University of Washington’s MEDEX Teams with Swenson Healthcare to Provide Physician Assistant Clinical Training in Post-Acute Medicine

MEDEX Northwest, The University of Washingtons Physician Assistant (PA) program, has partnered with Swenson Healthcare, PLLC to establish a clinical training program in post-acute medicine for Physician Assistants. The program is now underway with post-acute care facilities in Tacoma and the Puget Sound area.

Under the supervision of Darren Swenson MD, CEO of Swenson Healthcare, MEDEX students gain hands-on experience with patients in real-world conditions at post-acute care facilities. This intensive program is designed to provide MEDEX students a comprehensive practice experience in areas such as clinical medicine, quality improvement, medications management, patient safety enhancement, and transitions management. Through their daily rounds the PAs work closely with post-acute physicians, nurses and facility staff as well as patients and their families to provide effective, high-quality patient care. MEDEX students are trained to utilize their full scope of practice to maximize their value to the care process while furthering development of their clinical and communication skills.

Commenting on the new alliance, CEO Darren Swenson MD said, The relationship between Swenson Healthcare and MEDEX is grounded in the shared commitment to delivering community-based care to the medically complex and fragile population of post-acute patients in Tacoma and the greater Puget Sound area. MEDEX students training with us receive the education they need to be fully prepared for a meaningful and rewarding career in post-acute medicine.

Betty Stewart MPAS PA-C, Clinical Coordinator/Instructor for MEDEX Northwests Tacoma division, commented, Post-acute care is a wide-open frontier for Physician Assistants, typically offering broad autonomy and increased opportunity to develop clinical leadership skills. PAs in post-acute care can really make things happen clinically, which leads to high-quality patient care as well as high levels of career satisfaction. Given Dr. Swensons experience and reputation, we are confident that his practice group will provide our students with a first-rate clinical experience.

Participating facilities find the involvement of MEDEX students to be highly beneficial to the care of their patients. Observed Daniel Waddell, Administrator of The Oaks at Lakewood skilled nursing facility in Lakewood, WA, Clearly PAs have a big future in post-acute medicine, and were excited to be on the front lines with this new training program. Already the MEDEX graduates are making a positive contribution to our patients clinical and social well-being. PAs provide an important link in the healthcare continuum between acute care hospitals and discharge to home.


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In support of this new program, MEDEX will be appointing Dr. Swenson to the Faculty, as well as Cara Bardwell PA-C, a MEDEX graduate working under the supervision of Dr. Swenson in the Tacoma area. Swenson Healthcare and MEDEX will work together to further integrate the clinical and academic programs for Physician Assistants in post-acute medicine.

About MEDEX Northwest:

MEDEX Northwest, the University of Washington School of Medicines Physician Assistant Program, is committed to educating experienced health personnel from diverse backgrounds to practice medicine with physician supervision. The program provides a broad, competency-based curriculum that focuses on primary care with an emphasis on underserved populations. MEDEX encourages life-long learning to meet ever-changing healthcare needs. As a pioneer in PA education, MEDEX continues to be innovative in identifying, creating, and filling new niches for PAs as a strategy for expanding healthcare access.

About Swenson Healthcare:

Swenson Healthcare is a clinical practice group dedicated to serving post-acute care patients in the Puget Sound area. With over twenty years experience as a physician executive, triple-board certified founder Darren Swenson MD is deeply committed to community-based quality long term care. Swenson Healthcares mission is to ensure that the patient receives excellent quality care, both today and in the future, whether the patient transitions to home or to another facility. For enquiries from post-acute care facilities and health plans in the Puget Sound area, or clinicians interested in a career with Swenson Healthcare, please email [email protected].