Physician Assistant Program Alumni News

Preceptor and UNM PA Program Alum, Matt Probst

Matthew Probst, PA-C, Physician Assistant Class of 2003, was presented the inaugural Norm Taslitz, PhD Distinguished Alumni Award at the program’s 20th Anniversary Celebration.  The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes an alumnus whose professional achievements and constructive contributions have brought about personal distinction, enhanced the profession, improved the welfare of our communities and state and who has brought honor to his or her alma mater.

Upon graduating from our PA Program, Matt joined HCNNM, now El Centro Family Health, and practiced there for two years.  He left El Centro for Anasazi Medical Associates, soon returning to El Centro as a practicing PA and Director of Recruiting and Retention.  He has gone on to hold several administrative and leadership positions to include Chief Programs Officer and Associate Medical Director.  Matt is currently El Centro’s Medical Director and Chief Quality Officer. 

In addition to leading El Centro’s physicians, PAs, NPs, other allied health professionals and nurses, he has formed collaborations between their medical, dental, and behavioral health departments as well as external partners. 

Matt serves on the New Mexico Health Care Workforce Committee and sits on NMAPA’s Board of Directors, and is the founding director of El Centro’s Semillas De Salud “Grow Your Own Health Professional” program.

In Matt’s “free” time, he serves as a sports medicine clinician for NM Highlands University and northern NM’s youth and high school sports.  He coaches youth soccer and junior wrestling in Las Vegas.

Not only is Matt a leader in our profession, he is devoted to promoting our profession and is an advocate for the betterment of health in our communities.  In fact, a film crew has been following Matt for the past three years (and are here with us tonight) as part of a “Health Conditions” documentary on rural health care in America.  Once complete, this will be broadcast nationally on PBS.

Link to nomination form

The UNM Physician Assistant Program is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year! As the Alumni Leadership Team reflected on our past and contemplated our future, we agreed that it is time to begin celebrating outstanding UNM PAs who are leaders in our profession. As a result, the Alumni Community is introducing the UNM PA Distinguished Alumni award. Beginning in 2017 at our 20th anniversary celebration, we will honor a Distinguished Alumni annually during our fall alumni event.

We invite you to get involved and nominate a colleague whose professional achievements and cumulative contributions have brought personal distinction, enhanced the profession, improved the welfare of our communities and brought honor to our alma mater.

To nominate a colleague, click on the red “Nominate a PA” button before August 10. You will be asked to share some information about your nominee and the Alumni Selection Committee will request additional information from your nominee.

We look forward to starting this new tradition with you as we celebrate 20 years of impact and excellence on September 14, 2017 at the Albuquerque Country Club. We hope that you plan to join us.

Leslie Dunlap, PA-C (’15)
Co-Chair, Alumni Leadership Community

Sasha Sokolowski, PA-C (’14)
Co-Chair, Alumni Leadership Community

There is NO cost involved. As an alum, you are already a member. Please help us stay in touch by keeping your address and contact information up-to-date so we can send you program information, alumni updates, alumni reception dates and other news. You can do this online using our PA Alumni Update form.

If you would like to join us as a member of the leadership team or would like additional information, please contact Kathy Johnson, PA-C, or Yvonne Ellington, PA-C, today. Our top priorities are:

  • To promote, strengthen and support the Physician Assistant profession through community education and advocacy;
  • To facilitate interaction and networking between alumni members;
  • To enhance student education with engaged alumni preceptors from around the state;
  • To connect alumni and current students for mentorship and our annual White Coat Campaign; and,
  • To support our alumni in career and professional life.

We look forward to connecting with you!