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NEWS | July 26, 2022

BAMC Soldier selected to attend Interservice Physician Assistant Program

By Lori Newman Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs

A Brooke Army Medical Center Soldier was selected to attend the competitive Interservice Physician Assistant Program at the Medical Education and Training Campus at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.

U.S. Army Sgt. Elisha Alcantar, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Department of Emergency Operations at Brooke Army Medical Center, came to BAMC in 2018 on compassionate reassignment because her father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

The San Antonio native returned home to assist with his care. “I took him to all his appointments, it was always physician assistants there treating him and working with him,” she said.

When the opportunity came up, she asked her dad what she should do. “I told him the program was really, really hard to get into,” Alcantar said.

His response was resound. “I believe in you. You can do it. Just go do it!” The good news is her dad is still here to cheer her on.

“He’s still on hospice and he still has cancer, but he’s still trucking and he still does everything and so much more,” she said.

The IPAP is 29 months long. The two phase program includes 16 months of academics, followed by 13 months of hands-on training at a military medical treatment facility.

“Sgt. Alcantar’s dedication to her craft is unmatched in the Emergency Department,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Donniel Brown, Department of Emergency Medicine NCOIC. “She goes above and beyond to receive any high-quality training that she can uncover. Her dedication to learning cannot be overshadowed by her empathy towards patients.

“It is extremely sad to lose a quality NCO, but the Officer Corps is better off with her presence,” he added.