Stephen Gladhart, EdD (1947-2007) was a distinguished scholar and an educator at Wichita State’s College of Health Related Professions, serving as assistant dean of Health Science before his retirement in 2005. His academic interests included health services delivery, health politics, strategic management in health services organizations, concepts of quality, and environmental health. He became involved in the education of Physician Assistant (PA) students in the 1970s and served as president of the Association of Physician Assistant Programs (APAP, now PAEA) between 1982-1983. He held several key APAP positions serving as chair of the Research and Review Committee (1979–1980), Evaluation Instruments Committee (1978 – 1980) and Liaison Committee, National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (1979 –1996) and as the organization’s Secretary/Treasurer (1980–1982). In addition, he served on the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Evaluation Committee for Continuing Medical Education (1974–1979).
Gladhart received his BS degree (1969) from Wichita State University (WSU) and continued his studies there, receiving a MA degree (1972) in secondary curriculum and instruction, studying the relationship between a simulation game and political efficacy. He was an instructor in the Wichita public school system until joining the College of Health Related Professions faculty at WSU in 1974 as a curriculum consultant for the newly established physician assistant program. After receiving his Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) from the University of Kansas in 1977, Gladhart was asked to serve as the Acting Chairman and then Chairman and Director of the PA program and Graduate Studies. In 1994, Gladhart was named an assistant dean of the newly reorganized School of Health Science. At WSU, he chaired the Master of Health Science Committee and served on the Faculty Senate for the College of Health Related Professions, as well as serving as the Master of Health Science Graduate Coordinator.
As a researcher, he focused on program evaluation. Among his many projects was helping author “Wichita State University Physician Assistant Program,” a report that covered the program’s funding, accreditation, legislation, and other facets. He published and held workshops about the effective evaluation of allied health educational programs and was a staunch supporter and advocate for the use of PAs in Kansas. He was an adept grants writer, receiving both public and private funding for PA and allied health education and the development of healthcare outreach programs. As an educator, Gladhart worked on test development and analysis strategies, wrote documents and coordinated AMA accreditation and self-study methodology and worked with mental health, community health, family planning, child abuse, alcohol treatment and counseling agencies. He was a consultant for the AAPA for the evaluation of competency-based education.
Dr. Gladhart died at age 60 in 2007.
Acknowledgments: This biography was prepared by Reginald Carter and submitted to the Society on January 15, 2022. The photographs are courtesy of the Physician Assistant History Society Photo Collection. Information for this biography was extracted from online biographical information and from Dr. Gladhart’s 1996 CV and other related information provided by the Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives.