Alum boosts PA program across NorCal

Passion for Health Care as a Teen Helps Propel Thomas to Faculty Role

November 30, 2023
A photo shows Lisa Thomas.
Lisa Thomas

Lisa Thomas is a member of the faculty for the MSPAS/MPH program at Touro University California and a 2017 graduate of the program. She currently serves as the program's Northern California Clinical Rotation Recruitment Coordinator.

She joined Touro in early 2021, helping out intermittently with Clinical Applications, Objective Structured Clinical Examinations and Surgical Skills. She joined Touro part time in October 2021.

Thomas works under a federal Health Resources and Services Administration grant as a Northern California Clinical Rotation Recruitment Coordinator. In that role, she works to obtain new clinical rotation sites in Humboldt County and surrounding rural areas as well as doing site visits for PA students in their clinical year.

She has helped plan the annual Current Trends in Mental Health conference for the past two years. She also occasionally assists with OSCEs, lectures, and interview days.

A Passion for PA, Teaching

Working in health care, and by extension, teaching and precepting, has been a key focus for Thomas since she became an adult.

"I've loved being in an educational setting my entire life and I wanted to be a PA since I was 18 years old. It seemed only natural to want to continue working in education in both clinical and classroom settings," she says. "I remember the excitement of feeling a concept 'click' while at Touro as a PA student and I want to be able to give that experience to students as well. It's an amazing feeling to feel that you've made a difference along someone's journey to becoming a PA. Not only does this contribute to a stronger PA presence in the community but it creates a network of colleagues that you may very well work with someday."

Thomas says she has enjoyed being able to work on several different projects with the program while also helping out where it's needed.

"My job role feels very flexible and relaxed, and I always feel appreciated for what I do," she says.

Most Surprising Aspect of Being a Faculty Member

"I was most surprised about how quickly I actually felt like a faculty member," she says. "Although it's been six years since I graduated from Touro, I thought I would still feel like a 'new grad' working among faculty members who taught me as a PA student. I felt immediately welcomed by everyone. They are very accepting, open and fun to be around. I'm excited for my future as Touro faculty."

Anyone who would like to serve as a speaker at the next >Current Trends in Mental Health conference or become a preceptor in Northern California for the MSPAS/MPH program should contact Thomas at