About Us

Program Faculty and Staff

Kathleen Flach, M.Ed, MMS, PA-C
Program Director

Portrait of Arijit Chowdhury,Arijit Chowdhury, MD
Medical Director

Crystal Powell, MPAS, PA-C
Assistant Clinical Professor
Director of Clinical Education

Crystal comes to us from Cox Healthcare where she served as a physician assistant in a pediatric setting. She also served as a clinical preceptor for physician assistant students. She holds a B.S. in exercise science from Brigham Young University and a M.PAS. from Missouri State University.

Mark Kaiser, MSPAS, PA-C
Assistant Clinical Professor

Mark comes to us from Maxim Healthcare where he provided occupational medicine for a GM plant. He has also served as project manager and corporate health manager for several other private companies. He holds a B.S.ME. from Missouri School of Science and Technology and a M.S.PAS. from Rutgers University.

Portrait of Leanne Helgaas. Leanne Helgaas, BA
Program Administrator


Our mission is to educate students to become physician assistants who are innovative leaders in the profession, practice evidence-based medicine, and are dedicated to facilitating healthy futures for the residents of southwest Missouri and beyond.

Educational Philosophy

The Drury University Physician Assistant Program seeks to support each student’s unique style of learning within an accelerated, highly structured, and intense educational environment.  We strive to be student centered, providing opportunities for growth and collaboration with faculty.  We see the educational environment as a two-way street where all who participate bring experiences and knowledge to the learning space.  We endeavor to model and instill in our students the values of professionalism required of a practicing physician assistant. We are committed to rigorous self-examination and continuous enhancement of the student experience.


To provide excellence in medical education through innovative educational strategies that produces competent graduates who are leaders that practice evidence-based and preventive medicine to improve access to health care in the Ozark region and beyond.


The Drury University Physician Assistant Program will strive to instill these core values in students through our curriculum and training:

  • Professional Integrity – Always maintain fairness, honesty, and remain above reproach with your actions and decisions.
  • Collaboration – There is no “I” in the word team.  Creating an environment that recognizes the value of others.
  • Respect – Maintain regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, and traditions of others.
  • Leadership – Be a role model to others through your professionalism, leadership, and service to others.
  • Compassion and empathy – Show concern for others and share their feelings especially in their time of need.
  • Accountability – Take responsibility for your actions, work, and outcomes with each patient, colleague, and person you encounter.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Drury University is fully committed to upholding and advancing the creation of a diverse and inclusive environment where every member of our community will treat each other with dignity and respect. We recognize that diverse experiences enrich our institution and all who pass through it. We honor, welcome and respect all identities and perspectives. 

At Drury, we define diversity as the differences that characterize people and communities, including age, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, socio-economic status, veteran status, ability, religion, political beliefs and other ideologies. Inclusion is how we engage these differences to create a welcoming community and expand opportunities for cultural knowledge. Educational and workplace equity refer to providing opportunities that enable everyone to receive what they need to be successful as they work and learn at Drury.    

The Drury University Physician Assistant Program aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. We are committed to establishing an environment that invites, welcomes, and celebrates everyone’s diverse backgrounds and talents, and the contributions these attributes lend to our culture. The Drury University PA program is a safe and welcoming community for faculty, staff, preceptors, applicants, and students, and we seek to create a culture that values the robust exchange of ideas that enriches the learning environment and experience.

Because our desire is to foster a culture of belonging, we are committed to ensuring all faculty, staff, and students feel they are part of an environment that values their personhood and the many different aspects that make them unique.  We will celebrate what each person brings to the learning environment that makes us all better and challenges us to be our best selves.  To ensure we are actively pursuing an inclusive culture, we welcome constructive criticism that allows us to increase awareness of our natural biases, and forces us to assess our speech, actions, and activities, and commit to identifying and mitigating bias. 

Program Facilities

DUPAP is housed in Cox Hospital North, adjacent to the main Drury University campus, in a newly remodeled space with classrooms and a skills lab.  The beautiful main Drury University campus has a cadaver lab and additional resources such as a library, fitness center, health center, dining facilities, and study spaces.