HIGH POINT, N.C., May 28, 2020 – alumni from the Congdon School of Health Sciences are working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic as physician assistants. Here are a few individuals that are using the skills gained at HPU to keep individuals healthy and to care for the ill.
Jordan Kestler works as a trauma surgery physician assistant at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. When the COVID-19 pandemic began impacting the United States, she was redeployed to serve in the intensive care unit as part of the COVID-19 team. Kestler obtained her Master of Physician Assistant Studies from High Point University in 2019.
“I am so thankful for the education I received in PA school at HPU,” says Kestler. “This foundation has allowed me to collaborate with my ICU mentors, quickly adapt to the ICU and grow as a provider to be considered a part of the critical care team.”
Ally Blazejewski works as a physician assistant in the Congdon Heart and Vascular Center at Wake Forest Baptist Health High Point Medical Center in High Point, North Carolina. She conducts consults for inpatient and hospital services, as well as outpatient office visits, and sub-specializes in the outpatient heart failure clinic. Blazejewski obtained her Master of Physician Assistant Studies from High Point University in 2019.
Sarah Gordon works as a physician assistant at Novant Health New Garden Medical Associates, a family medicine office in Greensboro, North Carolina. She assesses patients that have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 through video visits and sends them to a local respiratory clinic if testing is needed. Gordon obtained her undergraduate and graduate degrees at HPU, earning her Bachelor of Science in biology in 2014 and Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies in 2018.
“My education at HPU prepared me for the COVID-19 pandemic by teaching me how to properly research medical topics to stay up to date on the changing data around COVID-19,” says Gordon. “I feel humbled and honored that I am a part of the medical professionals on the front lines of COVID-19 and that I am able to help others during this difficult and uncertain time.”
Ana Hernandez works as a physician assistant in internal medicine at the Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina. Hernandez obtained her Master of Physician Assistant Studies from High Point University in 2019.
“I am thankful of how supportive everyone in the community has been,” says Hernandez. “I have a great team, and we are working together to get through this.”
Eddie Kazlauskas works as a physician assistant in the intensive care unit at Wake Baptist Health High Point Medical Center in High Point, North Carolina. Kazlauskas obtained his Master of Physician Assistant Studies from High Point University in 2019.
“I am grateful to HPU for all they have given me,” says Kazlauskas. “Working at HPMC allows me the opportunity to build on relationships I made while in school, and I now work alongside one of my preceptors, Dr. Stallings.”
Edona Kovani works as a physician assistant at Lansing Urgent Care in Lansing, Michigan. She sees patients with COVID symptoms and tests them via a nasal swab. She has also conducted COVID antibody testing for patients. Kovani obtained her Master of Physician Assistant Studies from High Point University in 2018.
“It has been a privilege and pleasure to work during the pandemic, help people in need and get them through this trying time,” says Kovani. “This is why I chose the PA profession. Even though we don’t have a cure and treatment is limited, my coworkers and I are trying our best to diagnose and treat the best we can. Like Mother Teresa said, ‘God doesn’t require us to succeed, he only requires that you try.’”
Kara Martin works as a physician assistant at UR Thompson Health in Canandaigua, New York. She started working when the first positive COVID-19 case was reported in the United States. Martin obtained her Master of Physician Assistant Studies from High Point University in 2019.
“Starting my career amidst a pandemic was certainly a different start than I expected,” says Martin. “During these unprecedented circumstances, the hospital I work for has proactively implemented precautions and responded to changes quickly. I work with a great group of providers who have been extremely helpful.”
Elizabeth Nottingham works as a physician assistant at Novant Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Salisbury, North Carolina. She started working in orthopedics in March, right before the quarantine impacted the United States. Nottingham obtained her Master of Physician Assistant Studies from High Point University in 2019.
“Although I started my career in the middle of a pandemic, I feel very fortunate to be where I am today,” says Nottingham. “I am so proud to be a PA, and I am so proud to tell people that I graduated from High Point University.”
Katelynne Poole works as a physician assistant in the intensive care unit at Wake Baptist Health High Point Medical Center in High Point, North Carolina. Poole obtained her Master of Physician Assistant Studies from High Point University in 2019.
“In the ICU, my days go by fast, and I truly enjoy taking care of others,” says Poole. “I am appreciative of the PA department at HPU for giving me the skills and experience needed to be successful in this role and equipping me to manage and welcome change during these unprecedented times.”
Nicole Trombetta works as a physician assistant at Novant Health Granite Quarry Internal Medicine and Pediatrics in Granite Quarry, North Carolina. She sees patients of all ages to determine if further testing is needed. Trombetta obtained her undergraduate and graduate degrees at HPU, earning her Bachelor of Science in biology in 2015 and Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies in 2019.
“The last thing that any of us were expecting was a pandemic to occur during our first few months working as providers,” says Trombetta. “My experience at HPU has prepared me to make the best out of this situation and to appreciate the good in all of this. I became a PA to help my patients, even in times of uncertainty, and I’m thankful that I am still able to do so.”
At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.® HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 5,400 undergraduate and graduate students. It is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report for Best Regional Colleges in the South, No. 1 for Most Innovative Regional Colleges in the South and No. 1 for Best Undergraduate Teaching in the South. The Princeton Review named HPU in the 2020 edition of “The Best 385 Colleges” and on the Best Southeastern Colleges “2020 Best Colleges: Region by Region” list. HPU was recognized as a Great School for Business Majors and a Great School for Communication Majors. HPU was also recognized for Most Beautiful Campus (No. 18), Best College Dorms (No. 5) and Best Campus Food (No. 20). For nine years in a row, HPU has been named a College of Distinction with special recognition for business and education programs and career development, and The National Council on Teacher Quality ranks HPU’s elementary education program as one of the best in the nation. The university offers 60 undergraduate majors, 64 undergraduate minors and 13 graduate degree programs. It is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the web at highpoint.edu.