The PAVMT has nine directors, including its officers. Collectively, they serve as the board of directors.
Executive Board President
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.
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.
Past 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.
Director at large - Mid West
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 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
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.
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
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.
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.