Lieutenant Colonel Sharon Denson, DMSc graduate, class of 2020 has been selected to attend the Army Medical Department Long Term Health Education Training residency program in the summer of 2021.
Dr. Denson was also recently selected to receive the Army Surgeon General’s 9A Proficiency Designator, the highest recognition for professional excellence in the Army Medical Department. Candidates nominated for the honor must be eminently qualified to chair a department, division or service, or have attained full professional status and national prominence in their field.
As Allied Health Policy Officer, Dr. Denson is responsible for the policies that govern military hospitals, clinics, and the medical personnel who support those operations. She is passionate and dedicated to the PA profession, but her initial career goal was to become a pharmacist. “I really wanted to be a pharmacist. I was studying biology in college, and got to know several PAs once I entered the military. After getting to know them, I felt this would be the right career path for me.”
Of her experience with the Lynchburg DMSc, she specifically mentions Program Manager Beth Hart as being a positive force: “Beth Hart has been so amazing and helpful. She has provided excellent guidance to me throughout the duration of the program.”
Dr. Denson says enrolling in the DMSc is the best career decision she has ever made. “The DMSc coursework reinforced my leadership, providing insight into creating and maintaining a cohesive team. This has been a challenge during COVID19, but we are being successful.”
She reflects on the timeliness of her Global Health and Disaster Medicine courses. “I could not believe how applicable the coursework was during the pandemic. Not only that — It has made me think carefully about the importance of having a comprehensive grasp of Disaster Medicine. I need this in my toolkit for any situation that may arise. I have an enhanced awareness now of the need to expand my knowledge and be prepared for any disaster that may occur — not just overseas, but here at home, or anywhere.”
Dr. Denson’s passion for advancing the PA profession is obvious. In addition to the full DMSc degree, she has also completed the Healthcare Administration Certificate. “I feel it is of the utmost importance to have a seat at the table whenever decisions are being made that affect PAs. What we bring to the table is immense. In the Army, we are making sure our soldiers are healthy and ready to deploy, and we’re also filling leadership roles.” She feels that maximizing continuing education opportunities is crucial. “I tell every PA that I come into contact with that they should enroll in Lynchburg’s DMSc.”