graduation has been wonderful — full of challenges and heartache, but also full of tremendous opportunities to serve others. I have been blessed to work as a family practitioner at Providence Urgent Care in Everett, Washington. In April, I traveled to Guatemala to provide medical care to the Chicaman Mayan-speaking population, a great opportunity through Faith in Practice International and Providence Hospital. In May, I went to Ecuador and Colombia again. I want to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the UW School of Medicine’s MEDEX program for allowing this Central American girl to fulfill her dream of becoming a physician assistant. Your faith in me will not go unnoticed. Much love until we meet again.”


Ahmed O. Marzouk, PA-C (Seattle Class 48) (Master’s of Clinical Health Services).


Spokane Class 1

Theresa M. Schimmels, PA-C (Spokane Class 1), writes, “Hello from Spokane! It’s hard to believe that 20 years ago this fall I entered the MEDEX PA Training Program here! Now, I’m leaving Rockwood Dermatology after 14 years as a PA with Dr C Dan Henderson and heading up to Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center to work with Dr Marion Miotke in their dermatology department. As a Veteran, I look forward to serving once again with our military in a totally different capacity. I am also active on the WA State DOH Medical Quality Assurance Commission as a PA Commissioner, entering my second term this fall.

On a personal note, my second granddaughter was born this past spring! I’m enjoying these sweet babies and watching my daughter and son in-law traverse parenthood together. I continue to kayak and read and travel. I enjoy mentoring other PA’s and PA students and teach dermatology for the MEDEX Program. Every day is a new experience!”


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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