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Physician Assistant Program (Minnesota)

Faculty

Group of PAs studying anatomical model during PA education session as part of the Physician Assistant Program

Program director welcome

Portrait photo of Dr. Michael Huckabee, Program Director of the PA ProgramThere has never been a better time to become a PA. We’re glad you’re exploring our program to see if this may be the ideal fit in your journey towards becoming a PA.

You will excel within this program if you learn best in small groups that engage in active learning rather than extended periods of lectures. Successful students are also people-oriented, independent thinkers who engage surrounding peers, teachers, and mentors to advance their learning.

You will fit well in this program if you enjoy learning in an environment that emphasizes “the needs of the patient come first." It’s an adage from the Mayo brothers and now, more than 150 years later, it serves to guide us just as well. Our PA students learn in an environment that expertly integrates the primary care needs of every patient in the broad range of specialized care for which Mayo Clinic is recognized.

I personally have a passion for supporting PA students to excel in leadership. Our program intentionally teaches PA students techniques of leadership that influence patients to pursue optimal health. Mastering leadership skills are vital to PAs serving effectively in Mayo Clinic’s team-based care.

We encourage you to find a PA program that will maximize your personal learning experience and development. If Mayo Clinic meets your expectations, we look forward to visiting with you.

Best regards,

Michael Huckabee, MPAS, PA-C, Ph.D.
PA Program Director

Mentors and faculty working with PA students during PA Program curriculum

Faculty mentorship

Our faculty, instructors, and preceptors are committed to providing an individualized approach to your success. They are experts in their respective fields and as teaching faculty, provide unique opportunities for your learning success. Having these mentoring relationships across the PA curriculum develops not only a higher level of learning retention, but emphasizes the development of your critical thinking skills.

Meet the faculty

Michael Huckabee, MPAS, PA-C, Ph.D.

Michael Huckabee, MPAS, PA-C, Ph.D.

Program Director
Associate Professor
Senior Associate Consultant II

About: Dr. Huckabee has been a PA for 35 years with clinical practice experience in rural family medicine, rural emergency medicine, and general pediatrics. He has more than 20 years of experience in PA education, serving as faculty or as director at three other PA programs.

Current research interests: Understanding the model of servant leadership as it applies to health care professionals

You should know: His award-winning text, "Clinical Leadership for Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners," has led many students and health care professionals to maximize their leadership potential in team-based care. In his spare time, Dr. Huckabee enjoys spending time with his wife Nancy, four children, and two grandchildren.

Shekitta Acker, MS, PA-C

Shekitta Acker, MS, PA-C

Academic Co-Director

About: Shekitta Acker, MS, PA-C, has been a PA for 13 years with clinical practice in family and adolescent medicine. She brings 10 years of experience in PA education with adjunct instructor appointments at Duke University (Durham, NC) and St. Augustine University (Raleigh, NC). Most recently she has served on the faculty of the PA Program at MGH Institute of Health Professions (Charleston, MA), where she designed and implemented an anatomy course integrated across a year-long didactic curriculum.

Current research interests: The role of PAs and NPs in the care of trafficked children

You should know: Ms. Acker has three beautiful children. They enjoy going to movies, having family game night, and traveling. She is also a member on the Commission on Research and Strategic Initiatives for the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

Alan Brokenicky, MPAS, PA-C

Alan Brokenicky, MPAS, PA-C

Academic Co-Director

About: Alan has been a PA for 11 years with clinical practice in family medicine, hospital internal medicine, and urgent care/emergency medicine. Most of his practice has been in community health clinics serving the local Hispanic population. In addition to mentoring students throughout the years, he has faculty experience in PA program development.

Current research interests: Integration of cultural sensitivity and population health in medical education, and best practice of instructional technology

You should know: Alan, his wife, and their three children are native Nebraskans. Alan is fluent in Spanish after living in Guatemala for two years shortly after high school. He has participated in medical mission trips to Nicaragua, India, and Nepal. He enjoys the outdoors, working with his hands in wood and metal, singing, and playing the guitar.

Katie Rieck, M.D., MHA

Katie Rieck, M.D., MHA

Medical Director
Instructor in Medicine

Consultant

About: Katie Rieck, M.D., MHA, is a board-certified internist and practicing hospitalist in Hospital Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic who also serves as the NP/PA Physician Liaison for the Division of Hospital Internal Medicine. Dr. Rieck has received Excellence in Clinical Teaching Awards from the Internal Medicine Residency Program and was named the 2017 Hospital Internal Medicine Consultant Educator of the Year.

Current research interests: NSAID-induced acute kidney injury in hospitalized patients as well as contributors to workload for NP/PA providers during overnight cross-coverage on hospital medicine services

You should know: Dr. Rieck is married to her husband, Thom, whom she met in their hometown of Waseca. They enjoy gardening, traveling, and spending time with their family.

Brittany Strelow, MS, PA-C

Brittany Strelow, MS, PA-C

Clinical Co-Director of Development
PA in Community Internal Medicine

Assistant Professor of Medicine

About: Brittany has been a PA for nine years with clinical practice in hematology, family medicine, and internal medicine. She has mentored many students throughout her career. One of her passions has been to improve patient experience where she earned her Gold Status from the Mayo Clinic Quality Academy and has presented on this topic across the nation.

Current research interests: Quality improvement in clinical practice, and a current project in cervical cancer screening

You should know: She keeps on her toes with one toddler in tow and another on the way. Her hobbies include scrapbooking, cake decorating, and teaching these skills in the community. She also has been an avid volunteer for the American Cancer Society for 15 years.

Sarah Schettle, MS, PA-C

Sarah Schettle, MS, PA-C

Clinical Co-Director of Development
PA in Cardiovascular Surgery
Assistant Professor of Surgery

About: Sarah has been a PA for nine years in cardiovascular surgery where she has been active in program development and has led several international research projects. She plays a leadership role in several national and international organizations and has published and presented extensively.

Current research interests: Gastrointestinal bleeding, thrombotic/hemolytic complications, right heart failure, and opioid utilization in Mechanical Circulatory Support Device Patients

You should know: Sarah is an avid runner and president of the International Consortium of Circulatory Assist Clinicians. She is also completing her MBA. In her spare time, she attempts to enhance her culinary interests.

Mike Breunig, MS, PA-C

Mike Breunig, MS, PA-C

Clinical Skills Co-Director
PA in Hospital Internal Medicine

Assistant Professor of Medicine

About: Mike has been a PA for seven years with clinical experience in hospital medicine. He has received several awards for his contributions to education and mentorship for NPs and PAs at Mayo Clinic. He also lectures extensively on a local and national level.

Current research interests: Integration of Point-of-Care Ultrasound into clinical practice and PA education

You should know: He serves as a department editor for the Journal of American Academy of PAs. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and son, and traveling.

Danielle O’Laughlin, MS, PA-C

Danielle O’Laughlin, MS, PA-C

Clinical Skills Co-Director
PA in Community Internal Medicine
Assistant Professor of Medicine

About: Danielle has been a PA for 10 years with clinical practice in acute care and community internal medicine. She serves as the lead for the Employee and Community Health (ECH) Gynecology clinic and is a proceduralist in the ECH procedure clinic. She has experience in education as an ECH education assistant.

Current research interests: Anticoagulation effects on intrauterine contraceptives

You should know: Ms. O’Laughlin is married to her husband, Corey, and they have two beautiful sons, William and Henry. They enjoy travel, spending time on the water, and outdoor adventures.

Chelsey Hoffmann, RD, MS, PA-C

Chelsey Hoffmann, RD, MS, PA-C

Clinical Co-Director of Evaluation
PA in Pain Medicine

About: Chelsey has been a PA for five years with the Division of Anesthesiology, Department of Pain Medicine, providing patients with pain management in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She is an invited lecturer on pain medicine at local and national meetings. She is co-director for the annual Mayo Clinic Physician Assistant Board Review Course.

Current research interests: Effective wellness instruction in PA education. Management of the use of controlled substances for patients with implanted intrathecal drug delivery devices.

You should know: Chelsey is married to her husband, Jay, and they have two sons, Everett and Lincoln. They enjoy listening to podcasts, reading, meal prepping, and fitness.