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Fall Symposium: Speaker Biographies


Dana Campbell, MSPAS, WCC, PA-C

Dana Campbell is the Program Director and Associate Professor for the MS Physician Assistant Studies Program on the Williamsburg KY campus. Dana has worked clinically in cardiac and vascular medicine as a PA-C serving the Southern Kentucky region since 2010. She also has is a wound care certified provider since 2013. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Academy of Physician Assistants for multiple years and is also active on the national level, as a Kentucky Delegate for the American Academy of Physician Assistants House of Delegates, for the past two years. Prior to medicine, she proudly served in the United States Navy as an Aviation Electronics Technician. She completes her PhD in Leadership this December.

Craig T. Carter, DO

Dr. Carter currently works in the University of Kentucky Medical Center as an Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine. He completed a combined residency in Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics and is dual board certified. He worked as the former Medical Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine for 12 years and helped develop the Makenna David Pediatric ED, only one of three Pediatric ED’s in the entire state of KY. Dr. Carter is the Medical Director of UK EM Advanced Practice Providers managing 31 APPs (PA’s and NPs) between the UK Chandler ED and Good Samaritan ED. He is also the Program Director of the UK EM APP residency, the only EM APP postgraduate training program in the region. Dr. Carter has a passion for pre-hospital care/EMS and work as the Medical Director for PHI Air Medical for Eastern Kentucky.

DeShana Collett, MSPAS, PA-C, PhD

For over the last 11 years, Dr. Collett has been committed to academic and professional excellence within the UKPA program, the institution, and professionally. Dr. Collett teaches in the didactic curriculum. Currently, she is the course director for the Clinical Methods and Patient Evaluation and Management courses. She has previously held long-term national membership in the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) Inclusion & Diversity Council and Chaired the PAEA Cultural Competency Committee for several years. Dr. Collett co-created and facilitated the Minority Faculty Leadership Pando™ workshop for PAEA. Dr. Collett was a 2016 Fellow for the Bluegrass Consortium Academic Leadership Academy. She currently serves as a Senator and a member of the Senate Council for the University of Kentucky. Additionally, she is also a member of the Kentucky Association of Physician Assistant Government Committee.

Dr. Collett received her Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy, all from the University of Kentucky. She has more than 16 years of clinical experience in family medicine, and she has a specific interest in women’s health. Her research, grantsmanship and scholarly productivity all have central common themes that relate to discourses that center around inclusion and equity. She has published and presented in multiple academic venues on topics of health and healthcare equity, with particular interest in intimate partner violence. Recently, she has expanded her research to include the integration of genomics and diversity in precision medicine.

Lennea Coombs, MHS, PA-C

Lennea is a physician assistant at the Norton Cancer Institute with more than 15 years of experience in cancer medicine and neuro-oncology. She received a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Butler University in 2002 and went on to complete a Master of Health Science degree in 2013 at Drexel University. In 2018 she was the recipient of the Michael Quinlan Brain Tumor Star Award presented to a caregiver by the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky (BIAK). Ms. Coombs is a current member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the Association of Physician Assistants in Oncology (APAO) and the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) as well as the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). She serves as an editorial reviewer for the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAAPA) and abstract reviewer for the annual AAPA Conference. In addition, she is a guest lecturer for the physician assistant program at Sullivan University and enjoys precepting students and allowing prospective PA students to shadow. Ms. Coombs currently lives in southern Indiana with her husband and two daughters.

Kumar Gaurav, MD

Dr. Gaurav is a pulmonary disease specialist in Lexington, KY and is affiliated with UK HealthCare’s University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital. Dr. Gaurav received his medical degree from B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan, Nepal, and has more than 13 years of experience. Dr. Gaurav speaks multiple languages, including Hindi.

Debbie Harrell, RN, MSN, NEBC

Debbie has worked in burn care for more than 30 years. She was director of Cincinnati Shriners Hospital’s burn unit; worked in burn care research, and developed teaching tools about lighter safety, burn prevention, and burn care. Debbie is currently the Director of Professional Relations and speaks on the state, regional and national level educating all levels of HCP on burn management. When Debbie is not traveling providing burn care education, she enjoys boating and camping with her family at their home on the Ohio River.

Shelley Irving, MSPAS, PA-C

Mrs. Irving is a 2008 alum of the UK Physician Assistant Studies Program and joined faculty in 2016 as an assistant professor and is part of the clinical year team. In addition, she serves as site director for the Morehead campus and chairs the admissions committee. She is board certified through NCCPA and licensed by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure. She has continually practiced in Eastern Kentucky with experience in Emergency Medicine, Nephrology, Family Medicine, Palliative Care, and Internal Medicine. Primary interests involve providing care for geriatric patients in rural areas and improving the health and well-being of Eastern Kentuckians by preparing the next generation of physician assistants.

Hannah Johnson, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP

Hannah Johnson received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy and subsequently completed a pharmacy practice residency and PGY2 specialty residency at UK HealthCare. She is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy where she co-coordinates the Integrated Drugs and Diseases – Psychiatry course for 3rd year pharmacy students. Dr. Johnson has an active clinical practice at UK HealthCare Good Samaritan Hospital, where she provides pharmaceutical care to adult and adolescent patients with mental illness or behavioral health problems. She has been actively involved in the development of opioid withdrawal and buprenorphine induction protocols and order sets for the inpatient psychiatry service. Dr. Johnson is board certified in pharmacotherapy and psychiatric pharmacy, precepts pharmacy students and residents, and regularly provides education to psychiatry residents and medical students.

Steven Johnson, PhD, LCSW, MSW

Steven Johnson is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UK. He did his undergraduate work at Tennessee Tech University, where he earned a BS in technical communications. He earned his masters and doctorate in Social Work from the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Johnson is the Director of Psychotherapy Training and Education in the Department of Psychiatry. Besides seeing patients for mental health and substance abuse issues, he teaches residents and graduate students in mental health and psychotherapy techniques.

Kelly Joy, MS, MSPAS, PA-C

Kelly is an Assistant Professor with Sullivan University’s physician assistant program. She also serves as a surgical first assist for the Norton Cancer Institute’s Gynecological Oncology Department. Kelly has a strong clinical interest in women’s health care and a research background that includes various topics including electron microscopy, conservation genetics, traumatic spinal cord and brain injury, and Alzheimer’s disease. She received her Bachelor of Science at Murray State University, her Master of Science at North Dakota State University and her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Kentucky.

Nicole Leedy, MD, FIDSA

Dr. Leedy completed a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics followed by a fellowship in Adult Infectious Diseases at the University of Kentucky. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, in the Division of Infectious Diseases where she serves as the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program Director, and clinical staff. She currently is an investigator/co-investigator for her institution’s Ryan White Program, a member of the HIVMA Medical Student Program Committee, as well as a lecturer for the KY AIDS Education and Training Center. Her clinical interests include IV drug use-related infections, HIV and STDs with a special interest in adolescent populations.

Cory Meadows

Cory Meadows is the Deputy Executive Vice President and Director of Advocacy at the Kentucky Medical Association. Meadows joined KMA in 2011 and since that time has been responsible for managing the Association’s legislative advocacy efforts and legal activities. He also speaks on a number of topics related to physician practice management, medical/legal issues, access to care, compliance, and the current state of the health care industry. Prior to joining KMA, Meadows practiced law in both the public and private sectors and served in several key positions within Governor Ernie Fletcher’s administration. Meadows earned an undergraduate political science degree from the University of Kentucky and a law degree from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville.

Elizabeth Mentzer, MS, PA-C

Elizabeth was born in KY and attended Centre College in Danville KY, where she received a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. From there, she went to the University of KY and graduated from the Physician’s Assistant Program. Elizabeth’s first position was in Allergy and Asthma and Immunology in Cynthiana, KY. Elizabeth currently resides in Lexington, KY and works with Bluegrass Allergy and Asthma.

Shari Meyerson, MD, MEd

Shari Meyerson trained in General Surgery at the University of Chicago Hospitals and then completed her Thoracic Surgery training at Duke University in 2006. She joins the University of Kentucky as Professor of Surgery, after being recruited from Northwestern University where she was Program Director for the General and Thoracic Surgery Residency Programs. She has extensive experience teaching curriculum development, technical skills, and decision making at the medical school, graduate and post-graduate levels. Her clinical practice focuses on thoracic oncology where she works to push the boundaries of minimally invasive surgery and provide optimal care in a multidisciplinary environment.

Marty Mullins, PA-C, CLS, FNLA

Marty Mullins is a board-certified Physician Assistant who has practiced Internal Medicine for 38 years and has always been involved in both a Hospital and Clinic Practice. He was selected as one of the Top 40 Alumni in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Kentucky and has been recognized as an Outstanding Clinical Instructor. He is a Clinical Lipid Specialist and a Fellow of the National Lipid Association. Marty has a strong interest in the Clinical Management of Lipid Disorders and Diabetes. He has lectured extensively in the science and treatment of Hyperlipidemia and Diabetes Mellitus in many states and has provided numerous lectures for Physicians and Health Care Providers.

Thein Myint, MBBS, FAAC

Dr. Thein Myint is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine at University of Kentucky. He received his medical degree from the University of Medicine, Mandalay, Myanmar. He completed his Internal Medicine residency from Long Island College Hospital at SUNY Downstate Hospital, Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Myint completed a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases.

Sylvia Ofei, MD

Dr. Sylvia Y. Ofei completed her undergraduate education at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She then pursued and completed her medical degree at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. Following her medical education, she returned to Columbus where she completed her General Pediatrics residency at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She continued at Nationwide Children’s Hospital where she completed her Pediatric Gastroenterology fellowship. She received funding for her research focused on liver disease in Fontan patients and was under the NIH T32 training grant through the Heart Center. With her grant funding, she pursued her Master of Public Health (MPH) focused on Health Services, Management and Policy. Her fourth year research fellowship allowed her to complete her MPH as well as her prospective research project. She is board certified in General Pediatrics and Pediatric Gastroenterology. Following her fellowship training, she accepted a position August 2016 as assistant professor at University of Kentucky in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. She is currently focusing her clinical care in pediatric inflammatory bowel diseases. Her research projects are evaluating patients with fatty liver disease. Her interest in healthcare finance and the operations of a healthcare system have led her to pursue a healthcare focused MBA.

Doug Oyler, PharmD, BCCCP

Dr. Oyler serves as the Director of the Office of Opioid Safety at the University of Kentucky, where he leads the institution’s opioid stewardship program, including development, implementation, and evaluation of strategies to improve safe opioid use within the health system. He has collaborated with the Kentucky Hospital Association, KASPER, and numerous other state and local entities to improve opioid use throughout the state. His work in opioid stewardship has been featured in the American Journal of Health System Pharmacy, the Journal of Opioid Management, and the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, among others.

Additionally, Dr. Oyler serves as the Associate Director of Pharmacy for the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services; he is also an associate professor within the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. Dr. Oyler graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy in 2010, where he then completed a pharmacy practice residency, a critical care specialty residency, and a fellowship in academia.

Samual G. Powdrill, MPhil, PA-C

Sam currently serves as an Associate Professor in the Physician Assistant Program at the University of Kentucky, Lexington. In 2004, Sam returned to the United States after serving as the Coordinator for the Eye Unit at Tenwek Hospital in Bomet, Kenya. Tenwek is a well-known Christian mission teaching Hospital serving the people of Southwestern Kenya. In the thirteen years he spent at Tenwek, Sam and his wife played an integral role in the establishment and expansion of the hospital’s Eye Unit. They were Stationed at Tenwek with one of its partner organizations, Christian Blind Mission International (CBMI) - one of the oldest and largest organizations serving the blind and disabled throughout the developing world. Sam focused on developing low cost eye care services and eye surgery delivery to this largely unserved rural community. Today, Tenwek Eye Unit is the major eye care facility for about one million people, providing inpatient and outpatient services, eye surgery, training programs in eye health, and mobile eye care outreach.

Sam earned his Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the School of Nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University, and continued on to obtain a Diploma of Community Eye Health from the Institute of Ophthalmology in London, and a Masters of Philosophy (with an emphasis in community eye health education), from the University of London. He received NCCPA certification as physician assistant and surgical assistant following his graduation from the Physician Assistant Program at the University of North Dakota. After eye surgery training at the Kenya Medical Training College in Nairobi he was certified in Kenya as an Ophthalmic Clinical Officer and cataract surgeon. Each year Sam devotes some of his time to eye surgery and training of eye surgeons at various underserved places in the world.

Kevin Payton

Kevin Payton, a native of Frankfort, has spent his entire career as a government relations professional representing interests both in the private sector and within the executive branch of Kentucky government. Kevin's wide range of legislative and executive branch lobbying experience, particularly in the healthcare field, has prepared him to affect positive change from a corporate environment to grassroots human service advocacy.

Prior to joining Top Shelf Lobby, Kevin served as the Legislative Director for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). Kevin's ability to work within Kentucky's diverse political climate contributed to many successful and progressive health initiatives achieved by CHFS. Kevin joined Southern Strategy Group in 2006, partnering with Leigh Ann Thacker to expand the scope of the government relations firm.

In the private sector, Kevin lobbied for Children’s Alliance and the Kentucky Association of Regional Programs, both human service provider associations, representing membership on all issues related to Kentucky government. In addition, Kevin represented ResCare, one of Kentucky’s largest publicly traded companies and the nation’s largest provider of services to people with developmental disabilities, as its Director of Government Relations. From 2013-2019, Kevin served on the Board of Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky in a voluntary capacity and was acting President of the Board from 2017-2018.

Kevin received a B.A. in political science from Kentucky State University and a Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Louisville.

Frank Romanelli, PharmD, MPH, FAPhA, BCPS, AAHIVP

Dr. Romanelli is originally from Waterbury, Connecticut. He received both his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston. He completed both a Pharmacy Practice and Critical Care residency at the University of Kentucky Medical Center where he also served as Chief Resident. Subsequently, he received a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Kentucky. He is currently the Paul F. Parker Endowed Professor of Pharmacy with joint appointments as Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies. He also serves as Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Chief Academic Officer for the College of Pharmacy.

Dr. Romanelli has received several commendations by various groups for outstanding teaching. In 2003 he was selected by the University of Kentucky Alumni Association as a ‘Great Teacher’, this is the oldest continuous award presented by UK. In 2004, he received the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Innovations in Teaching Award and in 2008 the UK Provosts Award for Outstanding teaching by a Tenured Faculty member. Dr. Romanelli has also been recognized as an Outstanding Professor of the Year by both the College of Pharmacy and College of Health Sciences at UK. From student nominations, Dr. Romanelli has been recognized by the UK College of Education as a “Teacher Who Made a Difference.” In 2012 he was inducted as an honorary member of Pi Alpha, the National Physician Assistant Academic Honor Society and in 2013 he was inducted into Delta Omega, the honorary society for Public Health. In 2018 he was named by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy as a “Distinguished Teacher Scholar.” In 2019, Dr. Romanelli was named an Academic Leadership Fellow by the Southeastern Athletic Conference.

Dr. Romanelli is board certified in pharmacotherapy and recognized by the American Association of HIV Medicine as an HIV Pharmacist. In 2009 he was elected a Fellow of the American Pharmacists Association. Dr. Romanelli currently serves as Executive Associate Editor of the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. Additionally, he is the section editor for HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections for the Annals of Pharmacotherapy. He maintains an active practice in the area of HIV/AIDS and his research interests include pharmacy education and pedagogy. He is currently overseeing a major curricular revision and re-engineering of the Doctor of Pharmacy degree program at the University of Kentucky.

Jens Rosenau, MD

Dr. Rosenau is an Associate Professor and Acting Director of Hepatology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Dr. Rosenau specializes in general hepatology, with a focus on viral hepatitis, hepatocellular carcinoma and the management of pre- and post-liver transplant patients.

After receiving his medical degree from Hanover Medical School in Germany, he continued to work there in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology for almost 10 years, contributing to one of the highest output hepatology research divisions in Germany and one of the largest transplant programs in Europe.

Dr. Rosenau has authored several clinical research articles. He is on editorial boards of international medical journals and is active as a peer reviewer.

Mandakini Sadhir, MD, FAAP

Dr. Sadhir is an Adolescent Medicine physician and Medical director at Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics at University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. She is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. She serves as Chair of Kentucky Adolescent Health forum which is a pediatrician alliance of Kentucky American Academy of Pediatrics. She specializes in management of various health conditions that affects adolescent health including high risk behaviors, ADHD, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, gender dysphoria, reproductive health etc. She has authored many chapters regarding adolescent health issues and is actively involved in raising awareness about adolescent health through community workshops and conferences. She is an advocate for providing patient centered and comprehensive adolescent health care.

Susan Smyth, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA

Susan S. Smyth, MD PhD is the Jeff Gill Professor of Cardiology, Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and Director of the Linda and Jack Gill Heart and Vascular Institute. She also has a part-time appointment as a cardiologist and funded investigator at the Lexington VA Medical Center. Smyth is a physician scientist who combines clinical practice in cardiology with NIH-, VA-, and industry-funded research focused on the interplay between inflammation and thrombosis in vascular biology. She has authored more than 150 publications and contributed to over a dozen textbooks.

Smyth received her A.B. in Biology, summa cum laude, from Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley, Massachusetts), and graduated from the MD/PhD Program at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). After completing training in Internal Medicine, she performed cardiology subspecialty fellowship training at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York, New York) and at the University of North Carolina. She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the president-elect of the Association of University Cardiologists, a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, a fellow of the American Heart Association, and listed on Best Doctors® in America.

Arjun Srinath, MD, MPH, FAAOS

Dr. Arjun K. Srinath is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon who earned his medical degree from the State University of New York-Syracuse and completed his residency training at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Dr. Srinath went on to complete a foot and ankle fellowship at the Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, a program led by Dr. Mark Myerson—an international leader and pioneer in foot and ankle surgery. Dr. Srinath then served as a foot and ankle surgeon at Cleveland Clinic Florida, where he worked for six years.

In Fall 2018, Dr. Srinath joined the UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine team. He provides specialized treatment for a wide range of conditions and offers the full spectrum of foot and ankle care to patients 16 and older.

Austin Stone, MD

Dr. Stone is a knee and shoulder specialist and earned his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC, and a fellowship in sports medicine at the Rush University School of Medicine in Chicago. During his residency, Dr. Stone earned his PhD in molecular medicine and transitional sciences with a focus on meniscal injury and osteoarthritis.

Dr. Stone’s goals are treating musculoskeletal injuries and disease to restore an active lifestyle. He has a significant background and training in advanced orthobiologics for treatment of sports injuries and early arthritic disease. Dr. Stone has conducted extensive research on the early mechanisms of cartilage and meniscus injury that lead to osteoarthritis. His additional research interests include orthopaedic clinical outcomes, overhead athlete injuries and cycling injury and performance.

Ashli Watts

Ashli Watts is Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, spearheading all lobbying and advocacy efforts for the commonwealth’s largest business association. Ashli joined the Kentucky Chamber in November 2012 and during her tenure has been instrumental in passing significant pieces of legislation such as felony expungement in 2016, workers’ compensation reform in 2018 and reinstating arbitration agreements in 2019. As part of the Chamber’s leadership team, the Kentucky Chamber was named National State Chamber of the Year in 2017. Prior to joining the Chamber, she worked at the Kentucky Bar Association and the Legislative Research Commission.

Ashli graduated from Campbellsville University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History in 2004 and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Louisville. She served as the commencement speaker for Campbellsville University’s graduation in 2019 and was also awarded the Algernon Sydney Sullivan award. Ashli is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Kentucky and currently is a board member of Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky. She currently resides in Frankfort with her husband Ryan and two children, Emma and Carter.

Kentucky Academy of Physician Assistants
446 East High Street, Suite 10, Lexington, KY 40507
Phone: 859-977-7452

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