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Viswanathan named UTSW Physician Assistant of the Year

Meera Viswanathan-PA of the Year portrait in lab coat
Meera Viswanathan, M.P.A.S.

Leading by example, Meera Viswanathan, M.P.A.S., a Physician Assistant (PA-C) and lead Advanced Practice Provider (APP) for the Division of Neurocritical Care, has earned a reputation for going above and beyond to ensure her patients and team are well taken care of. In the words of a colleague: “I am always amazed by her patience, skill, and know-how. I strive to do better based on her example.”

Ms. Viswanathan has been named the 2021 UT Southwestern Physician Assistant of the Year. Presented annually by the Office of Advanced Practice Providers during National Physician Assistant Week, the award recognizes an outstanding PA who exemplifies UTSW’s core values. This year, 43 nominations were received.

Describing Ms. Viswanathan as a “hard worker, go-getter, trendsetter, astute clinician, and excellent academician,” colleagues point to numerous examples of her strong leadership, including her collaboration with team members and other disciplines. She has partnered with outside organizations to arrange training opportunities to advance the roles of UTSW APPs. Ms. Viswanathan is also known for her selfless mentality, picking up extra shifts – especially at night – to give others more time with their families as well as volunteering to work in the COVID-19 ICU.

“I am very humbled by this honor. Any accomplishment I have achieved as a PA has been due to the support of our multidisciplinary team in the neurosciences ICU – Neurocritical Care, Neurosurgery, and Neurology attending physicians, fellows, residents, and APPs, in addition to our excellent neuroscience nurses, RTs, and PCTs,” Ms. Viswanathan said. “I feel very lucky to work with such an incredible group of motivated and supportive individuals, and I am very grateful to our Neurocritical Care faculty, especially our Division Chief Dr. Aiyagari, for their dedication to seeing our APP team grow and flourish within the ICU.” Venkatesh Aiyagari, M.D., is also Professor of Neurological Surgery and Neurology.

Ms. Viswanathan, who grew up in Houston, earned a Bachelor of Science in human development from UT Austin and then a Master of Physician Assistant Studies from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. In 2015, she left Boston for UT Southwestern to pursue her interest in neurocritical care and passion for caring for critically ill patients.

“What I love most about my work is the opportunity to support patients and their families during what is often the most difficult period in their lives,” she said. “I also love that the field of neurosciences is always evolving. In the almost 10 years I have worked in the field, I have never stopped learning and being challenged.”

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