The PAVMT has nine directors, including its officers. Collectively, they serve as the board of directors.
Executive Board President
Sarah Purdy PA-C is a physician assistant graduate of University of Florida class of 2010. A military spouse traveling the county collecting state licenses led her to pursue telemedicine. Sarah has extensive experience in emergency medicine, primary care, urgent care, workers compensation/occupational medicine, psychiatry, and addiction medicine with X waiver of 275 patients for MAT. She is currently doing full time telemedicine for addiction medicine and full-time sole owner operator of a telemedicine psychiatry, primary care and urgent care practice opening during peak of pandemic. She was PAVMT first legislative co-chair (2019), president-elect (2020) and current president (2021). She helped to create PAVMT state by state telemedicine guide to help navigate the state by state regulation for PAs doing telemedicine. During the pandemic in 2020 she participated in some consulting PRN work advocating with telemedicine companies wanting to expand services to PAs. She is experienced with startup telemedicine companies on business strategy and expansion especially for creating PA jobs. Current and active member of the AAPA and state license in IL, CA, FL, WA , MA, VA, NC, AZ and pending numerous more. She is also a very proud mom to a 3 yr old son and 18 month oId daughter and wife to a US Navy Commander who is currently actively deployed.
Desmond Watt, PA-C, is a co-founder of PAs in Virtual Medicine and Telemedicine and founding president of the executive board. He has practiced in virtual care for over 6 years with a national independent primary care organization, and has spent a significant portion of that time in virtual care design, delivery and workflow optimization. He is a passionate advocate for the PA role in virtual care as a critical part of our healthcare future, and believes strongly that PAs must take a leadership position within the rapidly growing virtual care space.
During his tenure as PAVMT Board President, Desmond has spoken to large audiences of PA and healthcare executives, professionals, PA program faculty and students regarding telemedicine and PA advocacy and leadership within this field of care. He is also chair of the AAPA ad hoc committee on PAs in telemedicine, under the Board of Directors of AAPA, lead by President David Mittman.
Desmond makes his home in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, and is a 2012 graduate of the Midwestern University - Downers Grove PA program.
Executive Board Immediate Past-President
Amanda Shelley, PA-C is the immediate past-president of PAs in Virtual Medicine and Telemedicine. She has been delivering care exclusively via virtual means for over five years in primary care and now leads a team of PAs and NPs doing the same. She is passionate about telemedicine and the need for PAs to be included in the growth of telemedicine. Amanda has particular interest in legislative advocacy and has represented PAs in advocacy efforts at the state and national levels. She believes legislative change is key to PAs' success in the telemedicine realm. In Fall of 2019 Amanda spoke to the Federation of State Medical Boards about the need for PA license portability and she has also spoken at multiple PA programs and state CME conferences regarding telemedicine.
Amanda is an Arizona native and a graduate of A.T. Still University/Arizona School of Health Sciences Class of 2005. Prior to her current position, Amanda had worked in pediatrics, urgent care and mobile geriatrics, seeing patients in assisted living and memory care facilities. She also teaches basic suturing, in-office procedures, and telemedicine courses at CME conferences.
Executive Board President-Elect
PA Dodge graduated from UC Davis in 2008, worked in primary care, women’s health, urgent care, pediatrics and psychiatry. Additionally, Mrs. Dodge holds a Specialty Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) in Psychiatry from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Prior to being a PA, she worked in laboratory and clinical research and worked as an EMT. She has served several leadership roles including working on the California Academy of PAs, first as a student board member and then board member during her PA career in California. PA Dodge has served as President of San Diego Society of PAs for two terms. In her work, she has spearheaded and implemented several initiatives and process improvements. Some include leading behavioral health programs, developing Grand Rounds and CME sessions for 2 large organizations. Her passion is in working collaboratively with providers from a wide range of service lines, and promoting provider wellness in committees in my prior organizations. PA Dodge currently works as an independent contractor and provides telepsychiatry serving the Alaska population and provides telemedicine services in addiction medicine in Austin, Texas. She is passionate in providing support and education to her clients, and works as a Parenting Coach and Educator. In her free time she enjoys running, fishing, hiking with her 2 boys, husband and 2 dogs, and learning new sports, most recently golf, tennis, and skateboarding.
Executive Board Vice President
Hina Mazharuddin, PA-C is the Vice President for PA’s in Virtual Medicine and Telemedicine. She graduated from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX in 2009. She has worked in multiple areas of medicine that include Family Practice, Retail Health, Occupational Medicine/ Orthopedics, Pain Management, Aesthetic Medicine, Obesity Medicine and now Telemedicine. Since 2018, she has served as an advisor for various corporations, franchises, and private clinics to integrate telemedicine into their practices.
Hina presents at state and national conferences about telemedicine and leads our PAVMT Educational Pillar. She teaches PA students about telemedicine, serves as a guest lecturer to various PA programs and sister affiliations. She works behind the scenes with PA programs integrating Telehealth into PA didactic and clinical education. Her passion for education allows her to also serve as the mentor for the PA Student Directors, PA students and Pre-medical students.
Executive Board Treasurer
Christopher Dietrich is the current Board of Directors-Treasurer for PAs in Virtual Medicine and Telemedicine. He is a medical director with Orion Behavioral Health Network. Orion Behavioral Health Network is located at Eagle River, Alaska and serving greater Alaska. Mr. Dietrich is a lead advocate for virtual care adoption, by decreasing healthcare access disparities. He currently holds board seats with the: Alaska Collaborative for Telemedicine and Telehealth, Alaska Academy of Physician Assistants, and PAs in Virtual Medicine and Telemedicine.
Executive Board Secretary
Donna Naranjo, MS, PA-C, attended DePaul University in Chicago for her Bachelor of Science degree and later graduated from Rutgers University with a Master of Science in Physician Assistant studies. Donna has worked in virtual medicine since January 2017 when she joined One Medical Group’s virtual medical team, covering the Phoenix and Los Angeles markets. Prior to joining One Medical, she worked as a certified physician assistant for Family Practice Associates of Taos (NM); Robert Wood Johnson Medical Group, Department of Dermatology; Princeton Dermatology and SunScan Dermatology. She has also worked in academic and commercial dermatology clinical trials. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, and is a licensed physician assistant in Arizona and California. She makes her home in Decatur GA.
Legislative/Advocacy Committee Chair
Christi is the legislative co-chair for PAs in Virtual Medicine and Telemedicine. A Washington State native, she began her health career working as a nurse in the bone marrow transplantation and infectious disease group at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. It was here where she had her first exposure to telemedicine and appreciated the accessibility and quality this could have on a larger scale.
Christi knew she would return to school and discovered the PA role aligned more with what she was looking for professionally. She is a graduate of the University of Washington MEDEX Northwest Physician Assistant Program in Seattle, WA. She has spent her PA career working as a hospitalist in a rural, underserved community and sees the significant need for PAs in communities as such. She finds herself providing primary and preventative care for her patients while managing their acute illness in the hospital. Christi became involved with the local PA association in Washington State (WAPA) early on in her career. She has met with state representatives and has discussed the necessity to modernize PA practice and licensing. She has become passionate about the evolving era of telemedicine and feels the utilization of PAs in this role will have a profound impact on healthcare.
Christi is licensed in California and Washington State. She has precepted PA students in the hospital. She is interested in pursuing a certificate in integrative medicine.She lives in Kirkland WA.
Legislative/Advocacy Committee Chair
Jennifer is a board-certified physician assistant (PA), and she completed her Doctor of Medical Science degree at Rocky Mountain University. Jennifer started practicing as an internal medicine PA in Nevada as a new graduate. Soon, she realized that a large percentage of her patient population lacked mental health access to care, which pushed her to aspire to a role in psychiatry. Soon after, she realized that one of her passions was working with the severely mentally ill’s underserved population. One of her favorite areas of psychiatry is education about mental health and how APPs have a vital role in this field. She also precepted PA and NP students during their clinical rotations; this is also one of her passions. Jennifer knew that she wanted to continue advancing in her career, so she decided to obtain her doctorate; to continue to help patients and the mental health community. Jennifer loves to learn about advocacy and legislation, which are extremely important to advance the PA profession. She recently decided to do a transition from a clinical to a non clinical setting, and now she works as a Clinical Practice Liaison/Medical Science Liaison.
Jennifer came to the United States in 2004 from Peru, her birthplace. Soon after she got married, she started to build her career and family path. Her husband and two daughters are her pillars; they motivate her professional and personal growth. Her family enjoys traveling and all things related to Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Disney.
Legislative/Advocacy Committee Member
Samantha Myers is a certified Physician Associate. She is very excited to be on the legislative committee for PAVMT. She is a full-time working mom of two teenagers and has been providing care to patients for 20 years. Specializing in weight loss and preventative medicine and has directed her own medical weight loss program. She has experience working in emergency medicine, primary care, urgent care, and currently in cardiology. She is actively working on a project to start her own Mobile Aesthetics business.
During the Covid pandemic she was able to transition to tele-health services and continue to serving her cardiac patients and was abe to manage HTN, CHF, cardiomyopathy, palpitations, and patients status post cardiac catheterization.
She is very excited to be a part of PAVMT and the future of medicine. Sam is optimistic about the potential of tele-health medicine and how it will change how we deliver medical service and expand our reach to the patients we serve.
Social & Membership Committee Chair
Kristina Engelhaupt grew up in Dublin, Ohio and currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee. She attended Kettering College for her Masters Physician Assistant Degree, graduated in 2011, as the class Vice president with Cum Laude Honors. As a student, she was active in the Ohio Academy of Physician Assistants (OAPA). Kristina has been a PA-C since 2011. While in Ohio she practiced in Emergency Medicine and Family Practice. She was an active member in the Ohio Academy of Physician Assistants. In 2018 she moved to Knoxville, TN and began working at East TN Medical Group at the Care Today Clinic (Urgent Care). Over the past year she has broadened her practice by utilizing telemedicine. She recently began working as a Family Practice Telemedicine Provider. She is passionate about expanding quality, affordable healthcare to patients and sees telemedicine as a way to do so.
Since moving to Tennessee Kristina has been active in her community. She has been a member of TAPA and serves on the CME Committee. She also serves as the Director of Membership and Social Committee for the PAs in Virtual Medicine and Telehealth. She is eager to increase membership and their involvement and engage with them in advocacy efforts. Kristina also is a Peer Editor for the Journal of American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAAPA). Kristina enjoys volunteering with Remote Area Medical Services (RAM) Clinics. Kristina has also served as a Tennessee Achieves mentor to college freshmen who participate in the Tennessee Promise Program.
Social & Membership Committee Chair
I am PAVMT’s co-chair for the Social Committee. I am interested in helping PAVMT ensure that PAs continue to be represented, supported, and empowered in the digital health ecosystem. By joining PAVMT’s leadership team, I hope to help drive our mission to further the awareness and adoption of PAs in Virtual Medicine, grow PAVMT membership, and increase member engagement in the organization. Starting in PA school, I was student representative with FAPA where I attended their leadership conference, ran advocacy and membership campaigns, and learned how important it is to be a supporting member of both your local and national PA academy. I continue to practice as a primary care PA (10+ years) and have recently transitioned to VP of strategy and implementation at a mission driven telemedicine startup that serves mainly CO Medicaid members (Care on Location). I have added expertise in digital health marketing and product strategy, design thinking, community engagement, and startup/entrepreneurship. I hope to provide new perspectives, identify new opportunities, and ideate creative ways to increase PAVMT engagement and awareness.
CME Committee Chair
Dr. Tara Iacono is a nationally certified physician assistant specializing in psychiatry and addiction medicine. She graduated with honors from the St. John’s University Physician Assistant program in 2006 and earned a Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) with a concentration in healthcare administration and leadership from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in 2021. Dr. Iacono’s experience also includes primary care and geriatrics. She transitioned into a telepsychiatry role in January 2020 and enjoys the freedom telemedicine has afforded her and her family.
CME Committee Chair
Maria Sonnack is a Physician Assistant with 7 years of experience working in psychiatry. She graduated from the University of Iowa PA program in 2012. Maria knew well before PA school that she had a passion for working in the mental health field, part of which was fueled by her father who has worked as a clinician in mental health for over 20 years. Following PA school, she completed a psychiatric fellowship with both children and adolescents as well as adults in the outpatient department at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Maria has experience working in both outpatient and inpatient settings. She enjoys working with a wide variety of patients and diagnoses, but one of her favorites is facilitating STEPPS groups for emotional intensity and love applying these concepts not only in the group setting but also in individual sessions. She also has a strong passion for treating both child and adult ADHD.
Along with her passion for mental health comes a passion to share the joys of being a mental health provider, so frequently she spends a lot of time doing talks for various professional groups on mental illness, as well as precepting PA students from various programs here in the state.
Cody Rodman is a PA student at Bryant University and is currently in his clinical year. He is a Manhattan native turned Paratrooper with 16 years in the US Army with which he still serves. Outside of uniform and PA school, his passions lie in global health. In 2014 he started ‘Maasai Strength’, a grassroots charity organization aimed at improving the lives of the tribe that made him one of their own whilst in the Manyara River basin of northern Tanzania. Curating his experience with Virtual medicine and Telehealth will eventually allow him to return to vulnerable tribal communities around the globe whilst helping patients back home.
After graduation, he is planning to practice as an Emergency Medicine PA in addition to accepting a commission in the Army National Guard as a provider for battalion sized elements. His long term goals include earning his DMSc and building a wellness retreat in rural Maine with proceeds going towards tribal communities and his work therein.
His passions include running, languages, teaching yoga and mindfulness, wandering museums and the far reaches of the earth. In his spare time, he is currently in a year long Qi Gong teacher training which he hopes to later offer to patients and veterans with behavioral health disorders.
The PAVMT has established an Advisory Council composed of clinicians with a wide breadth of clinical, legislative, business and technology expertise. The Advisory Council is a voluntary position. Appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the PAVMT President. Advisory Council members serve one-year terms that can be renewed not more than 3 times.