New physician assistant program director named

Michael Huckabee, Ph.D., a professor and director of the Union College Physician Assistant Program for the past 15 years, has been named the new director of the physician assistant program in the UNMC School of Allied Health Professions.

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Michael Huckabee, Ph.D.
Dr. Huckabee will start his new role May 1, following the April 30 retirement of the current PA director, Jim Somers, Ph.D. Dr. Somers has served as PA director since 1991.

"We're delighted to have Dr. Huckabee join our faculty," said Kyle Meyer, Ph.D., senior associate dean for the School of Allied Health Professions. "He brings an exceptional record as an educator and researcher. He has an outstanding vision for the future of our physician assistant program, one that will continue to advance the great progress the PA program enjoyed under Dr. Somers."

Grant and classroom success

Under Dr. Huckabee's leadership, Union College received federal support of almost $2.5 million for training grants to support projects that provide health care for underserved populations.

Also under his guidance, Union College PA graduates posted 100 percent first-time pass rates on the PA National Certifying Examination four of the past six years. Nearly half of those graduates serve in Nebraska communities.

Clinical background

Dr. Huckabee has 29 years of clinical practice, primarily in rural family practice and emergency medicine, and more recently in pediatrics.


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Dr. Huckabee's file

Name: Michael Huckabee, Ph.D.


  • Bachelor’s in biology education, Northwest Nazarene University;
  • Master of Physician Assistant Studies, UNMC; and
  • Ph.D. from the College of Human Sciences with a specialization in leadership studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.