2009 PA of the Year

Ben_PardiniBenet Pardini - Iowa PA of the Year 2009

Tony Brenneman awarded Margaret Pardini with Ben Pardini’s PA of the Year Award.
“It is with both a sense of great pride and great sadness that I am able to present this year’s Physician Assistant Award. Benet Pardini, or as most of us knew him, Ben, was a wonderful human being as well as a great PA. His life was full and overflowing with family, teaching, and dedication to his patients and his life ended too soon on October 6, 2008, just a few days after this conference was held last year.

Ben grew up in the Chicagoland area where he attended Loyola University as a doctoral candidate. In 1983, he came to the University of Iowa as a Postdoctoral fellow studying Neural Control of Circulation and Central Autonomic Regulation of the Cardiovascular System. Ben was an outstanding researcher, winning research awards from the National Institute of Health, Loyola University, University of Iowa and the Shock Society. He could have spent an extremely productive career working with colleagues in the cardiovascular research center, but he grew increasingly interested in providing care to children with heart problems. So, 15 years after receiving his doctorate in physiology, he entered training as a PA and completed the Masters of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Iowa PA Program in 1998.

As a clinician, Ben quickly gained a stellar reputation for his competence and his bedside manner. He linked his research experience with his clinical skills through his participation in Clinical Trials from 1999-present. He was often found checking on his patients over the weekends, holidays, and nights when he wasn’t scheduled to cover those units. His office reflected those connections with drawings from his small patients on the walls or tucked on his desk. Always present in his office were pictures of his daughters, Emma and Ruth and his wife Margaret, for which he had great pride and love. He was always ready with a story of what was happening in their lives and he reveled in each of their accomplishments.
All of these accomplishments would be enough for many people, but for Ben, “enough” was only the beginning. Early on, he discovered the joys of teaching and committed himself fully to working with students across the college. His teaching assignments ranged from basic science classes to clinical teaching, and he taught many health science students in other colleges. He was consistently nominated for Teacher of the Year award within the Carver College of Medicine and in 2006 he was named faculty director of the Rubin Flocks LearningCommunity in the College. He also held joint faculty appointments as a clinical associate professor of Pediatrics and in Physiology and Biophysics.
Outside of the University, he served as a member of the Solon Community School Board, and demonstrated a passion and desire for education at every age and level. He was elected to the Iowa Physician Assistant Board of Directors in 2007 and was serving as Immediate Past President at the time of his passing. He was instrumental in moving IPAS forward in building our relationship with the Iowa Medical Society and for spearheading the new website. He was excited and determined as a PA and always made sure everyone was aware of his profession.

Ben had a gregarious, outgoing, and infectious personality. You always wanted to be the best that you could be when you were around him. He loved the outdoors and was always planning the next trip that Margaret, Emma and Ruth would be taking with him. He was interested in photography, sailing, beekeeping and many other activities, but his first priority was always to the women in his life and to his patients. I personally miss him very much and valued our discussions on an always widening number of topics. He was truly an inspiring person which one never forgets, even after a very brief meeting.
I am very proud to award Ben Pardini the Physician Assistant of the Year.”

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