James F. Cawley, MPH, PA-C
James F. Cawley, PA-C, MPH, DHL (Hon.), DFAAPA, serves as president of the PA Foundation Board of Trustees. Prior to serving as president, he served as vice president of the Foundation. He is a past president of the Foundation as well as the Physician Assistant Education Association. In 2013, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
He was a primary care health policy fellow in the Health Resources and Services Administration and a fellow at the Robert Graham Center. He has served as the chair of the U.S. Bureau of Health Professions’ Advisory Group on Physician Assistants and the Work Force, and was principal author of its seminal report to the Council on Graduate Medical Education. He also served as a member of the U.S. Public Health Service National Coordinating Committee on Clinical Prevention Service, and did a stint with the storied Epidemic Intelligence Service of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he was a fellow of the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine. Recently, he was named a senior research fellow at the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA).
A renowned healthcare workforce researcher, Cawley’s groundbreaking research on PAs has advanced the profession and helped increase access to primary care through the use of PAs. His research interests focus on the PA profession, primary care and health workforce policy. The studies and books he co-authored two decades ago continue to be the baseline measurement for the profession’s impact on healthcare. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles published in such journals as Journal of Health Services and Research Policy, Health Affairs, Annals of Internal Medicine, the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Academic Medicine, British Medical Journal as well as the Loyola University Chicago’s Annals of Health Law. As an editor and columnist, he has authored more than 250 columns over the past 25 years and his commentaries have been timely, informative and challenging.
Currently a professor at The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences and GW’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, Cawley has been at the forefront of educating future PAs, having established a unique joint PA and Master of Public Health program at GW, which was the first of its kind at the time. He serves as director of the joint program.
A 1974 graduate of the Touro College PA program, he practiced as a PA in primary care at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, earned his MPH in infectious disease epidemiology from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and has held faculty appointments in the PA programs at Johns Hopkins, SUNY@ Stony Brook, and Yale University School of Medicine.
In 2011, he was the first PA recipient of AAPA’s Eugene A. Stead Jr. Award of Achievement.