Program Director/Associate Professor
The George Washington University
Physician Assistant Program
Department of Health Care Sciences
Class of 1973
Dr. J. Jeffrey Heinrich was born and raised in Burlington, Vermont. He served as a hospital corpsman with the United States Marines in Vietnam, where he received a purple heart. After military service he completed undergraduate work at Castleton State College in Vermont and was a middle-grade school teacher for a year prior to enrolling in the Duke University Physician Assistant Program.
After graduating from Duke University, Dr. Heinrich went to New Haven, Connecticut to join the faculty in the division of plastic surgery of the Yale University School of Medicine. As a full-time clinician, he worked for his first 10 years in practice in the surgical emergency room and on the burn service. His next 15 years of clinical practice were devoted to burn injured patients and general plastic surgery patients. In addition to his clinical responsibilities, he taught and evaluated the clinical skills of Yale University physician assistant students and served as co-director of the Yale University division of the Norwalk Hospital/Yale University School of Medicine PA Surgical Residency Program for 22 years. While working full-time, Dr. Heinrich pursued advance educational opportunities obtaining a masters degree from Southern Connecticut State University and a doctoral degree from Nova University in adult education.
Since his student days, Dr. Heinrich has been involved in a variety of local, state and national physician assistant organizations. He was the first national Student Academy President and served on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Later he became treasurer of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. He has served as President of the Connecticut Academy of Physician Assistants, President of the Physician Assistant Foundation of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, President of the Connecticut Physician Assistant Foundation and is currently the first President of the Society for the Preservation of Physician Assistant History. In addition, Dr. Heinrich has served as an at-large Member on the Board of Trustees of the American Burn Association.
Dr. Heinrich has co-authored more than 50 publications and has presented a number of research papers at the Annual Conference of the American Burn Association. He has received numerous awards including the Clinical Instructor Award from Yale PA students (1978), the Distinguished Service Award from the American Academy of Physician Assistants (1985), the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Duke University PA Program (1992), the Distinguished Service Award from the Connecticut Burn Care Foundation (1992), the Curtis P. Artz Distinguished Award from the American Burn Association (1993), the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Post-Graduate Physician Assistant Programs (1993), the First Founder’s Award from the Connecticut Academy of Physician Assistants (1994), the Civilian PA of the Year Award from the Veterans Caucus (1996), and the Presidents Leadership Award from the American Academy of Physician Assistants (2000).