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  Graduate Programs Commencement

Commencement Speaker - 2013


James F. Cawley, MPH, PA-C

Mr. Cawley is Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Prevention and Community Health in the School of Public Health and Health Services and Professor of Health Care Sciences in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at George Washington University. He earned his master of public health degree in infectious disease epidemiology from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Mr. Cawley has authored more than 85 peer-reviewed papers in the biomedical literature on topics spanning the physician assistant profession, primary care and the health workforce, health workforce policy, preventive medicine, health promotion, health care delivery, and infectious disease epidemiology. He is co-author of Physician Assistants in a Changing Health Care Environment, and Physician Assistants: Policy and Practice.

Through his leadership positions in the field, Mr. Cawley has worked to increase access to primary care through the use of physician assistants. He has served on the executive board of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. He chaired the U.S. Bureau of Health Professions’ Advisory Group on Physician Assistants and the Work Force in 1993, and was principal author of its report to the Council on Graduate Medical Education. He also served as a member of the U.S. Public Health Service National Coordinating Committee on Clinical Preventive Services and as a Primary Care Health Policy Fellow in the federal Health Resources and Services Administration. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and a former president of the Physician Assistant Foundation and the Physician Assistant Education Association. His work in public health includes service with the Epidemiology Intelligence Service of the Centers for Disease Control, where he was a fellow of the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine. His recent works have appeared in Academic Medicine, Health Affairs, and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

A certified physician assistant for 35 years, Mr. Cawley practiced as a physician assistant in the area of primary care at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the AAPA, was a Primary Care Health Policy Fellow in the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, and is a past president of the Physician Assistant Education Association and the PA Foundation. In 2011, Mr. Cawley was the recipient of the Eugene A. Stead Award for Lifetime achievement in the physician assistant profession by the AAPA, the most prestigious award offered by the academy. Mr. Cawley has been a trusted advisor and supporter through the early years of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s program in physician assistant studies.

On this Commencement day, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is pleased to honor James F. Cawley for his achievements and contributions to public health by bestowing upon him the degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.