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Fenn among academy's first distinguished fellows

Jan. 24, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Dr. William H. Fenn, professor of physician assistant at Western Michigan University, has been named one of the first Distinguished Fellows of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

AAPA, which is one of the largest medical societies in the United States, is the only national organization representing physician assistants in all medical and surgical specialties. The academy established the Distinguished Fellows Program this past fall and is announcing its inaugural cohort on a rolling basis.

AAPA members selected for the honor have distinguished themselves among their colleagues, as well as in their communities, by their service to the PA profession, commitment to advancing health care for all people, and exemplary personal and professional development.

In announcing Fenn's selection, the AAPA hailed him for his outstanding contributions to patient care and the PA profession; dedication and involvement in Michigan as well as the communities where he has lived; successful efforts to expand the PA discipline in Michigan and the national and international arenas; and service to the AAPA in leadership roles.

Fenn, who has been a practicing PA for more than 30 years, already is a fellow of the Michigan Academy of PAs and Society of Air Force PAs, in addition to a founding fellow of such organization's as the Veteran's Affairs Academy of Physician Assistants. He previously served as president of the latter group and vice president of the MAPA.

Currently, Fenn is serving out gubernatorial appointments made by both Jennifer Granholm and John Engler that place him on the Michigan Board of Medicine, which licenses physicians, and Michigan Task Force on PAs, which licenses PAs.

Fenn has been an active AAPA member throughout his career, with 2008 marking his sixth consecutive year on the organization's Board of Directors. He is serving as first vice speaker of the House of Delegates, which is the AAPA's policy-making body, as well as serving as chair of the International Committee and an at-large member of the House of Delegates.

A retired lieutenant colonel, Fenn joined WMU's Department of Physician Assistant faculty in 1986 and is a past chair of the department. He focuses his research in the areas of health policy, dermatology, health communications and HIV. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma and from the State University of New York, a master's degree from Aquinas College, and a doctoral degree from Pacific Western University.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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