Two WMU alumni honored by national physician assistant group

Contact: Cheryl Roland

KALAMAZOO—A national professional organization has singled out two alumni of Western Michigan University's physician assistant program as recipients of two of its top 2013 honors.

Jeffrey Callard, a 1988 WMU alumnus and resident of Fenton, Mich,, was named 2013 Outstanding Physician Assistant of the Year by the American Academy of Physician Assistants. James Earle Canfield, a 1990 alumnus who lives in Grand Rapids, Mich., was selected as the 2013 Humanitarian Physician Assistant of the Year.

Both were honored at the AAPA's 41st annual conference May 25-29 in Washington, D.C. The event attracted some 7,400 PAs, students, exhibitors and guests. The awards are part of the organization's Paragon awards made to the group's top professionals.

Photo of Jeffrey .


Jeffrey Callard

Callard was honored for his work that helps physicians better understand the role of physician assistants, and promoting policies that maximize team performance in the emergency room. Since 2002, he has been employed by the Emergency Medicine Physicians Group, serving as an emergency PA at hospitals in the Detroit and Ann Arbor, Mich., areas. He is the educational coordinator for PA students at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, where he also co-directs the PA fellowship in emergency medicine.

In 2011, he became the first non-physician board member for the Emergency Medicine Physicians Group. He has had a national impact by helping influence the American College of Emergency Physicians' policy on emergency medicine practice both for physicians and PAs. He is a founding member and past president of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants. He is also on the Federal and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Medical-Legal Committee for ACEP.

Photo of James Earle .


James Earle Canfield

Canfield, who is retired after more than 20 years as a physician assistant, was honored for spending his lifetime helping people in the third world though medical mission work. He was particularly singled out for his first-hand experience working with underserved communities and impoverished children in Nepal, that led him to start American-Nepali Students’ and Women’s Educational Relief—ANSWER—in 2001. He first saw the need for such an organization during a medical mission trip to that nation.

Canfield serves as the volunteer executive director of ANSWER, which relies on sponsors in the West to fund education efforts for children from very poor and low-caste communities in Nepal. Today, ANSWER has more helped more than 1,000 children in 120 schools and colleges throughout the country. Every high school graduate in the program, 117 in total, has gone on to college. The program also offers medical assistance to their families.

American Academy of Physician Assistants

Founded in 1968, the American Academy of Physician Assistants is the national professional society for physician assistants. It represents a profession of more than 90,000 certified PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories and within the uniformed services. AAPA advocates and educates on behalf of the profession and the patients PAs serve.