Grace Landel served as Chair of the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) from 2014-2015. In the years leading up to her role as Chair, she served as a Commissioner on the organization’s board for two terms. She recently returned to the ARC-PA Board as Commissioner-at-large (2022 to 2024). She has been a site visitor for the ARC-PA from 1998 to the present.
Landel had a distinguished career in PA education beginning with her time as a lecturer at the University of Washington MEDEX Northwest PA Program, Seattle, WA. Landel would stay with MEDEX until 2010 in various positions, including Clinical Coordinator, Academic Coordinator, Director of the Alaska Satellite campus, Assistant Program Director, associate Program Director, and Director of Diversity. In 2010, Landel joined the Touro University California Joint MSPAS/MPH Program as program director until stepping down in 2021. She continues to serve as a principal faculty member and the Chair of the University IPE Committee.
Grace Landel grew up in Altadena, CA where she and her brothers were bused starting in junior high school as part of school integration. They all graduated from John Muir High School in Pasadena, which had demographics very similar to Vallejo, CA, where Touro University California is located – 21-25% of each racial/ethnic group – African American, Caucasian, Asian and LatinX and the remainder made up from Native American/Alaska Native, multiracial or unknown groups.
Grace Landel graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. While in Santa Cruz, she worked with the Santa Cruz Women’s Health Collective which is where she met her first PA. Three years later, after working as a hospital phlebotomist, she was accepted into PA school. In 1984, Landel received her PA Certificate from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. During her time as faculty at the MEDEX PA Program, Landel received her Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington in 1999 and her Certificate in Medical Management in 2006.
Since Landel’s graduation from her PA program in 1984, she has worked clinically in primary care in various clinics in Nebraska and Washington. Her first practice was in Seward, NE a small town of less than 5,000 people, where there was a hospital. She was the first female provider there and was able to practice everything she’d learned in school. She was there until 1987. She then moved to Vancouver, WA where she worked in outpatient family medicine until her move to Seattle, WA in 1990. In 1991, she worked for a year in a HIV Intervention Project at the King County Public Health Department in Seattle, Washington. From 2000-2010, she was a medical provider and preceptor for an interdisciplinary team providing care to unhoused youth (4 years) through a Mobile Health Van and when that ended, at a transition house for six years. Both programs were sponsored by the University of Washington.
Landel has earned many awards and honors in her career, some of which include: the MEDEX Golden Apple Teaching Award from MEDEX Northwest, Sitka, Alaska (1995); Distinguished Alumnus Award for the School of Allied Health Sciences from the Baylor College of Medicine Alumni Association (2012); MEDEX Northwest Lifetime Achievement Award (2019); MEDEX Champion Award (2019), and the PAEA Lifetime Achievement Award (2021). Landel was also nominated by the AAPA, and the PA selected as a 2001 Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions, Primary Care Health Policy Fellow. This interdisciplinary program was created in 1991 to increase the capabilities of mid-career primary care academicians, researchers, administrators, and practitioners to the dynamics of primary care policy development, the legislative process, resource identification, and leadership development. Medical, pharmacy and nursing organizations as well as professional groups such as the National Rural Health Association and the American Public Health Association were solicited for a participant recommendation and federal organizations such as the CDC, VA, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Public Health Service also participated. A cohort of 35-45 people were then selected and worked together over 6-9 months to develop policy recommendations that were then presented to the Secretary of HHS. Landel was part of the group who developed policy on the inclusion of oral health into primary care.
Landel has received state and federal grants totally over $4 million dollars. The vast majority of the funding was for student scholarships and/or stipends.
Landel has been an active member of AAPA (1982-presesnt) and PAEA (1990-present). She has served on numerous workgroups, committees, and councils. She has been an alternate/delegate to the AAPA House of Delegates off and on since 1984, representing several organizations. She has been a member of the AAPA’s LBGT Caucus since 1983 and was Co-chair from 1987 to 1988. She has been a part of the AAPA’s Oral Health Special Interest Group since 2014. Her work with PAEA has focused on minority affairs, research, and recruitment strategies.
Landel was a member of the Nebraska Academy of PAs from 1985-1987 and served one term as the Legislative Committee Chair. She has been a member of the Washington Academy of PAs from 1987 to the present. She served in numerous capacities including president from 1996 to 1997. She has been a member of the California Academy of PAs since 2010. Since 2018, she has been active with the AAPA PA Foundation and has volunteered as a scholarship reviewer and a member of the Women in Philanthropy group.
Landel has been the author and co-author of many book chapters, peer reviewed journal articles, and presentations. She was a member of the JAAPA editorial board (2005-2008) and peer reviewer for the journals Clinician Review (2017) and JPAE (2004-present).
Landel currently lives in California with her wife and four legged kids but plans to retire to the Oregon coast where they will drink wine and watch the waves.
Acknowledgments: This Biographical Sketch was prepared by PA History Society Staff with the assistance of Ms. Landel. It was submitted to the Society in May 2022. Photographs are courtesy of Ms. Landel.