David Paulk, EdD, PA-C, DFAAPA
Program Director, Master of Science in Physician Assistant (MSPA)
David Paulk comes well equipped to lead the new Physician Assistant Program. In addition to his many years as a practicing clinician he has served as clinical coordinator in the Rutgers University/University of Medicine and Dentistry PA Program, academic coordinator in the Arcadia University PA Program, and as the founding director of Ohio Dominican University’s PA Program.
Paulk is widely published in the field of child maltreatment and sought out nationally and internationally as a speaker on this subject. Because of his work in this area, the National Exchange Club recently honored him at both their national and Georgia state conferences. He has also received Arcadia University’s Vitetta Professorship for his work and research in child maltreatment prevention and intervention. Paulk has also co-authored the Physician Assistant Review Guide, currently under revision for a 2nd edition, published by Jones and Bartlett, and is a contributor to the seventh edition of The Resident’s Guide to Primary Care.
In addition to being active in the Assessment Council of the Physician Assistant Education Association he has been asked to serve on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention Panel of Experts seeking consensus guidelines for the acute diagnosis and management of mild traumatic brain injury in children and adolescents. Paulk is the only PA selected as one of its experts.
Paulk spent a number of years as a paramedic before attending PA school at Alderson-Broaddus College in West Virginia. He holds a master’s degree in health education from West Virginia University and a doctorate in education from Rutgers University. He is a distinguished fellow of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
Benjamin G. Farley, M.D.
Medical Director, Master of Science in Physician Assistant (MSPA)
Ben Farley grew up in Greeneville, Tennessee. He graduated from Bucknell University in 1989 with a B.A. in English. After working one year as a social worker and one year as a teacher, he matriculated at the Medical University of South Carolina in 1991 and graduated in 1995. He completed his postgraduate training in 1998 at Wyoming Valley Family Practice Residency in Kingston, PA. While there, he was awarded two scholarships and a Resident Teacher Award by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, “in recognition of demonstrated interest, ability, and commitment to family medicine education.”
Ben moved to Staunton in 1998 and worked at Augusta Health Family Practice and Augusta Health in Fishersville from 1998 until 2012. During his tenure at Augusta Health, he served two years as vice-chair of the medical department and two more years as chair of the medical department. He was also a member of Augusta Health’s Executive Committee for those four years.
In 2012, after a brief stint as an urgent care physician, Dr. Farley joined Staunton Medical Associates, where he practiced outpatient family medicine until joining Augusta Health as an urgent care physician in June, 2015. He looks forward to joining the PA faculty as a full-time Medical Director in December, 2016. He has worked closely with PAs throughout his career, and he enjoys teaching and precepting students. He looks forward to teaching the Clinical Reasoning course and continuing to serve as a preceptor.
Ben is married and has three children. When he is not taking care of patients or working with students, he enjoys spending time with his family, running or hiking with his three dogs, and continuing his often atrocious attempts to play soccer.
Sherry Secrest, PA-C
Director of Clinical Education, Master of Science in Physician Assistant (MSPA)
Sherry Secrest received her BS degree in statistics from Virginia Tech in 1990 and began her career as an educator working as a process control and industrial engineer and corporate trainer. Her experience as a management consultant in the Carillion Clinic Health System included both clinical and administrative project development, data analysis, facilitation, and implementation. She obtained her PA bachelor’s degree from Jefferson College of Health Sciences in 2006. She then worked for two years in underserved locations practicing family medicine. Ms. Secrest practiced in the Veteran’s Administration (VA) Medical System in Salem from 2008 until 2014 when she joined Augusta Health as a convenient care practitioner. During her clinical time in the VA health system, she was the women’s health and primary care coordinator and considered a subject matter expert in Women’s Health and Transgender Medicine and was called upon to teach others. In 2011 she obtained a master’s in PA studies from the University of Nebraska and has taken classes toward a PhD in public health and epidemiology from Walden University. Her stated core values are “integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all that I do.” Professor Secrest possesses a passion for medicine and teaching along with an obvious true commitment to identifying and serving those in need.
Don Solimini, PA-C, MHA
Director of Academic Education, Master of Science in Physician Assistant (MSPA)
Donald Solimini, PA-C, MHA is a Connecticut native who graduated from St. Louis University’s PA Program in Missouri. He had attended St. Michael’s College in Vermont where he received his BA in Biology. After graduation from PA school he was initially employed within the Veterans Administration Health Care System. Mr. Solimini transitioned into Pediatrics and Neonatology and spent 25 years as a Senior Pediatric Physician Assistant at The Hospital of Central Connecticut.
His Master in Health Administration is from Quinnipiac University where he was a lecturer in Pediatrics at Quinnipiac University’s Physician Assistant for 10 years. Mr. Solimini speaks locally and nationally for various PA organizations and has also been extensively involved with Connecticut Academy of Physician Assistants (ConnAPA) and with American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) on the Conference Planning Committee for the national Physician Assistant Conference. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the AAPA.
Besides Quinnipiac University he has previous academic experience as an Assistant Director of Clinical Education where he contributed as a PA educator full-time for three years. Prior to moving to Virginia, he was employed by Connecticut Children’s Medical Center as a Pediatric Critical Care PA.
Don also serves with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Advisory Council on Immunization Practice (ACIP) as a member of the Childhood and Adolescent Immunization and General Recommendations Workgroups. He is the only PA serving on these Workgroups.
His passion is his involvement with global health missions to underserved countries and has made trips to Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Central & South America.
Professor Solimini brings to Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences PA Program a long career in clinical and didactic service.
Master of Science in Physician Assistant (MSPA)
Jennifer Hunt completed her Master’s in Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Arcadia University in 2009. After graduation, she joined Lima Memorial Physicians group as a family practice and occupational medicine PA. While at Lima Memorial, Ms. Hunt was asked to join the EMR committee and helped develop clinical templates and implement the use of electronic medical records in all of the outpatient clinics. As one of the few clinicians on the EMR committee, she developed educational materials for her fellow clinicians and streamlined the processes of EMR use.
With a passion for wellness and preventive medicine, in addition to her clinical practice, Ms. Hunt became the Lima Memorial Wellness Coach and helped develop the hospital’s insurance wellness program and community worksite wellness programs. This involved coordinating the compliance of wellness participants, performing and interpreting wellness screenings, and developing educational and preventive programs. Ms. Hunt was an integral liaison between the ever changing push toward wellness and prevention in healthcare and the affected patients and medical providers.
Prior to joining the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences, Ms. Hunt worked with Hometown Urgent Care and Occupational Health in Columbus, Ohio. She currently practices clinically in urgent care at Augusta Health.
We are in the process of hiring additional faculty and staff — we expect a team of more than 30 professionals supporting our programs when at full capacity. Potential faculty members are encouraged to reference our website for current employment searches.