Four Neurosurgery Physician Assistants Garner PA of the Year Nominations

The Department of Neurological Surgery is extremely proud that four of our Physician Assistants were nominated this year for campus-wide awards. Three (Allison Basham, Beth Higgins,  and Chloe Holland) were nominated as PA of the Year and a fourth, Emily Wolpiuk, was nominated as PA Rookie of the Year. Racking up four nominations out of 300 PAs on the Weill Cornell campus is a significant statement about the quality of our providers, and we congratulate them on being recognized.

Three of our nominees have all made headlines before. Chloe Holland was named PA Rookie of the Year in 2018 (see news story); Allison Basham, who was PA Rookie of the Year in 2017, has led educational efforts for nursing staff at our partner hospital in Tanzania (see newsletter); and Beth Higgins, who was PA of the Year in 2010, made international news last year when her heroic efforts saved a man’s life during a trans-Atlantic flight (see news item). We have no doubt that this year’s rookie nominee will follow in those footsteps.

Beth Higgins, Allison Basham, Chloe Holland, and Emily Wolpiuk

“I am extremely proud of our inpatient Physician Assistant team,” said Dr. Phil Stieg, department chairman. “They are in the operating rooms with us, and at the patient bedsides, providing expert care to our patients and skilled support to our surgeons. We could not do what we do without them.”

Suzan Wollard, chief of the Neurosurgery PA staff, agrees. “These PAs are so dedicated to our patients,” she says, “and they provide care to those with some of the most serious conditions imaginable. When patients and families are frightened about their condition or their surgery, I’m proud that our PAs are always ready to comfort, care, and support them. And when brain and spine surgeons need the most skilled assistants in the OR, our PA team is always up to the job.”

 Physician Assistants undergo years of rigorous post-graduate medical education and training, and thousands of hours of clinical practice, to earn their degree, followed by an equally rigorous board licensing exam before they can be certified.

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