Faculty & Staff
- Brenda Diaz MS, PA-C, The Anne Louise Keeney Chair and Program Director - Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
In 1986 Professor Diaz was introduced to the Physician Assistant profession, and found her vocation. She attended the City University of New York/Harlem Hospital Physician Assistant Program and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science/Physician Assistant in 1989. In 2009 she completed a Master of Science in Advanced Physician Assistant Studies with a concentration in Education and Leadership from A.T. Still University. She is an active participant in state and national Physician Assistant organizations, most recently serving as the chair of the Continuing Medical Education Committee of the Physician Assistants for Latino Health; an official caucus of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
For nearly 30 years she has served migrant farm workers and their families as a Physician Assistant in Family Medicine and Pediatrics. She is an advocate for rural health policy and community health initiatives geared toward improving health outcomes in medically underserved populations. Professor Diaz has a great passion for teaching and has educated many Physician Assistants as a clinical preceptor and professor in Family Medicine. Through Socratic teaching she refines her student’s clinical skills, emphasizes the role of culture in the practice of medicine and impresses the importance of advocacy.
- Tom Earnhardt, Director of Clinical Education/ Associate Professor for Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
Dr. Tom Earnhardt, DMS, MHA, P.A.-C, is Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education at Pfeiffer University. Formerly he served for many years as Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning and Development for Cabarrus Family Medicine, a unique multi-clinic group that provides comprehensive family healthcare while maintaining a personal, small office atmosphere. He maintains his clinical practice and sees patients at the CFM-Mount Pleasant office and has a special interest in emergency medicine and outpatient surgical procedures. He has held faculty appointments both at Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill Departments of Family Medicine and has teaching responsibilities with the Cabarrus Family Medicine Residency Program.
A North Carolina native originally from Rocky Mount, Dr. Earnhardt grew up in the Mt. Pleasant area. He completed his undergraduate training at Pfeiffer University where he received a B.S. in biology, then completed his PA training at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia and Martin Army Hospital at Fort Benning Ga. He obtained his master’s degree in health administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He completed his doctorate degree from Lincoln Memorial University, DeBusk College of Medicine, in Harrogate, Tn.
Dr. Earnhardt served for many years as a board member and as past President for NCHICA (the North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance), a governor appointed board made up of multiple stakeholders focused on health care. He has a special interest in computerized patient medical records and has spent countless hours working toward electronic data interchange and commerce. His vision has sparked interest by many in the industry and has been invited as guest speaker for many local, state, and national organizations including HIMSS (healthcare Information Management and Systems Society) and the Medical Records Institute.
He believes in giving back to his community and has done so by volunteering his time with Northeast Fire Department where he served for many years as board president. Even today, he maintains his firefighter and EMT certifications after 45 years of service. He is a leader with the Boy Scouts of America and serves as video director at Concord First Assembly Church main campus. He is a flotilla staff officer in the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, Department of Homeland Security. His special interests include playing music in a variety dance band, snow skiing, and basically all outdoor sports.
- Cynthia Jamison, Medical Director for Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
Dr. Jamison is a Family Medicine Physician practicing with Lakeside Primary Care Brookdale affiliated with Novant Health. She joined Pfeiffer University in the role of Medical Director of the Physician Assistant program in 2017. She is originally from Gainesville, FL. She attended Emory University in Atlanta, GA for her undergraduate training and completed her Doctorate of Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She then relocated to Charlotte, NC for her residency training at Carolinas Medical Center where she has resided since that time. Dr. Jamison enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her family and friends.
- Katie Dore Principle, Faculty/ Associate Professor for Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
Mrs. Dore earned her Bachelor of Health Science and Master of Health Science degrees from Duke University School of Medicine, Physician Assistant Program. She also completed an Integrative Medicine Fellowship with the University of Arizona, Tucson. Mrs. Dore has practiced clinically in Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Women’s Health and Infectious Disease. She was the founder and medical director of her Integrative Primary Care practice located in Chapel Hill, NC and has also worked in research in the areas of cardiology, HIV and Women’s Health, part of which included management of clinical trials both in the US as well as in Europe. Professor Dore has held faculty appointments at Duke University School of Medicine, UNC-CH School of Medicine, and Northern AZ University She has participated in precepting PA, NP and medical students as well as been involved in the didactic and clinical aspects of PA education.
At Pfeiffer University, Mrs. Dore is an Assistant Professor and Principle Faculty for the PA Program. She serves as a chapter editor for a Men’s Health Primary Care book and is also involved in clinical research as a Senior Clinical Research Associate.
Mrs. Dore is the current Vice President for PA’s For Tomorrow and is a former AAPA Huddle moderator.
- Dale Patterson, Principle Faculty/ Associate Professor for Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
Jimmy “Dale” Patterson Jr. started his medical career as a licensed pharmacist, graduating from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Pharmacy in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He practiced as a licensed pharmacist in retail pharmacy and long term care consulting pharmacy and maintains his pharmacy licensure to this day. He furthered his education obtaining a Certificate in Physician Assistant Studies at Wake Forest University School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program and graduated with honors in August 2000. In May 2017, he obtained his Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Mr. Patterson was a recipient of the National Health Service Corps Scholarship to attend Physician Assistant School at Wake Forest University. Upon graduation, he fulfilled his service obligation for the scholarship by practicing medicine in southern, rural Virginia. He returned to North Carolina in 2003 and has continued to practice rural primary care medicine for the past 16 years. Mr. Patterson also has practiced, at times, in cardiology, emergency medicine, occupational medicine and as a volunteer to the John C. Murray Community Care Clinic in Albemarle, NC. His experience in Rural Family Medicine aligns with the focus of Pfeiffer’s Physician Assistant Program with a concentration on the needs of those in rural and underserved communities.
Mr. Patterson has a passion for spending time with his family- wife, Wendy, daughter, Lily, and son, Daniel. His other interests include spending time at the lake, participating in foreign mission work both medical and non-medical through Live Again Ministries and Mercy and Grace Ministries. He has been a mission team participant to mainland Honduras and Roatan Honduras on six different teams. Mr. Patterson also assists with fundraising for the American Cancer Society and the Pregnancy Resource Center of Stanly County through his church. Mr. Patterson regularly attends Biscoe Presbyterian Church and has held former leadership positions, including President of the Men’s Fellowship and Session member. He has other community interests and is currently Assistant Scout Master of his son’s Boy Scout troop and has also obtained the rank of black belt first degree through the American Freestyle Karate Association.
- Danae Guerra, Principle Faculty/Associate Professor for Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
Danae Guerra has been a Physician Assistant in clinical practice for over 15 years and has worked most of those years in Internal Medicine and Family Practice. She graduated from EVMS and obtained her Masters in PA studies. Before that, she was a teacher for 12 years. Ms. Guerra’s biggest joy is spending time with her grandson and she is a lover of all things artistic including theater arts, dance, painting and sculpture. Having moved here from Virginia, she is already looking forward to exploring all that North Carolina has to offer. She is passionate about making Pfeiffer University’s PA program succeed and contributing to it’s future excellence.
- Amy Dry, Executive Administrative Assistant for Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
A graduate of the Stanly Community College, Mrs. Dry has been with the Physician Assistant Program since February, 2018. She and her husband, Lee, live in Locust with their son. In her spare time she enjoys spending time her family on their farm, hiking at state and national parks, and reading a good book.
- Deidra Hardwood Admissions Support Coordinator for Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
A lifetime resident of Stanly County and a graduate of North Carolina State University, she has served in several roles in Stanly County including VP of Membership and Communication with the Stanly County Chamber of Commerce. Most recently, she was the Quality Control Manager with American Fiber and Finishing in Albemarle. A mother of two, she is married to Michael Harwood and resides in Stanfield, NC. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and watching Grey's Anatomy as well as attending multiple sporting events. She is extremely excited to be a part of the Pfeiffer University Physician's Assistant program and cannot wait to see the impact it has on her hometown.