Paul Lombardo is a graduate of the inaugural Stony Brook University (SBU) Physician Assistant Class of 1973, where he was the School of Allied Health Professions (now School of Health Technology and Management) Honor Student (valedictorian). Lombardo completed his undergraduate course work in psychology at the University of Missouri and his graduate work in health services administration at New School University. He is currently Clinical Associate Professor-Retired and Immediate Past Chair of the Department of Physician Assistant Education at SBU Medical Center on Long Island and serves as a Principal Advisor, Professional Services for the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA).
Lombardo decided on a career as a PA because he had a lifelong attraction to a career in medicine and was inspired by the idea of becoming part of a new and innovative, patient-centric profession that he could help to shape. He notes that the major challenges for PAs at the time were simply finding a position as a PA when physicians were just learning about the profession and ensuring that enabling PA legislation allowed PAs to practice to their full capacity.
During his tenure at Stony Brook, Lombardo taught across several disciplines and was responsible for the overall administration of the PA Program. He has chaired or served on several University committees including the Foundations of Excellence, 50th Anniversary Steering Committee, Time Capsule Selection, Year of Community, Tsunami Response and Ray of Light Committees and Stony Brook’s Project 50 Forward Committee. Professor Lombardo is a Past President of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the New York State Society of Physician Assistants (NYSSPA), and the Physician Assistant Foundation (PAF) of the AAPA, and has a long history of service to the PA profession that dates back to 1974. With his 2010 appointment to Board of Directors of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) he became the first PA to have served on the boards of all four guiding organizations of the profession and the Physician Assistant Foundation. Moreover, he is the first PA to have been elected to chair three of those organizations (AAPA, PAEA, NCCPA) and the Physician Assistant Foundation, as well as serving as an officer for the ARC-PA. Lombardo has chaired the AAPA Leadership Task Force and served as a member of the Accreditation Review Committee on Education Programs for Physician Assistants, Governmental Affairs Advisory Group of the AAPA, and the Development Committee of PAEA, the AAPA Strategic Planning Workgroup, the PAEA Nominations and Awards Committee, and PAF Development Committee. In 2017, Lombardo is serving as Chair Elect of the NCCPA and a member of its nominating, compensation, and board development committees, as well as a member of the NCCPA’s public policy campaign advisory group.
Lombardo is a recipient of the PAEA Outstanding Professional Service Award (2011), the PAEA Master Faculty Award (2009), the Outstanding Physician Assistant Educator of the Year Award from NYSSPA (1997), a Distinguished Service Award from the AAPA and the inaugural Clara Vanderbilt Award, which is the highest honor extended by NYSSPA. He has represented PAs on numerous national and state task forces and committees dealing with health policy and has authored many articles related to the PA profession and health care. Lombardo was a contributing author to the first textbook specifically written for PAs and has been a frequent presenter at AAPA, PAEA, and NYSSPA conferences. He has generated over $5,000,000 in educational grants and contracts for which he was the Principal Investigator. Lombardo has a strong interest in fostering leadership, maintenance of competency issues, mental health training initiatives, and international learning opportunities for PAs. Lombardo notes, after his retirement from the Chair of the Stony Brook PA program and prior to beginning consulting for the PAEA in July 2014, he was “semi-retired” and providing consultative services to institutions developing PA programs, state and federal agencies involved in PA education and practice, and programs that are undergoing ARC-PA accreditation.
In his leisure time, Lombardo enjoys nature walks, theater and spending time at the beach. To date he has completed over 65 consultations. He is proud to be part of a profession that “continues to put patients first and innovate and lead in medical education and practice” – the key reasons his life-long career as a PA has been so fulfilling and rewarding.
Acknowledgments: This biography was written by Maryann Ramos, MPH, PA with the assistance of Alfred M. Sadler, Jr., MD, and was submitted to the Society in April 2017. The banner photograph is of Paul Lombardo as AAPA President, 1989 , and is courtesy of the PA History Society. The photograph to the right is courtesy of Paul Lombardo.