Steele named PA Program Director
Dr. Ami Steele has joined Charleston Southern University as program director of the physician assistant program. She previously served as a program director of a PA program in North Carolina.
Steele began her PA career in primary care and also has clinically practiced in general and subspecialty surgical medicine and women’s healthcare. She most recently served on the board of directors for a North Carolina-based FQHC and has been an active member of both the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants as well as the Georgia Association of Physician Assistants. At the national level, she serves on the Physician Assistant Education Association Leadership Mission Advancement Commission.
Dr. Gabby Poole, dean of the College of Health Sciences, said, “Dr. Steele brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Charleston Southern University PA Program that will allow her to provide the leadership and expertise we need to support and grow the program moving forward. I am excited to come alongside her as she leads the faculty, staff, and students into this next chapter, and I am incredibly thankful God led Dr. Steele to CSU and to our program!”
The fact that the CSU PA program is built on a foundation of faith in Jesus attracted Steele to CSU. “The mission of the program,to educate compassionate and highly motivated individuals in a Christian environment who excel in providing patient-centered care, practicing as an interprofessional team, serving as leaders in their communities and advancing the PA profession, combines my love for Jesus and fulfilling the Great Commission with educating future colleagues in this PA profession I love so dearly.”
As a practicing PA, Steele enjoyed caring for patients who were at a distinct and vulnerable point of need. She has a background in surgical medicine and OBGYN. She said, “In both fields, people are facing exciting challenges or frightening circumstances. To be able to connect and care for people in crisis or in times of great joy has been my favorite aspect of medical practice.”
Steele is passionate about training a generation of PAs who are well-equipped to navigate not only disease states but also social determinants of health, barriers to healthcare access, inequities, and the impact of these on communities. She prioritizes instilling a sense of compassion in students and compelling them to be lifelong, self-motivated learners who practice evidence-based care.
Steele said, “To be able to integrate faith in the learning process so students can do the same in their exam room encounters is a privilege.”
She earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Lee University, a Master of Medical Science in physician assistant program from Emory University, and a Doctor of Medical Science in physician assistant education from the University of Lynchburg.
She said, “We are thrilled to join the CSU family. Relocating to Charleston has been a distinct difference from life in Atlanta and, most recently, rural Western North Carolina. We are excited to worship alongside colleagues as we attend our new church home and to serve our community as the salt and light we are called to be. My husband, Jeff, and I love spending time with our three children, Jeffery, Brianna, and Hudson Grey. In our free time, we are often found near the water, especially the beach.”