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National and Alumni Recognition for a Drexel Hahnemann Physician Assistant

June 3, 2011

Michael A. "Rocky" Rackover, MS, PA-C ‘84/’90, an alumnus of our Drexel Hahnemann Physician Assistant Program, received the 2011 Outstanding PA of the Year PAragon Award. This award honors a physician assistant who has demonstrated exemplary service to the PA profession and the community and has furthered the image of physician assistants. The award was presented at a special dinner held during the AAPA's 39th Annual PA Conference in Las Vegas, NV, May 30-June 4. To learn more of Rackover’s efforts, watch >>

Rackover also received recognition from his alma mater earning The Sherry L. Stolberg Alumni Award at a reception for alumni and friends held in conjunction with the American Academy of Physician Assistants held on Wednesday, June 1, at the Hilton Las Vegas. The Alumni Award, presented by Patrick Auth, MS, PA-C, program director and physician assistant department chair, is given “in recognition of outstanding achievement, innovative contribution, service and dedication to the Physician Assistant Program.”

Nominated by Pat Auth, Michele Palos-Samsi selected recipient of Service to Community Award

The award was formally presented to Palos-Samsi at a special awards ceremony on Saturday, May 6, held during Drexel University's Alumni Weekend.

Michele Palos-Samsi graduated from the then-Hahnemann Physician Assistant Program in 1997.  During her years as a nontraditional student, she received the foundation for what would be the career she loves.  Learning to see patients holistically helped form the way she practices medicine today at St. Catherine Laboure Medcial Clinic in Philadelphia's Germantown section. 

Drexel University President John Fry (left), and Alumni Board of Governors’ Chair James B. Dougherty, Jr., Esq. ’78, ’81, congratulate Michele Palos-Samsi, PA-C ’97, the 2011 recipient of the Drexel University Alumni Board of Governors’ Service to the Community Award.

In 1999, Palos-Samsi, along with Sheila Davis, DO, opened the clinic, a nonprofit family practice serving the underserved.  More than 90% of the clinic's patients are minorities earning below the poverty level.  With the belief that poverty does not reduce humanity, they serve those marginalized from the healthcare system while caring for physical, psychological and the spiritual health of patients.  Along with staff and volunteers, Palos-Samsi and Davis and staff also provide health education and advocacy.

In her practice, Palos-Samsi treats patients with a wide range of ailments – from diabetes to allergies.  The clinic's patients' medical outcomes have consistently surpassed national averages.  She attributes these outstanding outcomes on the relationships that she and the clinic's staff cultivate with patients and the quality of care they provide.