WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Last week the healthcare community nationwide recognized the work of the more than 100,000 PA's through National Physician Assistants’ week. White Plains Hospital celebrated the week by honoring the work of PA's Donna Silverstein and Denise Chen.
A basketball and soccer player in high school, Silverstein planned to be an athletic trainer when she entered Manhattanville College to study education as an undergraduate. “I didn’t know I wanted to be a physician assistant,’’ said Silverstein, who grew up in Rye and lives in Old Greenwich. “But the more I learned about it, the more it seemed like the perfect thing for me.’’ Silverstein, who works with orthopedics patients at White Plains Hospital, spends her days checking in on patients, changing their dressings and helping manage their pain. She also prepares them for surgery and discharge. It’s a full day spent working with physicians, nurses, physical therapists and social workers.
“I love orthopedics,” she said. “Being able to do something immediate to improve the patients’ quality of life is very satisfying.’’ She added that the role of a physician assistant is very important because it allows patients to get continuous, personalized care. “Physician assistants get to do a lot at a PA-friendly hospital like White Plains Hospital,’’ she said. “The doctors place their trust in us and the patients can sense that.’’
Working in Emergency Medicine was Chen's first love and why she decided to become a physician assistant, she said. “I love the action, and I wanted to help people so it made sense,’’ she said. Denise spends her days evaluating and treating patients in White Plains Hospital’s Emergency Department under a physician’s supervision. Days are long, and there is never a dull moment, she said. Originally from Jamaica, Denise graduated from Pace University and completed the physician assistant program there. She has been a physician assistant for 12 years, the last nine at White Plains Hospital.