Physician of the month:
Jack Runyan is a Physician Assistant (PA) who has worked with Freestone Medical Center since June 2014. He started his career as a Navy Hospital Corpsman during the Vietnam Era. In 1977 he was one of the of the first 2000 PA’s to be Certified in the U.S., out of a profession that has now grown to over 100,000 practitioners since the late 1960’s.
Jack is a doctor, but he is not a physician. He holds a PhD Degree in Exercise Physiology. (He prefers to be addressed by his first name). As a PA, the advanced degree facilitated his serving as the official Primary Health Care Provider for two professional minor league baseball teams; the Rio Grande Valley White Wings of the Texas – Louisiana Independent League and the Midland Rock Hounds, the Oakland A’s Double A farm team.
After 25 years in PA Education, Dr. Runyan retired from teaching in 2014. He held the rank of Associate Professor and had been the inaugural Department Chair of two PA Programs, at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, in Edinburg and Texas Tech in Midland. Over 1200 new PA’s graduated from those Texas institutions during his tenure.
He was elected by fellow PA’s in Texas as one of six Directors-at-Large to the Texas Academy of Physician Assistants (TAPA) for 12 years. He was chosen as the President of that organization for one term, from 2000 – 2002. During his Presidential incumbency he co-authored many of the Laws, governing PA Practice that exist today in the regulatory Texas Physician Assistant Board. He was voted as the President of the Texas Physician Assistant Foundation, occupying that role for two terms. In 2012 his TAPA peers recognized him as the Humanitarian of the Year.