National honor for PA program’s founding director
By Alex Branch
Dr. Hank Lemke, founding director of UNT Health Science Center’s nationally recognized Physician Assistant Studies Program, has earned a national honor for achievements in PA education.
Lemke, DHSc, PA-C, received the 2015 Master Faculty Award, an honor given annually by the Physician Assistant Education Association to one PA in the nation for noteworthy contributions in education.
It was the second year in a row that a Health Science Center PA has received a national award from the association. Last year, PA-C Laura Mattingly received the Rising Star Award for new faculty.
“I was surprised and honored when I found out I was receiving the award,” Dr. Lemke said. “But my greatest satisfaction is knowing it reflects well on the Health Science Center and our PA program, which I truly believe is among the best in the country.”
Dr. Lemke first began teaching PA students while serving in the U.S. Air Force. He came to Fort Worth in 1996 to head the new PA program at the Health Science Center and continued to serve as department chair until July when he assumed the role of Interim Director of the UNTHSC Center for Innovative Learning.
Under his leadership, the PA program grew from 12 students to 75 annually, successfully completed five accreditation reviews and secured more than $500,000 in federal funding.
U.S. News & World Report magazine has ranked the PA program among the top 35 graduate-level physician assistant programs in the country.
“Without a doubt, my proudest career achievement has been helping found the Health Science Center’s PA program,” Dr. Lemke said. “Today over 550 men and women have graduated from our program and are now serving the needs patients throughout Texas and the country.”
Dr. Lemke’s reputation among PA educators extends beyond the Health Science Center. He has served as a guest instructor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University.
“Dr. Lemke is the quintessential PA educator,” wrote Randy D. Danielsen, Ph.D., PA-C, Dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences, in a letter of support for the award. “His experience and wealth of information on PA education is limitless.”