Donna Agnew, MSPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA, who has served as the director of the University’s Physician Assistant Studies (PA) program since 2015, recently gave a gracious farewell to her Salus family to take on a new challenge at the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).

During a virtual gathering, faculty, staffDonna Agnew and administration reflected on Agnew as a leader who was critical to the success of the school’s PA program. Under Agnew’s direction, the program received reaffirmed accreditation after being placed on probation in 2013. In his remarks, Salus President Michael Mittelman, OD ‘80, MPH, MBA, FAAO, FACHE, recalled the challenge Agnew accepted and conquered.

“Donna took a program from the brink of extinction to one of the country’s leading PA programs,” Dr. Mittelman said, referring to a recent Newsweek report that ranks Salus among the top PA programs in the U.S.

He added, “I'm going to miss you professionally. The University is going to miss you professionally. But to your credit, your program, and it is your program, will flourish because of the fabulous staff you have trained and grown while you were here. And to me, that's always the best measure of leadership. It's not so much what you're doing while you're there, it's what happens after you leave.”

James Konopack, PhD, dean of the University’s College of Health Sciences, Education and Rehabilitation (CHER), also emphasized how invaluable Agnew has been to the institution.

“Even though I've only had the good pleasure of working with you for the past six months, I've certainly grown to appreciate you as a colleague and your leadership in the PA program, and for what you do for the College and the University as a whole,” Dr. Konopack said.

To commemorate another major milestone in Agnew’s career at Salus, overseeing the completion of the University’s new state-of-the-art Standardized Patient Simulation Lab, Dr. Konopack continued to announce a lounge space in the simulation lab will be dedicated in Agnew’s name in the near future.

A humble leader, Agnew concluded the event by recognizing the contributions of her colleagues.

“You trusted me to do it and that allowed me to get it done. So, thank you very much,” Agnew said. “I will always carry a piece of Salus with me and I have never worked at a place where I felt more at home. My PA faculty just shine. Each are rising stars, not only with accreditation, but genuinely caring about the students, understanding how they learn and how to always improve.”