Renee Langstaff

Inaugural director of Physician Associate Program brings a wealth of practical experience to the role

Renee Langstaff is relatively new to the ranks of Alvernia University, starting in April of 2022. But the inaugural director of the Physician Associate Program brings with her a wealth of practical experience in physician associate practice and the field of education.

Langstaff spent nearly 10 years at Arcadia University in an array of roles, including Physician Assistant Program Director and chair of the Department of Medical Science. At Alvernia, she’s shaping the Physician Associate Program from the ground up: building curriculum, pulling together a talented team of faculty, developing clinical opportunities and eventually applying for the program’s accreditation. Should all go to plan, she hopes to welcome the first class of students in August of 2024.

Langstaff founded SIDZ, KIDZ, LLC, for which she penned “The Heart of a Bear,” a children’s book she was inspired to write as a cardiology physician assistant when her goddaughter was born with congenital heart defects. Langstaff has also served as a Carole Gottlieb Screening Coordinator and as a member of the medical advisory committee at Simon’s Heart. The 501(c)(3) organization is dedicated to raising awareness about the conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death in young athletes and children.

What drew Langstaff to Alvernia is the university’s dedication to experiential learning opportunities for its students, as well as its Franciscan-based mission.

“Alvernia does a good job of abiding by their lived values and that’s important to me," she said.

Langstaff says students in the Physician Associate Program will perform clinical work in a pro-bono clinic to be housed in the American House at Fourth and Penn streets in Reading. She stresses that it’s important for students to learn how to interact with a patient and to receive feedback and joy early on in their experience to remind them of their “why.”

“I look forward to us training ethical leaders with strong morals and compassion who will take care of patients as a whole person," she said.