PA Student Named Rising Health Leader | PCOM Georgia
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PA Student Named Rising Health Leader

February 7, 2023

Professional headshot of Gazang Abdulla (MS/PA ’24)PCOM Georgia first year physician assistant student Gazang Abdulla (MS/PA ’24) was recently named the 2022 Rising Health Leader by the Amed Medical Foundation. The foundation, according to its website, provides a way for students from underserved backgrounds “to access quality mentorship and networking opportunities and learn about health education and prevention in order to serve their communities.”

The award is given annually to one healthcare student, trainee or early career professional who has shown “impactful community service, leadership and dedication to improving education and health in underserved communities.”

Born in Connecticut shortly after her parents arrived from Kurdistan as refugees, Abdulla said she found it “difficult at times to navigate through my life and education.” She is grateful for the opportunities and support that allowed her to pursue a career as a physician assistant.

She said she became involved in the Kurdish American Medical Association, a similar organization based in Georgia, in order to connect with Kurdish professionals who had interests in the medical field. She began participating in projects to educate the Kurdish community and accepted the responsibility of establishing the new Kurdish physician assistant branch. 

Abdulla was nominated for the Rising Health Leaders award by Heval Kelli, an Atlanta cardiologist and the president of KAMA. He said, “I had the pleasure to meet and mentor Gazang when she was an undergraduate student. We both are Kurds and share the same struggle of the Kurds fleeing their homes and land over the years.”

Kelli is a former refugee who resettled in Clarkston, Georgia. He co-founded KAMA to provide mentorship and networking for the Kurdish American community.

He said, “When I met Gazang, I noticed her passion for service and giving back. We also noticed the limited number of Kurdish American PAs and students, likely less than 15 in the country.”

Kelli praised PCOM Georgia for educating “the wonderful students and future leaders like Gazang.” 

Abdulla said, “Regardless of what specialty I end up pursuing, I look forward to advancing and growing as a provider. I hope to make a meaningful impact as well as provide quality care to my patients, my family, and my community.”

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About PCOM Georgia

Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a branch campus of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), a private, not-for-profit, accredited institution of higher education with a storied 125-year history dedicated to the healthcare professions. Located in Suwanee (Gwinnett County), PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy and physical therapy. Graduate degrees are offered in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science and physician assistant studies. The campus joins PCOM South Georgia in Moultrie in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state. Emphasizing "a whole person" approach to care, PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the community. For more information, visit or call 678-225-7500. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit

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Jamesia Harrison, MS
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