Samford Appoints Program Director for New Physician Assistant Studies Program

Published on December 18, 2017 by Sarah Waller  
Harrelson Paul

Samford University has appointed Paul Harrelson to serve as program director for the School of Health Professions’ new physician assistant studies program. 

With this appointment, the school has taken the first step in seeking provision accreditation for a Master of Science in physician assistant studies with the goal of enrolling the first cohort of graduate students in August 2019. 

“We are excited to have Paul Harrelson join the School of Health Profession as we take a big step forward in our work to establish a physician assistant program here at Samford,” said Alan Jung, School of Health Professions dean. “We have a mighty task ahead of us, but with the support of our alumni, students, employees and friends, we are strongly motivated to create a program of excellence, distinctive by our commitment to help students answer their calling to serve others.” 

Prior to this appointment, Harrelson has been in physician assistant studies education for the past 18 years at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska, Wake Forest University and the University of Louisiana-Monroe. Currently, Harrelson is the vice president for the Alabama Society of Physician Assistants as well as the chairman of the physician assistant liaison committee to the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners. 

Harrelson also works in the clinical setting, currently in the area of general surgery with John Porterfield at University of Alabama in Birmingham. 

“It is an honor to join the faculty at Samford University, and I look forward to the work that lies ahead as we establish a program that will meet the demand for compassionate and competent physician assistants,” Harrelson said.

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ABOUT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY -- Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 3rd among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,509 students from 45 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.