(Alexandria, VA) – Kenneth Dean Wright, PA-C from Huntington, West Virginia has been recognized as a Distinguished Fellow of the AAPA. Mr. Wright earned this national recognition due to his outstanding contributions to patient care and the profession during his 37 year career as a Physician Assistant. He currently practices as a member of the General Surgery Team for the Veterans Hospital Administration at the Huntington VA Medical Center.
He is a graduate of the PA program at Alderson-Broaddus College and the Norwalk Hospital/ Yale University School of Medicine PA Surgical Residency Program. His career started in Wheeling, WV as the first surgical PA employed at Wheeling Hospital. As a relative pioneer in the profession, Dean developed a house staff of PAs and served as the Chief Surgical PA at that institution for 13 years. In 1994 he moved to Huntington and practiced as a Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery PA at ST. Mary’s Medical Center until 2015.
Dean has been involved in the leadership of the West Virginia Association of Physician Assistants and was recognized as The WVAPA “PA of the Year” in 1999. He was appointed by the Governor to the West Virginia Board of Medicine as the PA member on the Board and is the Chairman of the PA Committee.
He also demonstrated significant dedication and involvement in the community of Barboursville/ Huntington where he has lived for the past 23 years with his wife Judy, and their 6 children. He is a member of Fifth Avenue Baptist Church and has served as its Moderator and participated in multiple church mission trips nationally and internationally.
The Distinguished Fellow program was established by AAPA in 2007 in order to recognize the exceptional contributions of PAs to the profession through professional achievement, leadership, professional interaction, learning and community service. Distinguished Fellows of AAPA, represent only two percent of the entire AAPA membership.
PAs are nationally certified and state-licensed to practice medicine in every setting and specialty. They diagnose and treat patients, order and interpret tests, assist in surgery and perform medical procedures, make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes and prescribe medications. A PA’s role may also include patient education and research. PAs are educated at the graduate level through rigorous programs modeled on the medical school curriculum and are viewed as a solution to increasing access to healthcare for the increasing number of patients entering the system.
AAPA is the national organization that advocates for all PAs and provides tools to improve PA practice and patient care. Founded in 1968, AAPA represents a profession of approximately 108,500 certified PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories and the uniformed services. Visit www.aapa.org to learn