SMITHFIELD, RI – Ashley A. Hughes, MSPAS, PA-C, has been appointed as Program Director for Bryant University’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program following a national search. Hughes is an experienced program director, academic coordinator, PA faculty member and practicing clinical physician assistant.
"Our University is garnering growing national recognition for academic excellence and superior student outcomes, and her contributions to our academic leadership team will add to our momentum.”
Bryant University’s School of Health Sciences and its Physician Assistant program were established in 2014 and in 2018 Bryant’s PA program became the first in the State of Rhode Island to earn full accreditation. The integration of healthcare and health sciences within Bryant’s nationally ranked academic programs is an area of focus for the University’s Vision 2030 Strategic Plan, and will further the Physician Assistant program’s mission to improve universal access to healthcare by graduating highly competent physician assistants prepared to provide exceptional patient-centered care.
In announcing the appointment, effective April 29, 2022, Bryant University President Ross Gittell, Ph.D., said, “We are excited to welcome Ashley Hughes to lead Bryant’s Physician Assistant program. Our University is garnering growing national recognition for academic excellence and superior student outcomes, and her contributions to our academic leadership team will add to our momentum.”
“What attracted me to Bryant is the opportunity to lead a program with dedicated faculty and staff as well as ambitious and inquisitive students,” said Hughes, who will also serve as Clinical Associate Professor. “The PA program's rigorous didactic education, involvement with medically underserved populations both local and abroad, and diverse clinical rotations provide a robust and meaningful learning experience for the students. I am thrilled to be part of that educational team and look forward to what our faculty and students can do together to strengthen healthcare in our community."
"Ashley Hughes will build on this strong foundation to ensure the program’s continuing excellence."
According to Interim/Associate Provost Wendy Samter, Ph.D., “The entire Bryant community is proud of our very strong Physician Assistant program and the contributions of its graduates. Ashley Hughes will build on this strong foundation to ensure the program’s continuing excellence. We are grateful to Interim and Associate Program Director and Assistant Professor Chris Furbee, DSc, PA-C, for his leadership and strong commitment to Bryant’s PA program and students during this search.” Furbee will continue his service as Interim Program Director until April 29.
“Ashley is a strong leader with a passion for service and education. Her dedication extends across the globe, from Rhode Island to Rwanda."
“Ashley is a strong leader with a passion for service and education. Her dedication extends across the globe, from Rhode Island to Rwanda,” said Dr. Kyle Denison Martin, Attending Physician at Brown Emergency Medicine and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Brown University. “I am excited to see Ashley flourish in this new role.”
Ashley Hughes joins Bryant from Johnson and Wales University, where she has served as Interim PA Program Director, PA Academic Coordinator, and Associate Professor. She previously served on the PA faculty of Northeastern University and the Community College of Rhode Island. Hughes currently serves as Clinical Physician Assistant at Kent County Hospital, where she has been since 2014, and Physician Assistant II at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Hughes received her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Northeastern University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Science from University of New Haven.
ABOUT BRYANT”S PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT PROGRAM
Bryant PA students complete 12 months of didactic study in the classroom (2000 hours) and extensive study beyond the classroom. During their 15 months of clinical rotations – 126 semester hours in total – they provide outstanding care to thousands of patients with an average of more than 6,100 hours of health care experience at matriculation.
How Bryant’s PA program benefits students and communities:
Exceptional results: pass rates (100 percent), job placement (94 percent within three months), and salaries (average starting salary $102K).
State of the art educational tools and a hands-on approach to learning that features a simulation center solidifying didactic coursework (more than 10 hours a week, 1900+ total). Small group activities with dedicated clinicians providing real-world examples of patient care.
World-class teaching, from gross anatomy at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, to didactic education from 174-plus adjuncts who are experts in their fields. A core faculty with a passion for educating PAs.
Service to the underserved and early clinical encounters in the Rhode Island Free Clinic and Bryant’s own student-run free diabetes clinic, enhanced by an overseas rotation in American Samoa.
Community and professional involvement with local, state, and national organizations supporting patients and enhancing the PA Profession.
The integration of health care and business education, a critical component of Bryant’s PA program, provides skills and best practices that enable graduates to create successful practices that can better serve community health care needs.
For more information about Bryant’s Physician Assistant program, visit gradschool.bryant.edu.
For nearly 160 years, Bryant University has been at the forefront of delivering an exceptional education that anticipates the future and prepares students to be innovative leaders of character in a changing world. The University delivers a uniquely integrated academic and student life experience with nationally recognized academic programs at the intersection of business, STEM and the liberal arts. Located on a 428-acre contemporary campus in Smithfield, R.I., Bryant enrolls approximately 3,800 undergraduate and graduate students from 38 states and 49 countries. Bryant is recognized as a top 1% national leader in student education outcomes and ROI and regularly receives high rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Money, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, College Factual and Barron’s. Visit www.bryant.edu.