Sherri Stuart, PA-C, PMP, DFAAPA, was born in Canada before moving to southern California in 1965. She is the oldest of four children, all of whom now live nearby in Loveland, Colorado. She has always been interested in the health care field, initially as a nurse’s aide and then as a paramedic in Riverside, California, although her goal was to eventually become a PA. She was accepted into the Baylor University PA Program in Waco, TX, where she graduated in 1982. After graduating from PA school, she moved back to California where she met and married the love of her life, Edward Gonzales, in 1987. They moved back to Texas where Stuart practiced in family medicine. She then entered academia when she joined the faculty of the University of Texas Southwestern PA Program in Dallas, TX, as the clinical supervisor.
Stuart and Gonzales were not committed to making Texas their home long term, mostly due to the hot and humid weather. They took their time researching states in which to practice and the ideal job that would lure them to that state. They chose Colorado as much for their love of the outdoors and the weather as the excellent practice climate. There, Stuart practiced in family medicine for many years until she became a mother. The shift work of an ER setting was better suited to parenthood, and she would work there for the next 14 years. She took the requisite courses and became certified as a Project Management Professional. For several years she worked in practice administration and Quality Improvement. She is now caring for patients in multiple skilled nursing and long-term care facilities.
Stuart became excited about being involved in the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) while she was still in PA school. She was the Treasurer and Representative-at-Large of the Student Academy of the AAPA (SAAAPA). As a graduated PA, she served in the AAPA House of Delegates and in 1987 was chosen to serve on the Task Force for Organizational Efficiency. Her political interests grew and in 1988 she was elected Speaker of the House of Delegates, a role she held for two terms. During her time as Speaker, she is most proud of the work done to ensure the House of Delegates maintained the ability to set policy for the PA profession. Stuart was elected AAPA president-elect the following year and served as the president from 1991 to 1992. Five years after completing her board service, she was chosen to chair the AAPA’s Professional Practice Council which she did for five years. This Council studied many important issues vital to the profession. Stuart notes her most memorable issues were health care reform, maintaining PA licensure requirements for foreign medical graduates, and emergency contraception.
Stuart’s love for PA politics has remained strong. Although she is no longer a credentialed delegate, she is often seen at the microphone during House of Delegates meetings giving testimony about issues important to her.
As much as Stuart loves the PA profession and her patients, they do not compare to the love she has for her husband and daughter. Kristin was adopted as an infant from China. Kristin recently married an Air Force Academy graduate, and they have two children. Stuart and Gonzales love to spend their free time outdoors, traveling in their fifth wheel RV around the western United States to state and national parks. Their cooking adventures on these trips are legendary. Stuart’s contributions to the PA profession are significant and will serve the profession well into the future.
Acknowledgments: This biography was written by Debi Gerbert with the assistance of Sherri Stuart. It was submitted to the Society in April 2023. Photographs are courtesy of the PA History Society Photograph Collection.