TUC Celebrates our Physician Assistants for PA Week

Each year from October 6-12, Touro University California celebrates National PA Week to recognize the PA profession and how all of our alumni, faculty, and students in the Joint MSPAS/MPH program contribute to the health of our communities.

Come see what our hard working alumni and faculty love about being a PA.

Felicia Ma, PA-C, MPH, Class of 2014

Felicia MaAs a Touro student, Felicia was the officer of community outreach for CEHS and a clinic director of the Student Run Free Clinic. She has since been working as a primary care pediatric PA for three years and currently works at Lifelong Medical Care. Felicia was a recipient of the 2017 Touro Public Health Hero Award for opening a School Based Health Center to serve the students and community of Emeryville with fellow TUC alumna Lien Le.

Her favorite part about the PA profession is walking into the room and receiving a big hug and smiles from her pediatric patients. She also really enjoys partnering with families and empowering kids to choose and develop healthy habits at a young age to prevent co-morbidities and work towards living a happy, healthy life.

In her spare time, Felicia tries to focus on self-care by spending time with family and friends, working out via gym, yoga, and biking, as well as binge-watching TV series.

Joy Dugan, PA-C, MPH, Class of 2012

Joy DuganJoy usually practices family medicine at the TUC partnering clinic Family Health Services of Solano County in Vallejo. Her clinical interest in diabetes management and prevention. The rest of her time is dedicated to teaching clinical medicine, clinical applications, and summative courses in the Joint MSPAS/MPH program. She is faculty advisor for TUPAC and the Military Club, and she is a member of TUC's DREAM (Diabetes Research, Education and Management) Team.

Joy's favorite thing about being a PA is having the flexibility to explore her interests. She has worked in pediatrics, family medicine, diabetes, and military trauma medicine. As a National Guard member, she has seen patients affected by forest fires and cared for soldiers supporting battlefield operations. She likes knowing that if there was an emergency on an airplane, she would know how to triage it. She also loves working on an interprofessional team.

At home, Joy puts all her energy into raising her 14 month old daughter, who is her running buddy, reading mate, and singing partner. She and her husband love to explore the delicious food options throughout the Bay Area. She is training to for her first triatholon in five years, and enjoys history, chocolate, coffee, and binge-watching on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Chris McConnell, PA-C, MPH, Class of 2012

Chris McConnellAfter graduating TUC, Chris worked in a Family Medicine/Sports Medicine office in Campbell, CA for five years. He has recently moved to Santa Barbara and now works in the Urgent Care department at UCSB Student Health. A UCSB alumnus as well, Chris feels like he has now come full circle.

Chris loves the flexibility that the PA profession provides. "Being able to choose and work in one field within medicine and then change to another is something that makes this profession so great!" he says. Because he was able to build a really strong foundation in Family Medicine/Sports Medicine, Chris now gets to enjoy working with college students. He also loves that as a PA, he is continuing to learn, helping his patients, lecturing/precepting students, and practicing medicine all at the same time.

"Having a job that provides a good work life balance is really important to me and something I am able to do as a PA," Chris says. "As a result, this has allowed me to spend more time with my dogs, Emma and Dash, play tennis with my wife and enjoy all that beautiful Santa Barbara has to offer. I love being a PA and am so glad I chose this career path."

Lisa Walterscheid, PA-C, MPH, Class of 2017

Lisa WalterscheidLisa works full time for TeamHealth in the Emergency Department at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Stockton, California. She is also PRN (on-call) in the Emergency Department at Lodi Memorial Hospital in Lodi, California.

As a new grad, she is happy to have a solid foundation in various areas of medicine. "There are too many things that I love about the profession! Emergency Medicine grabbed my attention through rotations, and I'm thrilled to be working in the ED right out of school," she says. "However, I've always been drawn to primary care. I've always welcomed change throughout my life, and I'm excited to see what areas of medicine I get to explore during my career!"

In her free time, Lisa loves thrifting, DIY projects, checking out new breweries, traveling, and going on bike rides.

Grace Landel, PA-C, Director of the Joint/MSPAS/MPH Program

Grace LandelGrace earned her MSPAS from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. Her last practice was at a Family Medicine Residency in Seattle where she also did volunteer work on a mobile van that provided care to homeless children.

When asked what she likes most about the PA profession, Grace says, "Most PAs don't have their ego tied up in taking care of patients. They want to provide the best care possible and don't have a problem saying, 'I don't know' (following closely by, 'but let me find out')."

In her spare time, Grace likes to hang out with her family, friends and her dogs. She enjoys going to plays, reading, and making jewelry

Le'Anna St.John, PA-C, Associate Professor

Le'Anna St.JohnBefore becoming a PA, Le’Anna worked as a laboratory technologist in a small local hospital in Fairbanks, Alaska where she grew up. “I spent much of my time working directly with the physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners and began to think, ‘I want their job!’”, she says. “So I applied and was accepted to PA school at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania.”

Le’Anna has worked in family medicine, cosmetic surgery, otolaryngology, substance abuse/drug addiction, and PA education. “I don’t know another field of medicine that offers such a vast array of opportunity as ours,” she says. “I’m still working in education and substance abuse medicine. Both jobs are very different and challenging in their own unique ways, which is what I love about each of them.” 

In her spare time, Le’Anna enjoys spending time with friends, meeting new people, wine tasting, doing volunteer work (when she can), and spoiling her two Chihuahuas. She is also learning Spanish (an effort she calls slow-going) and likes doing home projects (which she does not claim to be good at).

Kim Walsh, PA-C, Assistant Professor

Kim WalshAfter graduating from the UC Davis FNP/PA Program in Sacramento, Kim worked in Internal Medicine in Sonoma for almost 6 years. Currently, Kim is working in the field of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology in Napa. 

“It is difficult when you see a patient struggling to breathe (whether in asthma or in anaphylaxis) or one who is full of hives and their lips and throat are swelling; and you have to act quickly to reverse the allergic reaction,” she says. “But when you see them again, they are doing better, managing their illness on their own with success and staying compliant with the recommendations and tools that you gave them. It is an awe-inspiring phenomenal feeling. It gives you the warm fuzzies!”

Kim is happy to have come full circle now as an assistant professor it the Joint MSPAS/MPH program for the past three years. 

“When you work with patients you touch one person’s life at a time, when you work with students who will be the future clinicians, you are touching countless lives,” she says. “I love my students and faculty/staff whom I work with. Coming to work each day is a joy, not a chore!”

In her spare time, Kim loves hanging out with her husband and two grown kids. She loves cooking, baking, and recipe writing for her cook book which she hopes to publish. Hiking, and being at the beach are what she calls her musts, as well riding and working with horses.