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Katie Hanlon, MMS, PA-C (’06) has been named Interim Program Director of the Division of Physician Assistant Studies. Hanlon is a physician assistant who has been a core faculty member since 2018 in the division, which is housed within the Department of Health Sciences within UNC’s School of Medicine. Clinically, she has experience in emergency medicine and critical care and works in the Cardiovascular and Thoracic ICU at UNC Medical Center.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the PA program’s new period of growth,” says Hanlon. The program has recently been granted ongoing accreditation and is transitioning to a more PA-focused leadership. A nationwide search for a permanent program director is underway.

Hanlon has worked in inpatient and outpatient emergency medicine, surgery, and cardiac intensive care during the course of her career. In her current role as assistant professor, she is the course director for the three medical units first-year PA students work through during their pre-clinical phase, and she teaches the cardiology unit. Her leadership experiences through teaching and clinical work have contributed to Hanlon’s ability to support the program through a new phase in its 10-year history.

Dr. Stephen Hooper, Associate Dean of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Health Sciences, noted the importance of the interim role as the program goes through its leadership transition and works toward the ultimate goal of hiring a new permanent program director.

“As we go through this leadership transition, I want to extend my sincere appreciation to Dr. Paul Chelminski for his past contributions to the development of this program and, at the same time, welcome Katie into the fold as we move into the future,” said Hooper. “We are extremely fortunate to have Katie assume this leadership role during a critical time of transition for the PA Program. Moving toward a PA-led program is in accordance with recent changes in the PA accreditation standards, and we are fortunate to have Katie on our team to lead this important educational initiative for the Department, School of Medicine, the broader university, and the state.”

Hanlon graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BS in Biology in 2006. She earned a Masters of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Midwestern University, Downers Grove, in 2009.

The UNC PA program is currently accepting applications for its January 2024 class. Applications are due March 1, 2023.