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Jennifer Crumm, MSM, PA-C, RD
We are spotlighting PA Crumm today. She has been part of our faculty in the UNTHSC PA program since 2020.
Hometown(s): Alvin, TX, and Brentwood, TN- I was born in Alvin (just outside Houston) but spent the majority of my childhood in Brentwood, TN (just south of Nashville), so I consider myself both a Texan and a Tennessean.
Current Role: I am an Assistant Professor in the UNTHSC PA Program. I am the course director of the Endocrinology and Urology/Nephrology courses. I also have the pleasure of lecturing in many other courses and facilitating activities within the program.
What led you to your career path?
Health and medicine have always intrigued me. I find the inner workings of the human body fascinating. When I entered undergrad at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, I knew I wanted to pursue a science degree but, with so many options, I did not know what to choose! After taking several pre-requisite science courses, I fell in love with the nutritional sciences and earned my Bachelor degree in Nutrition. I didn’t stop there, though. I was fortunate enough to match with Lipscomb University’s Dietetic Internship and completed the one-year program, which culminated with my passing the registered dietitian certification exam. I wear my registered dietitian (RD) title with pride! However, during my nutrition education, I longed for more knowledge about the clinical pathophysiology of the conditions and diseases I had learned to treat through food. This is when I found the physician assistant career path, and felt these health care professionals aligned most with my purpose and passion of being a healer to those around me.
After graduating from Trevecca Nazarene University’s Physician Assistant Program, I made my way back to Texas and settled into a private practice endocrinology clinic. This complex specialty really tests your medical knowledge and I so enjoyed the patients I had the privilege of treating. When managing patients with chronic conditions, you see them so regularly that they become friends and it was a pleasure to see them. During my time in clinical practice, I had the opportunity to act as a preceptor to the students of the HSC PA Program, and this is where the love of teaching started. I found joy in explaining the complex conditions we treated and the rationales behind different treatment options. I was proud of my students when they completed their first differential diagnoses list and correctly identified which diagnostic tests to order or medications to prescribe. It was an invigorating feeling to be educating future clinicians!
When I decided to enter the medical field, I did so with the purpose and passion of helping and healing those around me- bettering my community one encounter at a time. As a preceptor, I began to realize the best way to help and heal those around me was to educate and guide the future generations of physician assistants, so they may go out into their communities across the country (and maybe even across the globe!) and help and heal others, using the knowledge I was able to give them. I am honored to be a part of PA education and a member of the amazing Physician Assistant Program at the UNT Health Science Center!
What do you love most about your work?
I love the people I work with- the students, staff, and faculty! Not just in the PA program, but across the university. Such an awesome part of teaching at a health science center is that you have opportunities to collaborate with other healthcare professionals, all with the same goal of educating the clinicians of tomorrow. Engaging with students across the different colleges, schools, and programs, shows the importance of each profession in the comprehensive care of our patients.
What advice do you have for PA Students?
Never stop learning! The field of medicine is ever changing and there are always opportunities to expand your knowledge base. And always be gracious, not only to other but to yourself, too! You may be surprised just how far a little act of kindness can take you.
Sandy Mann has served the PA Studies program since November 1997. She is the last remaining original member of the program since its inception in June 1997. Sandra (aka Sandy) was born and raised in East Alton, Illinois and moved to Wichita Falls, TX in May 1980 after her father’s passing. She met her future husband shortly thereafter. Sandy and Allan have been married nearly 40 years and have lived in the Fort Worth area for 30 years. They have 2 beautiful adult children, Dustin and Amanda. With a recent announcement from her son, the Mann’s will become a 3rd time grandparents in October 2021.
Sandy has served as the front desk receptionist for the past 23 years greeting students, faculty, staff and visitors with a warm down home vibe and a smile upon her face. Sandy assists in many aspects of the program that includes scheduling appointments with faculty and students, supplying analytical reporting data, serving as recording secretary for multiple committees and providing course support for the Senior Seminar course. She coordinates the program career fair, and prepares graduate forms for the Texas Medical Board. She is a highly valued part of the PA team. The team based comradery of the faculty and staff is truly unique and Sandy is happy to be a part of it.
Sandy states: “I have thoroughly enjoyed watching each class of students grow and excel to be the outstanding PA’s they are. The charter class of 1999 consisted of 11 students and graduated with a Bachelor degree. Still, after all these years, seeing 75 students graduate with a Master’s degree is truly heartwarming and I am so proud of each of them. Our program will continue to strive and excel as leaders in the healthcare field. Keep the journey smiling!”
Congratulations to our 2020 alumna, Valerie O’Rourke, on her “Rookie of the Year” award from Albert Einstein-Jack D Weiler Hospital-Division of Montefiore Medical Center.
PA O’Rourke states “I am merely a reflection of the incredible [UNTHSC] program. I know I would not be the recipient of this award without the rigorous curriculum and incredibly high standards that this program held me to.
I currently work in Weiler Hospital, a division of Montefiore in the Bronx- the originating epicenter of the COVID pandemic. We have 430 inpatient medicine beds. The physician assistant staff covers 4 services: 1) Hospitalist medicine where we work 1:1 with a medicine attending, 2) The private service where physicians admit their patients directly to the hospital from the outpatient setting or nursing homes, 3) The cardiology service, where we manage CHF, arrhythmia and pre/post cardiac catheterization patients with the cardiologists, and 4) The admitting unit- an ancillary emergency room unit with telemetry capacity where patients who are kept for observation after syncopal episodes or chest pain stay for short periods of time under the supervision of emergency medicine physicians.
It has been a steep learning curve to work in such an underserved area with so much advanced pathology and numerous disease states compounding one another. I routinely see diseases I have never heard of and diagnosis I thought were only found in textbooks.
Our service often receives patients that the ICU does not accept due to their poor prognosis, and step downs from the ICU. As someone who went into this profession for primary care, I certainly never thought I would be titrating norepinephrine drips on critically ill patients, managing patients on ventilators or ordering linezolid for patients with drug resistant tuberculosis. I would never be able to keep up with these complex patients if my fundamental medical knowledge was not so solid.
I am so grateful for the teachers who have paved the way for my career so far. So many lives will be bettered by the PA’s that come out of UNTHSC. I am just one humble example of this.”
This page was last modified on April 12, 2021