USD alum honored nationally for assisting in creation of Physician Assistant Studies Program

VERMILLION, S.D. -- A national organization has honored a USD alum and health care leader instrumental in creating the school’s Physician Assistant Studies Program.

Rebekah Cradduck, M.B.A., vice president of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, received the Partnership Award this month from the Physician Assistant Education Association at its annual education meeting in Portland, Ore.

In nominating her for the award, Wade Nilson, MPAC, PA-C, chair of USD’s PA program, said Cradduck is “tireless in serving the public.”

Cradduck has been involved with the program since it was created by the South Dakota Legislature more than 12 years ago. A member of the program’s admissions committee, Cradduck received an associate degree in dental hygiene before obtaining her M.B.A. from the business school at USD.

For the past decade, she has served as the vice president of professional and clinical services at the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations in Sioux Falls. Her dedication to the PA profession has been unwavering. For her first four years at the state organization, she also served as executive director of the South Dakota Academy for Physician Assistants. She gave up that role when she was appointed to serve in the South Dakota Senate.

Supporters of her nomination praised Cradduck for her dedication to the PA profession, which is of great benefit in a rural state like South Dakota.

“There are very few people in South Dakota who have had as great an impact on this state’s health care without actually being a health care provider,” wrote Steven Waller, associate dean of basic biomedical sciences at the Sanford School of Medicine at USD.

Physician Assistant Studies is one of nine programs of USD’s School of Health Sciences.