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Jason HrdinaThe American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) has named Jason Hrdina, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and Commissioned Officer and Bronze Star Recipient of the US Army, as a distinguished fellow for his outstanding contributions to patient care and to the profession during his time as a PA. The recognition also acknowledges Hrdina’s dedication and involvement to the community.

“Jason Hrdina has translated a record of service and excellence as an officer in our military into an equally impactful record as a physician assistant leader and educator at UNC. The program and the institution are fortunate to benefit from his contributions,” said Dr. Paul Chelminski, professor and director of the PA program.

Hrdina, who recently transitioned to service in the U.S. Army Reserve, began his medical career as a combat medic in the Air Force and attended PA school at the University of New Mexico. He has worked in multiple specialties and leadership positions, including at the Womack Army Medicine Center’s emergency room.

He is a director at large for the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants and works as a PA in the Department of Emergency Medicine. Hrdina is also a senior fellow in the Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants.

The AAPA distinguished fellow program began in 2007 in order to recognize exceptional contributions of PAs to the profession through professional achievement, leadership, professional interaction, learning and community service. Distinguished fellows of AAPA represent two percent of the AAPA membership, which totals more than 140,000 certified PAs nationwide.

Hrdina is a clinical assistant professor in the Physician Assistant Studies program. The PA program is housed in the Department of Allied Health Sciences. Paul Chelminski (’95 MD, ’03 MPH) has served as PA program director since its inception in 2015.