August marks graduation season at MEDEX Northwest. This year’s gatherings were the first to be held in-person since 2019, bringing an added flavor of relief as students, faculty and families came together in common spaces to honor and celebrate the graduates. We also added a fifth ceremony to our usual mix of four — Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane and Anchorage — with the graduation of the pioneering students of MEDEX Kona Class 1 in Kona, HI. 

Join us in remembering the joys of each of these five ceremonies and raising a glass to the successes of all of our 2022 MEDEX Northwest graduates by clicking through the slideshows just below. 

MEDEX Kona Class 1

The historic occasion of MEDEX Northwest’s Kona Class 1 graduation ceremony occurred on a bright and sunny Saturday morning, August 20, 2022, on the grounds of the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel in Kailula-Kona, HI. The ceremony and mood were as wonderful as the day and setting were beautiful, and the significance of Hawaii’s first class of homegrown PAs for the future of healthcare in the State was lost on no one. Dignitaries gathered from near, such as healthcare leaders, clinical preceptors, and representatives from local and state government, including Keynote Speaker Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii John Green, MD, and from far, including staff and faculty from across the MEDEX campuses along with administrative leaders from the University of Washington School of Medicine. But the morning’s focus was ultimately on the 17 graduates who, in the words of Class Speaker Prelon Kaulanahaki Katschman, “were brought together to be pioneers, to be the first graduating class of PAs in Hawaii.” It was a big day indeed.  

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MEDEX Spokane Class 24

Families, friends and supporters of the students of Class 24 of the MEDEX Northwest PA Program’s Spokane Campus filled the seats of Gonzaga University’s Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center on the morning of Thursday August 18, 2022 to cheer their loved ones across the stage and into the launch of their careers as PAs. Class 24 is the sixth Spokane-based cohort to graduate since the partnership between University of Washington School of Medicine and Gonzaga University was established. The UW-GU Regional Health Partnership, and MEDEX’s place within it, has only strengthened over those years, as evidenced by the recent launch of the new medical health and education building on the Gonzaga campus, and the move of the MEDEX Spokane offices and classroom into the refurbished historic SIERR Building nearby.

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MEDEX Tacoma Class 8

The graduation ceremony for MEDEX Tacoma Class 8 took place on Thursday morning, August 18, 2022, at William Philip Hall on the UW Tacoma Campus. The warm and sunny morning outside the Hall seemed to support the sincere feelings of accomplishment and celebration inside. Not even a pandemic could keep this cohort down, it seems. Keynote Speaker and MEDEX Faculty member Quanté Greenlee asked that they “always remember that behind every patient is a story.” But for the length of this ceremony, at least, all were reminded that each student carries a story as well, and this ceremony will surely linger as a featured chapter in that story for each of them. Congratulations to TC8.

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MEDEX Seattle Class 54

Outside of the University of Washington’s Kane Hall on the morning of August 18, 2022, it was a hot one already, part of an increasingly familiar heatwave in a city that still isn’t quite used to such things. By contrast, the weather inside Kane Hall was just about perfect. The air conditioning helped, of course. But really it was the atmosphere of celebration among the students, faculty, families and friends that filled the hall and made the morning so pleasant, so joyous, so wonderful. 

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MEDEX Anchorage Class 12

Somewhere in the midst of the cheers and good wishes that filled the Wendy Williamson Auditorium on the University of Alaska, Anchorage Campus on the morning of August 18, 2022 were surely signs of disbelief. “PA school is hard enough as it is without having to go through it during a worldwide pandemic,” says MEDEX Program Director Terry Scott. “But this class did it.” It was true. The Anchorage Class 12 students made it through it all, and with flying colors, too. And all were able to gather in person to celebrate their success. A good day indeed. 

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