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Visits to the Stead Center are by appointment only. Please call the NCAPA office for more information. Read More »

The Pulse

  • Black History Month PAs of Distinction | Chileatha Wynn and Lavette Shirley Elee
    by Caroline Purdy, NCAPA Membership Services Manager

    In honor of Black History Month, NCAPA is highlighting outstanding Black PA leaders in North Carolina to share their accomplishments.


    Chileatha Wynn, DMSc, PA-C, and Lavette Shirley Elee, DScPAs, PA-C

    Chileatha Wynn, DMSc, PA-C, and Lavette Shirley Elee, DScPAS, PA-C, have a lot in common. They both became PAs, both pursued a doctoral degree after PA school, and both teach at NC PA programs. But perhaps the greatest thing they both have in common is family, as Dr. Wynn and Dr. Elee are sisters who happened to come by the PA profession in slightly different ways.

    Dr. Wynn, a Clinical Assistant Professor at UNC’s PA Program, knew as a child that she wanted to work in medicine, noting a family member once told her she had “healing hands”. Dr. Wynn was motivated to pursue PA school after she experienced working closely with a PA, valuing the connections she made with patients and being a part of team-based care. Dr. Elee, an Assistant Professor of PA Studies at Wingate University, also wanted to pursue medicine from a young age and initially planned to become an MD. After seeing her sister begin her career, Dr. Elee realized that the best fit for her family and what she wanted to achieve was for her to also become a PA.

    Dr. Wynn and Dr. Elee had very different experiences while studying to become a PA in their respective PA programs. Dr. Wynn remembers a program where she learned from and alongside professors and students of color, and where diversity and inclusion was a major priority. Faculty and staff at her program carefully considered the needs of the diverse student population and ensured the program remained inclusive and considerate. Dr. Elee, by contrast, noted that people of color were underrepresented in her program and that diversity, equity, and inclusion was rarely discussed. Through these opposing experiences, Dr. Wynn and Dr. Elee were both inspired to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion within PA programs and the PA profession at large.

    When asked what leadership means to them, both Dr. Wynn and Dr. Elee express their desire to be “servant leaders” and provide support to their colleagues, students, and patients. Dr. Wynn emphasizes the honor and responsibility of teaching the PAs of the future. Dr. Elee also believes that good leaders teach by example and is glad she can demonstrate to students of color that there are leaders who come from similar backgrounds. This teaching by example leads to their students having the confidence to pursue goals that may otherwise feel unattainable.
    Dr. Wynn feels that the work she and her sister do for diversity, equity, and inclusion reflects the original goals of the PA profession, which sought to meet the needs of underserved patients. Current data shows patients have improved outcomes when they are able to see themselves in their provider. Dr. Wynn saw this goal reflected when a young African American patient recently told her he finally “felt safe and seen.”

    In 2021 Dr. Elee won the Didactic Instructor of the Year award for her courses on Women’s Health, Ambulatory Care, and Patient Assessment. Her professional affiliations and personal accomplishments include:

    • PAEA Faculty Development Mission Advancement Commission (FDMAC) Member
    • PA IPE Champion/University Committee in IPE 701
    • University Advising and Vocation Committee Member
    • Wingate University’s Graduate Awards Committee
    • Principal Investigator of Evaluation of PA Students Transitions Course
    • Faculty Champion: Project Access PAEA, 2021
    • Wingate University PA Program DE&I Chair
    • Capstone Mentor
    • Author of several children’s books including “I Saw my PA Today”, “My Primary Care PA”, and “Remarkably You, Remarkably Me”

    In 2019 Dr. Wynn won the Campbell University Preceptor of the Year Award for her work at Wake Med. Her professional affiliations and personal accomplishments include:

    • NCAPA DE&I Committee Professional Development Subcommittee Chair
    • Excellence in Healthcare 5 Star Provider, 2020
    • Campbell University PA Program Admissions Committee Member,2020
    • Campbell University DE&I Committee Member, 2020
    • PA Lead at WakeMed Hospital since 2016
    • Panelist for Girl Scouts of America
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