Physician Assistant Program Master of Health Science

Physician Assistant Program Master of Health Science


According to Merriam-Webster the definitions for Professor include:

  • A faculty member at an institution of higher education
  • One that teaches or professes special knowledge of an art, sport, or occupation requiring skill
  • One that professes, avows, or declares

The Physician Assistant Program Faculty are dedicated to teaching the art and science of medicine utilizing student-centered, engaging and innovative teaching techniques.  Be prepared to be a mental athlete!  Your professors will coach you, challenge you, push you and empower you.  In return you will be able to practice medicine well above the standard of care and ultimately empower your patients who will empower their surrounding communities. Keep checking back frequently as our team continues to grow!

The professors at Charles R. Drew University come from extraordinarily diverse and experienced backgrounds. They understand and embrace an environment: where great research informs great teaching, where working directly within our community is valued, and where student-centered teaching techniques are lauded! Please take a look below to meet some of your future PA Program Professors. Keep checking back frequently as our team continues to grow!

Meet The Team

Professor Purmort Professor Purmort is an Assistant Professor in the College of Science & Health and Principal Faculty for the PA Program, she received her MHS as a Pathologists’ Assistant at Quinnipiac University in 2008.  Clinically, she works as the lead Path Assistant at Torrance Memorial Medical Center’s pathology department.  Here, she dissects tissue and organs from surgery to assess abnormalities, disease, and disease extent.  Her anatomical pathology expertise includes breast cancer, colon cancer, and pancreatic cancer staging via complicated surgical excisions.

Professor Purmort will be teaching Pathophysiology, Anatomy, Cadaveric Dissection and assisting with clinical affiliations for the PA Program.

Professor Purmort is also an elite fitness enthusiast, and can be found training hard in Long Beach during her free time.  She recently married on May 5, 2016 and will eventually be known as Professor Alcantara.

We are thrilled to welcome Prof. Purmort to our team!


Dr. David Martins Dr. David Martins is a graduate of the University College Hospital in Ibadan, Nigeria. He completed his Residency training in Internal Medicine at Charles Drew University and obtained a Master of Science degree in Clinical Research from the Department of Biomathematics in UCLA.

Dr Martins is a Clinical Hypertension Specialist and a graduate of the Healthcare leadership fellowship of the Center for Health Professions in UCSF. He was the Medical Director of T.H.E. (To Help Everyone) Clinic for about 10 years and continues to see patients with hypertension at the clinic.

He is a Clinical Researcher and has participated as a Principal Investigator and a Co-Investigator in several National landmark studies on Hypertension and Kidney disease. He has published a significant number of articles on hypertension in many peer reviewed Medical Journals and has contributed several book chapters on hypertension to many professional textbooks in Medicine.

Dr. David Martins is an outstanding teacher and a past recipient of the Best Teaching Resident and the Best Clinician Awards of the Charles Drew University.

DR. DAVID MARTINS was FEATURED IN THE L.A. SENTINEL: “WE ARE ALL HEALERS” click here to read the full article

Dr. Martins serves as Principal Faculty in the PA Program and will be teaching multiple courses for the PA Program, including Cardiology, Neurology, Endocrinology and Pulmonology.


Professor Barrón Professor Barrón is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the College of Science & Health for the PA Program. Professor Barrón works clinically in General and Vascular Surgery at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center and also serves as the Lead Physician Assistant for the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System. PA Barron feels strongly that educating and empowering her patients is paramount to achieving optimal healthcare. She is the recipient of the 2011 William H. Oldendorf Achievement Award for her dedication to patient centered care and role as a mentor.   In her clinical work she utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to treating patients with complex cancers and continues to be a patient advocate for our veterans. Prof Barrón is thrilled to be joining the faculty at Charles R. Drew University and looks forward to training the next generation of PAs.

Although a native to Southern Californian she holds emotional ties to the East Coast and abroad.  She received her baccalaureate degree  from Brown University completing a double concentration in Human Biology and Italian Studies. In collaboration with Brown University she dedicated a year of study at the Universitá di Bologna, Italia one of the oldest universities in the world. Following her undergraduate training, she served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in The Gambia, West Africa for 2 years.  Working as a health care technician to the Ngayen Sanjal catchment area she had the opportunity to work alongside Gambian nationals as well as Cuban doctors to help deliver healthcare and health promotion to the local community. Engaging with the local medical crew, traditional birth attendants, and village “doctors” gave her a new understanding of how culture and community are deeply integrated in to the acceptance of medical care. 

Following her time in rural Gambia where the work and life is ndanka ndanka (slowly, slowly) she immediately transitioned to life in quick tempo New York City where she completed her training at the Cornell Physician Assistant Program.  She holds a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences. 

Prof Barron loves spending time with her family, playing soccer, and traveling abroad. Whenever possible she tries to escape to nearby favorite Mammoth Mountain to snowboard or go fishing, depending on the season. She also enjoys morning strolls to her local Dunkin Donuts where she can have coffee and converse with her fellow Red Sox and Patriots’ fans.

Contact Information: 
Natalie Barron MSHS, PA-C
Program Faculty & Assistant Professor 
P:(323) 563-3625


Dr. Beavers Dr. Beavers is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the College of Science & Health for the PA Program. He will be involved with teaching Behavioral Medicine with an emphasis in Urban Trauma and precepting students during a Behavioral Medicine rotation at His Sheltering Arms Inc., a women’s trauma/substance abuse disorder inpatient program, where he serves as the clinical director. Dr. Beavers also serves as President/CEO of the Futures Integrated Health Care System., a women’s trauma/substance abuse disorder inpatient program, where he serves as the clinical director. Dr. Beavers also serves as President/CEO of the Futures Integrated Health Care System.

Dr. Beavers will be assisting with the development of a PTSD-Urban Trauma clinical rotation elective and will be the primary presenter at an annual PA Program PTSD-Urban Trauma Symposium.

Dr. Ronald Beavers is the President and CEO of the Positive Imagery Foundation, a community-based program. He was born in Los Angeles and joined the LA Veterans Resource Center in 1997. The LA Veterans Resource Center has been serving the combat veteran and their families from Vietnam and other armed conflicts for over 10 Years. After the Persian gulf Operation Desert Storm and Shield, now Operation Iraq Freedom, there was a critical need for direct community-based services to veterans and their families that overwhelmed the VA service health care system. The Veteran Service Outreach Program-VSOP was created to fulfill part of this need. Dr. Beavers served on the CAPP project, addressing disparities in mental/health care, foster care, and adoption care among African American and Latino communities within the DFCS. Dr. Beavers serves as a community professional with the Culturally Competent Academy at San Diego State University, helping implement the Affordable Health Care act in San Diego County.

Dr. Beavers graduated from La Salle University with an M.S. in Counseling Psychology, Suma cum Laude, and soon after obtained a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Magna Sum Laude from La Salle.

Select Publications include:

  • Psych-discourse the Association of Black Psychologists: “A Warrior Gone Home”

  • Health and Wellness Magazine – Feature article: “Jegna” A Healing Warrior

  • Text: Evidenced based Cognitive Behavior Therapy Model: “Recovering A-NEW” A Culturally Competent Cognitive Behavior Treatment Model. (2010 Copyright) Dr. Ronald Beavers All Rights Reserved


Dr. Jorge N. Artaz Dr. Jorge N. Artaza is an Associate Professor in the College of Science & Health and faculty for the PA Program. Dr. Artaza also holds appointments in the Department of Internal Medicine and Health & Life Sciences at CDU and Department of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Artaza will be involved in teaching many courses within the PA Program including Microbiology & Infectious Disease, Diagnostic Skills & Procedures, Hematology/Oncology and Medical Spanish.

Dr. Artaza received his M.S. degree in Biochemistry and his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology, both from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina. He was a Fellow at the Methodist Center for Reproduction and Transplantation Immunology, Methodist Hospital of Indiana, where he was trained in Histocompatibility & Immunology of pregnancy. He was a visiting scientist at UCLA in a training program in Histocompatibility, Molecular biology, DNA oligotyping, and PCR technology at the UCLA/Tissue Typing Laboratory.

Dr. Artaza worked independently as a Hematologist / Immunologist at various prestigious institutions in Buenos Aires, Argentina, such as the Israeli Hospital "Ezra", the Italian Hospital, and the Otamendi & Miroli hospital.

Dr. Artaza was a postdoctoral fellow at the Division of Endocrinology at CDU. He is the recipient of numerous awards such as the Glenn Foundation Endocrinology & Aging Grant Award (Endocrine Society), the Glaxo Smith-Kline Endocrinology Scholar Award (AFMR), Endocrinology Scholar Award (AFMR) and the Travel Grant Award (Endocrine Society, RCMI and NIH Summit). His research interests are focused on understanding the process of fibrosis, a leading cause of organ failure and inflammation. He has identified previously known factors such as Myostatin, Follistatin and Vitamin D as responsible for promoting or inhibiting fibrosis.

Dr. Artaza received the 2014 UK Society for Endocrinology’s Journal Award. For the best paper published in Journal of Molecular Endocrinology during 2014. The Society for Endocrinology promotes the advance of endocrinology and recognizes and rewards progress in the field through its Awards.

Contact Information:
Jorge Artaza, PhD, MS
Program Faculty & Associate Professor
P:(323) 563-4915


Dr. Mohsen Bazargan Dr. Mohsen Bazargan is a Professor at Charles R. Drew University and UCLA School of Medicine. Additionally, Dr. Bazargan is the President of Academic Senate, and the Director of Research at the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Program at CDU. Dr. Bazargan will be teaching Research Methods for the PA Program, a course that includes a mixture of biostatistics, epidemiology and research methods.

Dr. Bazargan is a Medical Sociologist with extensive training in the fields of aging, research methodology, evaluation, and statistics. He is currently Assistant Editor for the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.

He received his Ph.D in Medical Sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has been a member of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science faculty since 1993, and was previously on the faculty of Xavier University. Dr. Bazargan’s research related activities are concentrated around the health status and health disparities experienced by racial/ethnic minorities and socio-economically disadvantaged populations. He has conducted several large population and community based surveys on access and utilization of health services by underserved minority older adults.

Dr. Bazargan has authored more than 92 scientific papers many of which address access to care, barriers to medical care, use of health services, racial disparities, and health outcomes among elderly African American populations. During the last ten years, he has been funded by several federal agencies including the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), the Administration for Children and Family (AHF), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to conduct research and interventional studies among minority populations.


Dr. Bruce Rush Dr. Bruce Rush is a licensed psychologist with a background of service in community mental health and serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor for the PA Program.  Dr. Rush will be involved with teaching Behavioral Medicine in the PA Program and precepting students during a Behavioral Medicine rotation at His Sheltering Arms.  Dr. Rush brings a commitment to working with underserved populations and a long-standing dedication to training clinicians.  Dr. Rush works hard to contribute to the healing professions. 

Dr. Rush’s philosophy for treatment starts with respect for a person, and respect for a person’s life experience.  He has experience in many areas of behavioral medicine; however, he has a particular focus on trauma.  Dr. Rush embraces strength-based treatments and life-skills development that incorporate relaxation and mindfulness into practice.  

In addition to Dr. Rush’s association with Charles R. Drew University, he currently provides service in a variety of ways.  He is the Clinical Supervisor at His Sheltering Arms Integrated Behavioral Health, an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP), the California Program Director and a martial arts therapist for Kids Kicking Cancer, and a credentialed provider for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LAC-DMH).

Dr. Rush has worked with many children, adolescents and families involved with the foster care system in Los Angeles County and interfaced with the Department of Children and Family Services, and the juvenile dependency court system.

Dr. Rush supervises and trains advanced graduate students and post-doctoral students. He currently teaches Clinical Interventions with Children and Adolescents to graduate level students at Pepperdine GSEP.  Dr. Rush also provides services and classes to children (and their families) facing life-threatening medical issues in the Kids Kicking Cancer program.

 “The support and collaboration of other like-minded professionals sustains me in the fulfillment of these responsibilities.  I believe each of us can contribute by working our hardest to provide service to others.  When we work together, with a sense of common purpose, we can succeed in helping others.  When we work together, we can make a difference.”  ~ Bruce A. Rush


Dr. Kiarash Vahidi Kiarash Vahidi (Kia) is a board certified radiologist, with subspecialty training in Breast Imaging and Abdominal Imaging and serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor for the PA Program. He completed medical school and his radiology residency training at the University of California San Francisco. He subsequently finished Breast Imaging and Body Imaging fellowships at USC/LA County hospitals. After completion of his subspecialty training he worked in the private practice setting for two years at which time he decided to re-join the academic radiology setting. Kia now works full time at the West LA VA where he practices Abdominal Imaging and is the head of Breast Imaging. He also holds a faculty appointment at UCLA and enjoys working with the UCLA residents daily at the VA and given his relationship with the residents has recently been appointed as the VA residency site director.  Kia has always had an interest in teaching and has experience in medical education, especially in radiology. On his spare time Kia loves spending time with his 5 nephews and 1 niece! He is also a humble artist, amateur furniture refurbisher and proudly boasts of a ‘green thumb’.  We are thrilled to have Dr. Vahidi join the PA Team to teach students various imaging modalities both in the classroom and in the clinical setting!


Dr. Suzanne Porszasz-Reisz Dr. Suzanne Porszasz-Reisz is an Associate Professor at Charles R. Drew University and Adjunct Assistant Professor at David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA. Dr. Reisz teaches Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Human Genetics, and her newly developed course, Clinical Biotechnology. She has an NIH awarded, major research grant and is a co-investigator in clinical research grants. Dr. Reisz will be teaching genetics for the PA Program.

Dr. Reisz earned two MS degrees (Biology and Clinical Research) and two PhDs (Genetics and Molecular Biology). Over the course of her career, she has taught in Budapest, Helsinki, and Los Angeles, California. She has mentored over twenty graduate level students and many undergraduate students. Dr. Reisz was the two-time recipient of the “Instructor of the Year” award from Pecs University Medical School in Hungary.

Her earlier research interest was on molecular mechanism of chemical carcinogenesis, and currently her research projects cover the areas of skeletal muscle atrophy, aging, and obesity. She has developed animal models to investigate these symptoms. She has research experiences at three medical universities, and was invited as a visiting scientist to France, Finland and the United States. She has authored 25 research papers in peer reviewed journals including Science, a book chapter, 52 abstracts at national and international meetings; is an inventor with a U.S patent; and is currently a member of seven professional societies.

She loves hiking, swimming, doing art (painting and decoupage) and listening to music. Her favorite opera is Donizetti, which features Anna Bolena. Her favorite song is Imagine by John Lennon. Her favorite instruments are the drums and the piano. Most of all, she loves to teach and do research!


Dr. Sharp  Dr. Sharp Sharp is a General Internist at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital.  She was previously in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and the UCLA School of Medicine.  Dr. Sharp is a Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor for the PA Program and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and the UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Sharp earned her MD from Georgetown University School of Medicine. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Evolution and Ecology and a Master of Science in Physiology and Biophysics.

Dr. Sharp is the President of Doctors for Global Health (DGH).  She works with DGH in Oaxaca, Mexico with local communities to promote health and human rights, and she is part of the core staff of HealthBegins, a network of health professionals that focus on how clinicians and health systems can address “upstream" social issues as part of a community centered approach to well-being.
She enjoys teaching and learning with students and health workers in LA and around the world. In her spare time, she likes to take break-dancing classes, play drums in her living room, and school her niece and nephew at basketball.


Contact Information:
Linda Sharp, MD, MS
Associate Director & Assistant Professor
P: (323) 563-5892