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Kathy J. Pedersen, PA-C, MPAS

Languages spoken: English, Spanish

Academic Information

Departments: Family & Preventive Medicine - Associate Professor (Lecturer)

Divisions: Physician Assistant Program

Academic Office Information

Board Certification

  • ANCC - Nursing Professional Development
  • NCCPA - Proficiency Examination in Surgery

Research Interests

  • Physician Assistants and the Expanding Global Healthcare Workforce
  • Human Resources for Health
  • Task Shifting
  • International Physician Assistant Analogues
  • Social Accountability of the Physician Assistant
  • Competency Guidelines of Physician Assistants Practicing Primary Care in Low Resource Countries
  • Physician Assistant Leadership in Global Health
  • Global Health Tracks in US Physician Assistant Programs
  • Considerations in Hosting Global Visitors
  • International Activities of US Physician Assistant Programs
  • Student Orientation for Global Health Clinical Rotations
  • First Person Accounts of Physician Assistant Practice Outside of the US
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Social Franchising
  • Global Surgery
  • Global Dentistry

Kathy Pedersen PA-C, MPAS

Associate Professor, University of Utah School of Medicine

Kathy Pedersen PA-C is a board certified Physician Assistant and an Associate Professor with the University of Utah Physician Assistant Program.

Ms. Pedersen's intent is to raise visibility of the physician assistant profession, and to innovate with academia and other audiences to identify and consider PA-like providers in settings around the world with the goal of reducing inequity and improving health access. Her academic and clinical work, national presentations and PA organization committee volunteerism, international outreach activities, and board service with the Global Health Education Consortium (GHEC)/Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) support this goal.

Ms. Pedersen has been involved with hosting delegations from other countries; exploring and fostering the PA profession; and working with student electives in Honduras, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Nepal, Indonesia, Liberia, the Thai/ Burma border, and other countries. A career highlight was helping to create the interdisciplinary Thailand International Elective for PA, public health, pharmacy, and medical students. This 4-week rotation exposes students to many impactful experiences in resource-poor settings, including refugee camps and clinics for displaced Burmese, the leprosy hospital, the HIV/AIDS hospice, orphanages, and others. Serving on GHEC/CUGH's (an organization of global health oriented academic physician faculty primarily from U.S. and Canada) board of directors for six years, Ms. Pedersen was successful in creating a liaison between GHEC/CUGH and the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA). In Montreal, at the 2011 GHEC/CUGH Conference that enrolled 1,400 participants from 62 countries, she coordinated a panel discussion on “PA-like” providers and their role in health and wellness around the world.

With the Visiting Scholars Program she worked with a series of Indonesian physicians who came to the U.S. to learn best practices in primary care, public health, and occupational medicine. Starting in 2011, Ms. Pedersen networked within PAEA leadership to promote the development of a PA core curriculum in global health similar to other health disciplines. Several year consultation on the health workforce of Nepal led to discussion of curriculum, clinical training, and career development for their Nepali Health Assistants (HA), a PA-like provider as well as the first international seminars on HA and PA collaboration in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Ms. Pedersen served on the original American Academy of Physician Assistant's Committee on International Affairs from 1999 –2001. She chaired the first International Affairs Committee for PAEA (then APAP), and created the sentinel “White Paper” on international activities of PA programs in 2003. She has authored articles, book chapters, teaching modules, and presentations related to global health. She authored a module on the “Global Health Workforce and Physician Assistants” as part of the Global Health Education Consortium’s Teaching Modules Project: “Improving the Quality and Efficiency of Global Health Education”. For the last two editions, she contributed a chapter on PAs to the GHEC/CUGH guidebook on global health training in graduate education. For PAEA Ms. Pedersen served as technical editor of “Perspectives on PA Education”, the first journal compiling the academic research of PA educators. For the Utah Academy of Physician Assistants (UAPA), she served in the majority of offices, some of which were UAPA delegate to the AAPA House of Delegates, and president during which year her board passed new legislation in Utah.

For 6 years, he was the feature editor of Global Perspectives for the Journal of Physician Assistant Educators, formerly “Perspectives on PA Education”. At the Utah PA Program (UPAP) where she has worked for over 30 years, she served as a Clinical Associate working with PA students in “Tutorial Groups”. Students are taught clinical problem solving, evidence-based medicine, history taking, and physical exam skills. For this course and others that she developed and taught, she received a Clinical Teaching Award in 1993. In 2015, she was awarded the Utah PA Program Director's Award. Through her 30-year career as a Family Practice PA at the Community Health Centers (CHCs) serving the underserved and underinsured, she advocated quality, cost effective patient care, and networked extensively to provide needed patient resources. For her CHC and volunteer outreach work at the Maliheh Free Clinic she received the Humanitarian PA of the Year from UAPA. Maliheh Free Clinic honored her with a 10 year award in 2019. Since 2011, she has been manager of Global Partners.

Education History

Graduate Training University of Utah
Primary Care Medicine
Professional Nursing Beth-El School of Nursing
Nursing Science

Selected Publications

  1. Brekowitz, O DiToro R Pedersen K (Spring 2019). Hosting Global Physician Assistant Students in the US. J Physician Assist Educ, 30(Mar 2019), 67-71.
  2. Pedersen D Pedersen K (In Press). Commentary on "Determinants of the Physician Assistant/Associate Concept in Global Health Systems". J Physician Assist Educ.
  3. Kathy J Pedersen (2020). A Humanitarian in Every Sense of the Word. St John's Creek, Georgia: Physician Assistant History Society.
  4. Pedersen D Pedersen K (2019). The Global PA Citation Commentary. JAAPA, 32(2).
  5. Kander M, Pedersen K, Ballweg R, Pedersen D, Wachtel D (2017). Competency Guidelines for Physicians Assistants Practicing Primary Care in Low-Resource Countries. PMID 28207584. J Physician Assist Educ, 28(1), 54-58.
  6. Ballweg R, Pedersen K, Mulitalo K (2016). Hosting Global Visitors Seeking Information about the US Physician Assistant Career. J Physician Assist Educ, 27(3), 147-150.
  7. Pedersen D Pedersen K Barker D (09/01/2015). Rainforest Physician Assistants - The Papua New Guinea Health Extension Officer: An International Physician Assistant Analogue. J Physician Assist Educ, 26(3), 155-158.
  8. Pedersen K, Pedersen DM, Shrestha RP, Spackman J (2015). Human resources for health: a needs assessment of the Nepal health assistant - a physician assistant analogue? J Physician Assist Educ, 26(1), 53-7.
  9. Pedersen D Pedersen K Barker D Santitamrongpan V (11/1/14). The Burmese Medic. Case Studies. Transformative Education for Health Professionals. 1 Nov, 2014 online
  10. Knoble S author Pedersen K editor (2014). Journey as a Physician Assistant in the Kingdom at the Top of the World. J Physician Assist Educ, 25(3), 4.
  11. Pedersen K, et al (2014). Global Health: Health Sciences and Team Based Care. Developing Global Health Programming: A Guidebook for Medical and Professional Schools. In Jessica Evert, Paul Drain, Thomas Hall (Eds.), Developing Global Health Programming: A Guidebook for Medical and Professional Schools (2nd Edition, p. 358). San Francisco: Collaborations Press.
  12. Gillette K, Pedersen K, Pedersen D (2014). The time is now for physician assistant leadership in global health. J Physician Assist Educ, 25(1), 51-4.
  13. Pedersen DM, Pedersen KJ, Santitamrongpan V (2012). The Burmese medic: an international physician assistant analogue. J Physician Assist Educ, 23(3), 51-5.
  14. Pedersen K (2011). Physician Assistants in the Global Health Arena. Global Health Training in Graduate Medical Education: A Guidebook edited by Jack Chase MD and Jessica Evert. Global Health Education Consortium. 2nd ed. 2011. In Jack Chase and Jessica Evert (Eds.), Global Health Training in Graduate Medical Education (2nd Edition, p. 218). Bloomington: iUniverse, Inc.
  15. Pedersen K, DeGracia D (2009). Global Health Workforce and Physician Assistants. Module. Global Health Education Consortium Teaching Modules: Improving the Quality and Efficiency of Global Health Education. [Web]. San Francisco, California: Global Health Education Consortium. Available:
  16. Legler C, Pedersen K, et al (2007). Global Clinical Experiences for Physician Assistant Students. 2007(Fall).
  17. Pedersen D, Barker D, Santitamrongpan V, Pedersen K, Kim H (2006). Thailand International Elective (TIE): a Model Curriculum in International Health And Cross-Cultural Experience. Global Perspectives. 17(3).
  18. Pedersen K, Hooker RS, Legler C, Kortyna D, Harbert K, Eisenhauer W, Baggett A (2003). A Report on the Findings of the Ad Hoc Committee on International Physician Assistant Education. 2003:14(4), 50.
  19. Pedersen K (2000). Physician Assistants in International Health: Serving the Global Village. 2000.

Global Impact

Awards & Honors

Description Country
Certificate of Appreciation, The Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA). Exemplary service as member of PAEA International Affairs Committee for outstanding contributions to physician assistant education. Global
Award for Dedicated Service on the Board of Directors. Global Health Education Consortium Global
Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Robert K Pedersen Global Outreach Humanitarian Assistance Grants, funding over 25 projects on 5 continents, and in 15 countries. Paramount Award. American Academy of Physician Assistants. San Francisco, CA Global
Excellence in Global Education Award (Faculty) sponsored by the Office for Global Engagement (OGE). Global


Description Country
Pedersen K. et al. A Review of the Lancet Commission Report :Health Professionals for the 21st Century ; Transforming Health Systems to Strenthen Education in an Interdependent World. Panel Presentation. 4th Annual Global Health Conference. University of Utah Student Global Health Initiative Global
Pedersen K. Annual Forum on International Issues: Four PA Organizations. Panel Discussion. Physician Assistant Education Association Educational Forum (yearly 2004- 2008) Global
First International Seminar on Health Assistants (Nepal) and Physician Assistants (US) Collaboration. Manmohan Memorial Medical College and Teaching Hospital. Kathmandu, Nepal Nepal
First International Seminar on Health Assistant (Nepali) and Physician Assistant (US) Collaboration, Kathmandu, Nepal Nepal
Chair, Scientific Session. Second International Seminar on Health Assistants (Nepal) and Physician Assistants (US) Collaboration. Kathmandu, Nepal Nepal
Helping Babies Breathe. Training for Hospital Workers. Manmohan Memorial Teaching Hospital. Nepal
Nepal Disaster Relief. Physician Assistants for Global Heath. American Academy of Physician Assistants 2015 National Conference. San Francisco. CA Nepal
Comparative Analysis on Nepali Health Assistants and US Physician Assistants Education and Practice. First International Seminar on Health Assistant (Nepal) and Physician Assistant (US) Collaboration. Kathmandu, Nepal Nepal
First International Seminar on Health Assistants (Nepali) and Physician Assistants (US) Collaboration, Kathmandu, Nepal Nepal
Helping Babies Breathe. Manmohan Memorial Teaching Hospital. Kathmandu, Nepal Nepal
International Conference on Challenges and Prospects of Quality Education in the Nepal Federalism Era Nepal


Date Role Description Country
01/01/2008 Board & Executive Member Office of Global Health Executive Committee Global
01/01/2001 Coordinator Helped develop Utah PA Program Papua New Guinea Student Elective and Exchange Program Papua New Guinea
01/01/2004 Chair & Coordinator Thailand International Elective Thailand
01/01/2000 Developer & Organizer Thailand International Elective Thailand
01/01/2000 Coordinator & Volunteer Facilitated global health electives and volunteered time and expertise Global
07/01/2014 Program Developer Nepal International Elective Nepal
10/01/2014 Consultant Workforce/health systems Morocco. Collaboration/exploring partnership with Moroccan Minister of Health in Rabat and Agadir. Developed and facilitated ER Program in two languages Morocco
08/01/2018 Appointed Committee Member Faculty Group for International Electives Global
09/01/2018 Appointed Committee Member Global Health Steering Committee Global
09/28/2018 Program Manager Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Utah (UU), USA and Nepal Open University (NOU), Kathmandu, Nepal. Signatories were UU President Ruth Watkins, Senior Vice President Michael Good, and Dean Wayne Samuelson; NOU Vice Chancellor Lekhnath Sharma, Dean Indra Bahadur Karki, and Senior Faculty Ram Prasad Shrestha Nepal
01/01/2014 Organizer & Facilitator Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed September 2018 between Nepal Open University (NOU), Kathmandu, Nepal; and President, Ruth Watkins, SVP for Health Sciences Michael Good, and SOM Dean Wayne Samuelson. MOU signed during an exploratory visit to the University of Utah by the Nepal Open University faculty. This MOU was an outcome of collaboration with Nepal since 2014. Nepal
05/31/2010 Member Global
05/28/1998 Member Interest Group Global
12/01/2018 Reviewer Global Health Workforce Panel to evaluate cohort of PHI/CDC Global Health Fellows Global
06/01/2013 Consultant Pedersen K. Member of "GASP Working Group" (Working Group on Global Activities of Students at Pre-health levels). Global
01/01/2014 Voting Member Institutional Voting Member for University of Utah Global
01/01/2009 Developer & Facilitator Created a liaison between the national Physician Assistant Education Association and the international Consortium of Universities for Global Health Global
11/01/2008 Committee Member Global Health Subcommittee Global
11/01/2001 Chairman & Manuscript Lead Author White Paper on International Activities of PA programs in the US Global
11/01/1995 Committee Member AAPA International Affairs Subcommittee Global