MPAS Grad Paige Harasha Receives Early Career Alumni Award

by | Dec 9, 2022 | home highlight, News

Contributing Author(s):
Paige Harasha, PA-C, MPAS
Paige Harasha, PA-C, MPAS

The Early Career Alumni Award is presented to a graduate who has been practicing in their profession for no more than five years, yet has demonstrated a drive, passion, and commitment to their profession in advancing healthcare and providing service to the University and community at large.

This year’s Early Career Alumni award recipient is Paige Harasha, PA-C, MPAS. Harasha is a graduate of Rocky Mountain University’s (RMU) Masters of Physician Assistant studies (MPAS) program. A native of Wisconsin, she received her bachelor’s degree in physiological sciences from Marquette University in Milwaukee in 2013.

After completing her undergraduate studies, Harasha took a job as a Patient Care Tech at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“I’ve always wanted to be in medicine,” Harasha said. “During my time at Primary Children’s Hospital, I was introduced to a wonderful team of physician assistants and nurse practitioners who showed me you can have a hands-on, rewarding, challenging, autonomous healthcare career without going to medical school. I have never looked back.”

Harasha graduated from RMU with her Masters in Physician Assistant Studies in 2018. Despite being a new student in what was a new program at the time, Harasha champions the difference RMU made in her career. “I had a great education and experience. RMU really prepared me for entry into the field. Every interaction at RMU felt like home, which was dramatically different from the atmosphere I experienced at other institutions. Students were always at the forefront,” Harasha said.

For the past four years, Harasha has worked as a physician assistant in the hematology and bone marrow transplant (BMT) unit at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital in Salt Lake City. “I love the field I work in,” Harasha said. “You get to know the people you are caring for and their families. It’s humbling and rewarding to help them through these difficult times.”

One of Harasha’s most recent accomplishments was working to bring a new therapy technology to the cancer hospital’s BMT unit that will help prevent and treat common transplant complications for patients. 

“We’ve already started treating some of our patients, and I am working to hopefully make this therapy more widely available,” Harasha said. “There are not many treatments for mucositis except narcotics, so it is exciting to offer something so benign to help.” 

Jennifer Makuakane, DSc, MPAS, PA-C, MT (AAB), a graduate of both RMU’s Doctor of Medical Science (DSc) and MPAS programs, said, “Paige has been an outstanding example of advancing healthcare. She took on this enormous task without extra time or pay, simply because she felt our patients could benefit. This equipment would not have become available for our patients without Paige’s dedication and drive.”

Harasha has received various awards including the “Key of Huntsman” and 2022 University of Utah clinical excellence awards.

For more information on RMU’s MPAS program, visit the program website.