April Gardner

April Gardner, DMSc, PA-C

Physician Assistant Program Director and Department Chair

About April Gardner, DMSc, PA-C

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The department chair/program director is responsible for the oversight and operation of the PA program. The chair/director participates in the development of the didactic and clinical aspects of the program as well as being responsible for the faculty and staff. The position also encompasses participation in management level committees within the university.

Professor April Gardner joined AdventHealth University in October 2022 as an associate professor and chair and program director in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Bowling Green State University in 1986 and a Master of Science in Biomedical Science and Physician Assistant Studies from the Medical College of Ohio in 2001. She has been a full-time PA educator since 2006 and served as principal faculty in two PA programs prior to joining AdventHealth University. Professor Gardner taught pathophysiology and clinical medicine subspecialties in addition to serving in administrative PA program roles of academic coordinator, associate program director, and program director. She has extensive experience as a program director, leading a PA program from loss of accreditation to full continued-accreditation status.

Early in her career, Professor Gardner practiced clinically in the fields of family medicine, cardiothoracic surgery, and urology. Since 2012, she has practiced clinically in both emergency medicine and family medicine. In March 2020, she and her emergency medicine PA colleagues volunteered to practice in the COVID ICU as the COVID-19 pandemic evolved. After the development of COVID-19 vaccines, she additionally supervised COVID-19 vaccine clinics to ensure the community had immediate access to vaccines.

Professor Gardner has a long history of professional and community service and scholarship. She has presented at national and state conferences and has served for many years on the Board of the Ohio Association of Physician Assistants. She has published peer reviewed articles and book chapters, has written grants, and served as a test item writer for the PAEA PACKRAT. She has been a longstanding preceptor at an interprofessional student-led free healthcare clinic and participated as a preceptor on an interprofessional student-led medical mission trip to Panama. She served for many years on the medical team at a large church and as a director of community running events.