Assistant Clinical Professor
Physician Assistant Department
Juanita A. Gardner, MPH, BS, PA-C is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Physician Assistant Program in the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Ms. Gardner joined the department faculty in May 2012. Her faculty roles include facilitating small groups, classroom teaching, conducting site visits, and establishing clinical sites in urban and rural underserved areas. Ms. Gardner’s role also includes promoting diversity throughout the department and within the Physician Assistant profession. She currently serves as a member of the Internal Advisory Board for Interdisciplinary Clinical Practice in the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University.
Ms. Gardner earned her Master’s Degree in Public Health from Drexel University in 2005 and graduated from Hahnemann University’s Physician Assistant Program in 1988. She received a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from West Chester University in 1981.
Her interest is in community and global health in underserved areas. Ms. Gardner has worked as a primary care clinician, site supervisor, and program manager in Community Health Centers. She managed school based health centers and taught respiratory anatomy and physiology to inner city high school students who struggled with asthma. She developed a teen mentoring and health education program for inner city youths and volunteered on a Navajo reservation providing care to Native Americans in rural Arizona. Ms. Gardner chaired the Emergency Preparededness Committee for student health services at the University of Pennsylvania where she worked as a primary care provider. In 2006 she was hired by the National Health Service of Scotland (NHS) to develop diabetes and COPD clinics in Edinburgh. She lived and worked in Edinburgh Scotland for five years pioneering the role of physician assistants. She was chosen by the NHS Lothian Health Board to be the physician assistant spokesperson in Edinburgh. During this time she also taught heart and lung examinations to district nurses at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. Ms. Gardner was asked by the Edinburgh Cancer Center to join the clinical staff where supervised junior doctors and provided continuity of care to patients on the head, neck, and lung cancer teams. She travelled to South Africa visiting “informal settlements” and raising money for various groups including abused women and AIDS orphans.
During the course of her career Ms. Gardner has received several awards for her commitment to underserved and disadvantaged communities. These awards include the Southbridge Medical Advisory Council Commitment Award, the SHERO award for Community Service and Mentoring Youth, and the Southbridge Medical Advisory Council Award for Healthcare to the Underserved. She received the Sherry Stolberg Alumni of the Year Award in 2012 from Drexel University.