Article by Physician Assistant Johnna Tanner Published in PA Professional Magazine.
Memphis, Tenn. (September 6, 2012) – PA Professional, a national trade magazine for physician assistants, has published an article by
Johnna Tanner, PA-C, academic coordinator for Physician Assistant Studies in the College of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Tennessee
Health Science Center (UTHSC). Tanner’s article, “Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma Awareness,” was featured in the June/July issue. Published by
The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), PA Professional is distributed 11 times a year to more than 44,000 AAPA members located
across the United States.
According to several definitions, pediatric abusive head trauma (formally known as shaken baby syndrome) occurs when a baby is violently shaken in a
repetitive manner. Injuries that could occur include internal bleeding, mental retardation and death.
“This publication sends a powerful message that impacts our new developing Physician Assistant (PA) Program on several levels,” said Catherine Gemmiti,
MPAS, PA-C, chair and program director in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at UTHSC. “It is about public health advocacy and is,
therefore, in direct alignment with the collective mission of UTHSC and its partner institutions — that of improving human health. It also speaks to a
strong commitment to community service by the Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants and by the PA profession as a whole. I am proud to have
accomplished faculty such as Johnna to help deliver the curriculum and lead by example so that our graduates will indeed become partners in the future
Tanner is currently serving as president of the Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants. She has been actively involved in this organization for many
years, and has previously served as a student delegate and vice president. Her work with the academy demonstrates her commitment to maintain the
friendly practice environment for which Tennessee is known.
The academy has been politically active for a number or years, and is known for assisting its members when issues arise concerning licensure,
reimbursement and employment. Tanner believes the academy should exist not just as a service to members, but also to society as a whole, so she
organized a public service initiative at the academy. It is currently establishing a public health education campaign under Tanner’s leadership.
Tanner will be presenting a lecture on public health education at the Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistant’s Fall Fest conference in October. As
part of her official duties as the academy’s president, she plans to share this information with physician assistant programs around the state during
visits this fall.
As the flagship statewide academic health system, the mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is to bring
the benefits of the health sciences to the achievement and maintenance of human health, with a focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region, by
pursuing an integrated program of education, research, clinical care, and public service. In 2011, UT Health Science Center celebrated its centennial:
100 years advancing the future of health care. Offering a broad range of postgraduate training opportunities, the main UTHSC campus is located in
Memphis and includes six colleges: Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The UTHSC campus in
Knoxville includes a College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, and an Allied Health Sciences unit. In addition, the UTHSC Chattanooga campus includes a
College of Medicine and an Allied Health Sciences unit. Since its founding in 1911, UTHSC has educated and trained more than 53,000 health care
professionals on campuses and in health care facilities across the state. For more information, visit www.uthsc.edu.
Johnna Tanner, PA-C, academic coordinator, Physician Assistant Studies, College of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Tennessee Health Science