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Education Features

Canisius grad recognized with national award for service


Deepthi Krishna ’23, a graduate of the Canisius PA Studies program, received the 2023 PA Student of the Year Award from the American Academy of Physician Associates.  The AAPA Awards Committee selected Krishna from a pool of applicants from across the United States.  

Deepthi Krishna

The prestigious award honors a physician associate student who furthers the image of PAs and PA students; gives self-sacrificing time and effort in service to community; demonstrates leadership and professionalism; and exemplifies the PA profession’s philosophy of providing accessible, quality health care to all.

Krishna is a first-generation, non-traditional student of color who experienced first-hand the emotional and financial burden due to access challenges of the health care system. Because of these experiences, Krishna pursued a career in health care and volunteered her services at rural health camps and free health clinics in areas where people lacked access to basic health care services.

“At Canisius, we educate our students in the Jesuit tradition of being people for and with others, meaning to walk in solidarity with others, to learn and express empathy, as well as to work to improve their lives,” said Sara R. Morris, Ph.D., vice president for Academic Affairs.  “We are so proud of how Deepthi connects to our Jesuit education.”

 “Our PA program’s mission is to eliminate health care disparity and to improve the health of underserved populations by recruiting and developing a more diverse representation of future health care providers,” said Aimee Larson, DMSc, PA-C, director of the PA program. “Deepthi is a compassionate leader and clinician, and we cannot be more proud as she receives this well-deserved award.”

An advocate for change, Krishna holds numerous positions of leadership to address health care and the PA profession. She serves on the board of directors for Physician Assistant Students for Leadership, Equity, Anti-Racism, and Diversity, serves as the student spokesperson for New York State Society of Physician Assistants and the Western New York PA Association. She represents the PA profession on the Interprofessional Education student advisory board at the University at Buffalo. 

As NYSSPA student director, Krishna encouraged faculty and student representatives to support Governor Kathy Hochul’s 2023-24 budget to ensure PA representation. 

She participates in NYSSPA’s DEI, social media, and communications efforts, and serves as the co-chair of the student membership subcommittees where she advocates for students’ needs. 

During Canisius’ White Coat Ceremony on May 19, Krishna received the program’s inaugural Mission and Identity Award for her dedication and commitment to quality health care, health care equity, and serving the PA profession and her patients.

For additional information about the PA Studies Program, contact pastudies@canisius.edu, or 716-888-8550.


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