Ashley A. Hughes, MSPAS, PA-C, appointed Physician Assistant Program Director

SMITHFIELD, RI – Ashley A. Hughes, MSPAS, PA-C, has been appointed as Program Director for Bryant University’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program following a national search. Hughes is an experienced program director, academic coordinator, PA faculty member and practicing clinical physician assistant.

Bryant University’s School of Health Sciences and its Physician Assistant program were established in 2014 and in 2018 Bryant’s PA program became the first in the State of Rhode Island to earn full accreditation. The integration of healthcare and health sciences within Bryant’s nationally ranked academic programs is an area of focus for the University’s Vision 2030 Strategic Plan, and will further the Physician Assistant program’s mission to improve universal access to healthcare by graduating highly competent physician assistants prepared to provide exceptional patient-centered care.

In announcing the appointment, effective April 29, 2022, Bryant University President Ross Gittell, Ph.D., said, “We are excited to welcome Ashley Hughes to lead Bryant’s Physician Assistant program. Our University is garnering growing national recognition for academic excellence and superior student outcomes, and her contributions to our academic leadership team will add to our momentum.”

“What attracted me to Bryant is the opportunity to lead a program with dedicated faculty and staff as well as ambitious and inquisitive students,” said Hughes, who will also serve as Clinical Associate Professor. “The PA program’s rigorous didactic education, involvement with medically underserved populations both local and abroad, and diverse clinical rotations provide a robust and meaningful learning experience for the students. I am thrilled to be part of that educational team and look forward to what our faculty and students can do together to strengthen healthcare in our community.”

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According to Interim/Associate Provost Wendy Samter, Ph.D., “The entire Bryant community is proud of our very strong Physician Assistant program and the contributions of its graduates. Ashley Hughes will build on this strong foundation to ensure the program’s continuing excellence.”

Ashley Hughes joins Bryant from Johnson and Wales University, where she has served as Interim PA Program Director, PA Academic Coordinator, and Associate Professor. She previously served on the PA faculty of Northeastern University and the Community College of Rhode Island. Hughes currently serves as Clinical Physician Assistant at Kent County Hospital, where she has been since 2014, and Physician Assistant II at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Hughes received her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Northeastern University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Science from University of New Haven.

For more information about Bryant’s Physician Assistant program, visit

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