By Elise O’Neill-Eckman ’19
Third-year Physician Assistant (PA) Studies student Marie Slisher received the prestigious Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) Student Health Policy Fellowship at the association’s meeting, held Sept. 9, through Sept. 12, in Washington, D.C.
Slisher was chosen to join 13 other PA students who were selected nationwide to participate in PAEA’s 2018 fellowship class centering on professional advocacy and leadership in the health care field.
“It is incredibly competitive,” said Slisher. “They (PAEA) said there was a record number of applicants this year. I was very honored to have been chosen”.
Professor and Director of Shenandoah University’s Division of Physician Assistant Studies Anthony Miller, M.Ed., PA-C, said of Slisher’s selection, “The faculty and I were very pleased that Marie Slisher was accepted to the fellowship from hundreds of applicants across the country. She has been a leader here for Shenandoah’s PA program, and this fellowship will strengthen her leadership and health policy skills so she can continue to effectively advocate for PAs as a graduate.”
Slisher became inspired to explore the legislative side of medicine after she participated in White Coats on Call during spring semester last year, where she and other Shenandoah PA students went to the Virginia House of Delegates. “We talked to representatives about legislation that we felt should be passed at the state level. White Coats on Call was what really started getting me interested in advocacy and [showed me] what I can do as a PA to advocate for my patients,” said Slisher.
PAEA fellows engage with the legislative process at the federal and state levels, cultivating their skills to become powerful advocates for health care and the PA profession. According to the PAEA website, fellows also “build and refine the skills necessary to organize and lead others in advancing health policy issues at the local, state and national level.”
For more information about the PAEA Fellowship, visit www.paeaonline.org.