Student Activities

Pace University-Lenox Hill Hospital Physician Assistant program (NYC)

Matthew Fortunato, received a Rudin Primary Health Care Scholars scholarship from CHP. The scholarship, made possible by a grant from the Louis and Rachel Rudin Foundation, Inc., is intended to increase the number of primary care nurse practitioners and physician assistants. 

The Pace University – Lenox Hill Hospital Physician Assistant program class of 2019 is holding a toy drive, food donation, and coat donation for the holidays. The class is asking for donations of toys, non-perishable foods, and new or gently used winter coats to support the drives. Toys will be donated to the Mount Sinai Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department. Non-perishable food will be donated to the Bowery Mission and coats will be donated to NYC Cares. Now through December 14th items can be dropped off in Professor Kate Kunstel’s office(163 William St, 5th Floor) or given to a SAAPA member. The class greatly appreciates all donations.

Congratulations to the following Lenox Hill Hospital team members on their new positions:

Shira Ashear PA, Obstetrics and Gynecology -class of 2017

Nataliya Bilan PA, Otolaryngology - class of 2017

Sarah Koniarski PA, Cardiology – class of 2017

Kara Loo PA, Cardiology – class of 2017

Michelle Moreno PA, Cardiothoracic Surgery – class of 2017

Kevin Nelson PA, Emergency Medicine – class of 2014

Edwin Oey PA, Emergency Medicine – class of 2015

Ronni Shalem PA, Neurosurgery – class of 2017

Daniel Cox PA, Urology – class of 2017

Mark DeJesus PA, Urology – class of 2017

Congratulations to Lauren Giuffre PA, class of 2014, on winning the Lenox Hill PA of the Year award and the Lenox Hill PA Educator of the Year award.

Congratulations to Jordan Vallese PA, class of 2009, for being nominated for the Lenox Hill PA of the Year. 


The Pace University- Lenox Hill Hospital Physician Assistant program class of 2019, celebrated National Physician Assistant week, held annually from October 6th to 12th to increase awareness of the profession and its contributions to our nation's health. The class gathered to join hundreds from the Northeast Region for “PAs on the Plaza” in New York City to be on set on NBC’s Today show. This was the fifth year in a row that members of the Pace University-Lenox Hill Hospital Physician Assistant Program participated in the event, which is held at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.


The Pace University-Lenox Hill Hospital Physician Assistant Program class of 2019 worked alongside the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society: an organization that has positively impacted many people facing blood cancer through its research efforts.

Their fundraising team, succeeded in surpassing not only their goal of $25,000, but $28,197.93 and counting! This is the fifth year that Pace PA students proudly worked alongside the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for the annual Light the Night event at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. Pace PAs have consistently been members of the $10K VIP Donor Club, but this year also marked a new record, they were in third place for the “Friends and Family Team” in New York City. Even with their small class size, they were able to stand among big contributors, such as Morgan Stanley. 

Pace University – Lenox Hill Hospital Physician Assistant Program congratulates Dr. Ellen Mandel and the class of 2015 PA alum Jennifer Le, Peter O’Reilly and Anna Sinyavskaya, who were selected by the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAAPA) as the winners in the clinical writing category for the 2017 Tanya Gregory Student Writing Awards, which recognizes outstanding student writers. All published works featuring student authors in 2016 were judged by an independent panel of medical editors and PAs from various medical and surgical specialties. 

According to the journal's editor-in-chief, Reamer Bushardt, PharmD, PA-C, DFAAPA, "The editorial board and I recognize our PA student writers as future leaders and educators within our profession. This year's student writing award winners produced exceptional works that successfully navigated rigorous peer review and brought real value to our PA readers all around the world. The awards are also an accolade to the dedicated faculty and other mentors that supported the writing process."

Pace University – Lenox Hill Hospital PA Program's student, Ian Golden, has been chosen as one of PAEA's 2017 Future Educator Fellows! The Future Educator Fellowship — designed to enhance PA students’ understanding of medical education and academic careers in PA education — has a new crop of participants. The newest cohort of 15 fellows will kick off the year-long program at the Education Forum in Denver next month, where they will attend education sessions, get to know each other, and begin the process of learning all they can about the pathway to PA education. Congratulations to the newest PAEA Future Educator Fellows! 


Pace University – Lenox Hill Hospital PA Program preceptor, Jonathan Sobel, was recently chosen as the AAPA’s President-elect for 2017. Jonathan has been a member of the program’s executive committee and a strong advocate for the program for many years through his position as Senior Administrative Director of PA Services at Lenox Hill Hospital. Founded in 1968, the American Academy of PAs is the national professional society for PAs. It represents a profession of more than 115,500 certified PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and the uniformed services.

“I feel so fortunate to be given the opportunity to lead our great profession during this exciting time and as we venture forward into the second half-century of our history,” said Jonathan Sobel.

Pace University – Lenox Hill Hospital PA Students recently spread some holiday cheer at Lenox Hill’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. After completing final exams, students volunteered to travel uptown and adorn the NICU with all sorts of holiday-themed décor.  “In college, I volunteered with my friends to decorate pediatrics wings of hospitals, and it was always so much fun for everyone involved,” said Nicole Pagones, who coordinated the volunteer efforts. “I think that decorating really does make a difference and brightens people’s days. We could all use a little cheer!”  While this is Pace’s first time decorating Lenox Hill’s NICU, it just may be the start of a new holiday tradition for the program and the hospital.

Pace PA students from the class of 2017 recently ran the Brooklyn Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon.  It was the first half marathon for many of the students, and they prepared by training together during the summer semester and into the fall.  The race was a symbolic way to stay motivated and active during the summer as the didactic year came to an end.  One student reflected, "Didactic year was a marathon for each and every one of us. We can't wait to start rotations, but this was a great way to prove to ourselves how far we have come." Most of all, students said it was a huge accomplishment for them as individuals, but they are so glad that they were able to run alongside one another and encourage each other along the way. Read more

As part of National Dental Hygiene Month, this October the Pace University – Lenox Hill Hospital Physician Assistant Program continued its record of public service. Dozens of volunteers from the class of 2018 journeyed out to Public School-122 Mamie Fay in Queens to teach elementary students the importance of good oral health.  Students at PS-122 were all too thrilled to play with and learn from the program volunteers. By blending fun with education, Pace students were able to teach youngsters critical healthcare measures, such as the importance of proper brushing and flossing, as well as the impact of dietary choices on oral health. Furthermore, students were encouraged and empowered to establish good health habits with gift bags containing toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste, and timers.  Read more.

The Pace University- Lenox Hill Hospital Physician Assistant Program recently set its all-time high for charitable giving! The Class of 2018, spearheaded by students Alyssia Johnson and Margaret Gerardi, succeeded in raising a whopping $19,547 on behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. "It's an incredible accomplishment," said Professor Kate Kunstel, who coordinated the partnership between Pace and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. "It's something to be very proud of, and a wonderful representation of what our program and our students are all about."  This is the fourth year that Pace PA students proudly worked alongside the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for the annual Light the Night event in Central Park. Pace PAs have consistently been members of the $10K VIP Donor Club, but fundraising efforts for this year's event exceeded previous years by far. Light the Night is just the first of many community service events Pace PA students have planned for this year. 

The Pace University- Lenox Hill Hospital Physician Assistant Program recently held a symbolic white coat ceremony to mark the students’ move from didactic (classroom learning) to clinical rotations (hands-on patient care).  Speakers inspired students to successfully complete their studies and have a long-term commitment to their chosen field as compassionate, caring professionals.  Read more.

In the wake of mass shootings at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Pace Physician Assistant students recently reached out to healthcare providers at Orlando Regional Medical Center to express support and sympathy.  Their card said, "We were reminded at the opening pride rally that the LGBT community - when faced with adversity and darkness - has always known how to celebrate living.  We spent this pride celebrating love for one another and the lives of those lost in the recent Orlando tragedy."  -Pace PA Class of 2017.  Read more.

Pace Physician Assistant students and staff headed to San Antonio, Texas this May for the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) conference. Students had the opportunity to attend lectures on a wide variety of topics, present research to colleagues from across the U.S., and meet fellow PAs and other students.  They also attended the AAPA annual “House of Delegates” meeting to stay informed about pressing issues surround the PA career today, and how to advocate for the advancement of the profession. Read more.

In March, Physician Assistant students volunteered at the Pajama Program charity in Manhattan. Students raised funds to sponsor a field trip for a kindergarten class from an underserved community in Brooklyn, NY. The students also volunteered their time as reading partners for this kindergarten class. This was a special experience for 30 kindergarteners, who each received a new pair of pajamas, a new book, and one-on-one reading time with a Pace PA student. Our students shared time with the kindergarteners, including listening to a children’s author read a newly published book about counting coins and the importance of saving money, and each child took home a personalized piggy bank. The rest of the time was spent sharing snacks and reading to the kids in pairs.  Read more.

The Pace University-Lennox Hill Hospital Physician Assistant Program organized a successful blood drive with the American Red Cross at Pace University on March 11. As a result of months of preparation and efforts of the students and staff, hundreds of pints of blood were donated. PA students also ran a bone marrow donor sign up station, where potential donors swabbed their cheeks in hopes of being a life-saving match with a person in need. Read more.

The Class of 2017 organized a bake sale on Valentine’s Day at Pace University to raise money for the “Save a Child’s Heart” organization. PA students sold flowers and home-made desserts. Shira Ashear -- one of the event coordinators -- said, “This event was a great example of how we support one another in PA school, whether it’s by helping each other study, or taking the time to bake cupcakes to raise funds for a great cause. Our class never hesitates to stand behind a cause and support one another, I love that about the PA students at Pace.”  We raised over $600 from this event to fund a life-saving cardiac surgery for a child who needs it. 

The Pace University-Lenox Hill Hospital PA program was recently honored at the annual Light the Night Soirée, and was presented with the Manhattan Mission Award in recognition of raising over $13,600 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and for participating in the Light the Night walk. Program Director Susan Cappelmann accepted the award on behalf of the program. Professors and many students from the class of 2016 and 2017 joined together to celebrate with cancer survivors and their friends and families.

The PA class of 2017 is raising funds for an organization called Save A Child's Heart, whose mission is to improve the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children from countries where the heart surgery they need is unobtainable. After learning about congenital heart disease, the students realized how important emergent cardiac surgery is in the life of a child and their family.

PA students and professors recently kicked off the new year by participating in a free ride at Soul Cycle. Professors Shannon North and Kate Kunstel joined 18 of their students on January 4 for this event. According to Professor North, "It was really uplifting to see all the students working together. It was a wonderful team-building event and raises awareness of health and PA education in our community." Pace PA students will have the opportunity to ride at the financial district studio in January at select classes free of charge. Read more.

PA students educated 70 kindergarten students on how to brush their teeth, proper flossing technique, and key foods to eat for healthy teeth. On October 28, under the guidance of adviser Denise Rizzolo, PA-C, PhD, Pace PA students visited Spruce Street School to teach children all about brushing their teeth in a fun an interactive way, using a large scale tooth model, songs, and coloring activities.