Melissa Davis, charter alumna MPAP program, chose Campbell for its community focus and location

“I was able to make great connections with the “Campbell Family,” and it was through these connections that I gained my first job.”

On December 15, 2013, the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (CPHS) graduated its charter class of Physician Assistant students. The 34 members began the program in 2011 and set high standards for future classes that followed. As the ten-year anniversary approaches, CPHS would like to highlight some of these alumni and the incredible work they are doing.

Chair and Director of the Physician Assistant Practice program, Betty Lynne Wallace Johnson, shared, “Our charter class of Campbell PA graduates, aka our ‘guinea pigs,’ are forever etched in our hearts! When I think of them, memories flood my soul – many, many faces and happenings, and yes, even a few tears (theirs and ours) flash before my mind’s eye. Each one of these exceptional human beings was courageous enough to take a chance on a brand-new program! With their sheer grit and determination, and a bit of well-intended guidance from the original faculty (there were only 4 ½ of us at that time), they managed to accomplish their dream – and ours! Together, we did it! And oh, how very, very proud we are of all they have accomplished! Their service to patients, their professional achievements, and their loyalty to Campbell PA continue to help make us what we are today! In fact, two members of the charter class have returned to serve as fulltime faculty for the program! Abundant blessings on our Campbell PA Class of 2013 – our firstborn. We love you dearly and always will.”

 Name: Melissa Davis

Program: Master of Physician Assistant Practice

Undergrad: Appalachian State University

Where are you currently employed? OptiMed Hospitalists

Title: Physician Assistant

Tell us a little bit about how amazing your current position is and what you do. How are you making a positive impact? I currently work as a hospitalist PA at a nonprofit community hospital. In this position, I am able to care for patients of all backgrounds with a variety of medical conditions and social challenges.

Why did you choose CPHS and what benefits do you believe you gained from attending Campbell? Did you/do you connect with the “Campbell family”? The community focus and location were the initial reasons I chose CPHS. While there, my experience helped me have a better understanding of healthcare and how to overcome challenges faced in rural medicine. I was able to make great connections with the “Campbell Family,” and it was through these connections that I gained my first job.

Please summarize your personal, business, and academic journey: While at CPHS, I was honored to be the recipient of the Lloyd S. Surles Physician Assistant Scholarship and the Ransdell Family Fund Scholarship. These contributions helped tremendously. I enjoyed participating in the Wallace Student Society, which allowed me and other PA students to volunteer locally. We were able to offer a blood pressure clinic to community members, organize a blood drive, put on a health fair at an elementary school, and sponsor many other programs. Prior to graduation, I was able to become certified for Basic Life Support through CPHS. I joined the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants and American Academy of Physician Assistants. Upon graduation, I became a member of the Pi Alpha Honor Society. I joined the CPHS Alumni Association and returned to CPHS as a guest lecturer on a couple occasions. I have also since become certified for Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support and been selected to serve on committees for my employer.

At Campbell we believe in purposeful lives and meaningful service. What legacy are you leaving/do you hope to leave?  I hope each of the individuals I see in the hospital knows that I genuinely care for them and want to always do what is best for them as a patient and as a person.

“CPHS exemplifies the meaning of quality.”

Reasons why prospective students should choose Campbell over other Graduate and Professional Schools: CPHS exemplifies the meaning of quality. I am so thankful for the academic instruction, dedication from staff, and bond with my classmates. I would not have wanted to get my medical training anywhere else.


Are you interested in learning more about our physician assistant program? Learn more here