2020 PA Student Director Candidates
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PA Student Director 

Three seats available - 2 Directors and 1 Alternate

Tania Abousaid, PA-S | Pace University-Pleasantville

My name is Tania Abousaid and I am a PA student in my clinical clerkship year at Pace University in Pleasantville, NY. I have always had a strong desire to be involved, especially when it comes to community outreach. I am the Class of 2020’s Class President and have enjoyed the role, ensuring all decisions are for the greater good of all students. I have a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and this business background sets me apart from most people in healthcare. I was previously involved in a student organization named DECA, where I served as the NYS Vice President as well as Chapter President and founder for the Medaille College Chapter. As a state officer, I helped plan and organize conferences with over 6,500 members in attendance, created and distributed a student newsletter, and made important decisions on behalf of DECA members nationwide. 

These roles taught me not only how to be a strong leader, but a team player. I have always had a strong desire to be involved in the community as well. I have assisted with organizing blood drives on campus and have been an active volunteer in our student society.  My passion for being involved ensures my dedication to this role, to my future patients, to my future coworkers, and to my community. If elected to serve, I would strive to make sure that any and all decisions I would be a part of were made in the best interest of students and PAs in NYS and all over the country. Thank you for this opportunity to be able to represent an amazing organization and an outstanding group of professionals.

Valentina Acosta-Moreno, PA-S | Le Moyne College

My experiences prior to enrolling as a PA student at Le Moyne College included working with both non-profit organizations as well as for-profit health care offices. I came to an understanding that healthcare equates to opportunity; quality healthcare can allow families, children, adolescents and young adults to grow and advance. I have not only gained a passion for patient-centered health care but also for the U.S. healthcare system and it’s possible points for development. As a PA, I’d love to be part of the solution. As part of the front-line seeing patients daily, I believe our input, along with the input of other healthcare providers, should be heard and shared amongst and beyond our communities to benefit our patients. I believe that my experiences with non-profits and as Secretary of Le Moyne College’s PA Student Society have prepared me to serve as Student Director for NYSSPA. I will use my position to connect with PA Students through the state and advocate for our needs.

With recent news and the many changes that have developed worldwide, I see a great opportunity for learning and growth brought on by the current Coronavirus pandemic and its effects around the country. In my term, I’d like to be able to form a consensus about the pandemic response in New York as well as possibly various parts of the country. This can be done by using the diversity of PA students in New York, being from various parts of the state and country, to our advantage in terms of what students believe did or did not go well in their area. I’d like to use this information to advocate for a better and more efficient future pandemic response that could impact thousands of lives as we’ve seen. More so, reaching out to PA students in other programs and being able to have respectful and informed conversations regarding various political topics surrounding healthcare and our future patients will not only make us better clinicians but also better advocates throughout our careers. I’d have the opportunity to hear about various unique experiences along with the opinions they form and then represent their voices. Furthermore, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn how to work with professional organizations, legislation and the tools to tackle topics that affect PAs. I hope to work in Obstetrics and Gynecology and extend my work to starting my own non-profit in my home country of Colombia as well as domestically to bridge the gap in healthcare access.

Brooke Avellino, BS, MA, PA-S | CUNY School of Medicine

Hello! My name is Brooke Avellino and I am running for the position of 2020-2021 NYSSPA Student Director. I am a New York native and currently a member of the Class of 2022 at CUNY School of Medicine. I completed my undergraduate studies at Thomas Jefferson University, and hold a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from Midwestern University.

I hope to be considered for this position as I am very passionate about healthcare policy and aim to increase student involvement within NYSSPA. As Student Director, I will collaborate with members of the NYSSPA Board of Directors to empower my fellow PA students and increase student engagement in prospective legislative changes. I hope to work closely with New York PA Program student societies and organizations to coordinate events that would allow NYSSPA student members to network and collaborate. I am motivated to create realistic ways for didactic and clinical students to be involved in promoting and protecting our future profession.

Additionally, as Student Director I will advocate for NYSSPA’s support of Optimal Team Practice. I will work diligently to promote the growth of the team-based model in healthcare with the goal of expanding access to care to meet current healthcare needs. 

The PA profession is quickly evolving, and while we as students are immensely preoccupied with our studies, I believe it is of critical importance to stay engaged and aware of the legislature surrounding advocacy and the environment of the PA practice. As Student Director, I will act as a liaison to NYSSPA committees and ensure that the voice of PA students is heard. Thank you for your time and consideration!

Sarah Gale PA-S | Clarkson University

My name is Sarah, and I am a PA-S1 at Clarkson University. I am a non-traditional student with a previous career as a licensed mental health counselor, and I have previously had the opportunity to contribute to, and benefit from, professional organizations such as NYSSPA. Being a PA student while a global pandemic is on the rise is challenging, but I see clearly that my purpose will best be served as an advocate and change-maker for our profession when it is needed the most. 

Some of the issues on my platform include: improved representation for the LGBTQIA student/professional community, incorporation of POCUS training into current curriculum, and continued representation for students in legislative and policy decision making.

With just shy of 30 PA programs, NY State will produce a great volume of the total number of new clinicians in the U.S. over the next two to three years. This next generation of PAs will be called upon to exhibit extraordinary fortitude as we are at the cusp of great change! Between the fight for full practice authority across all States, to the demonstrated need for flexible, generalist trained providers during a global pandemic, we have never been more primed to serve and fulfill our greatest potential as student learners and clinicians. Change and progress are made possible with teamwork as our foundation and strength. Please support my mission to become a Student Director for NYSSPA, and change-maker for our profession.

Hailey Orgass, BA, PA-S | Hofstra University

Hello! My name is Hailey Orgass, and I am a first-year student in Hofstra University’s PA program. I currently hold the title of Hofstra University’s state representative, and from what I’ve learned the past year, I feel that I am qualified to hold the position of NYSSPA Student Director. 

It is a shame that students of the PA schools here in NY barely know each other, if not for outside connections. I want to work as a liaison between state representatives at all NY PA schools to foster a connection and open communication. I believe that many of us have the same ideas in terms of volunteer opportunities, resolutions for AAPA, and how we want the PA profession to grow for the future. Invigorating pride into our NY PA students will hopefully increase involvement and attendance within NYSSPA, through conferences, district dinners, etc.

In addition, I would like to emphasize how important interprofessional education (IPE) is to our education. I believe utilizing IPE regularly with other healthcare professions while we are in still school will act as a sense of advocacy for the PA profession. If we can introduce who a PA is and how we fit into the healthcare team earlier and more frequently, I believe it will be an easier transition into the workforce, and only grow the profession’s credibility.

Paige Skinner, PA-S | SUNY Downstate

My name is Paige Skinner, and I hope to serve as one of your NYSSPA Student Directors in 2020-2021. I am a first year student at SUNY Downstate. I am pursuing a career as a PA in order to medically improve the lives of those in my community. If elected, I hope to serve PA students and PAs in my New York community in a different way. Over the past year, I have served on our program’s Executive Board as the School of Health Professions Liaison. I was also a member of our Medical Jeopardy team at the 2019 NYSSPA Conference. When I attended the NYSSPA Conference in October, I was deeply inspired by the level of involvement and passion the leadership and members possessed in the promotion and advancement of this profession in New York. This experience ignited my desire to become involved with NYSSPA and advocate for PA students across New York.

If elected, I will encourage all PA students in New York to become members of NYSSPA because I believe that organization involvement and retention begins at the student level. I saw first-hand at the Fall 2019 Conference how impactful it is to be a NYSSPA member and how vital it is to promote the professional growth of the PA profession. I understand that the time demands of our rigorous programs often dissuade students from actively participating in conversations and policy changes that they find important. I hope to provide accessible ways for students to communicate the changes they feel are necessary for the progress of our profession. I am committed to collaborating with students from every New York PA program and advocating on their behalf to the NYSSPA Board in order to ensure that their interests are expressed and addressed.



P: 917-679-4005
E: info@nysspa.org