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Daphne Blakley, PA-C, MMSc - Serving the underserved

It all began around 1995 when I first heard the title "PA", then in 1997, I had my first PA as my PCP.  I was intrigued by her knowledgeable yet very personable style of care.  It was quite refreshing to see.  I also happened to notice that she was pregnant (not that any other provider could not be).  Little did I know that in less than one year, I got the crazy notion to visit the Emory PA program, pregnant and all and be recruited by 2 guys that were already PA students about to graduate.  I thought, "wow, don't they see I am with child, and why doesn't that make any difference to them and everyone else in the office?" I must admit the I was refreshed by the fact that there was a profession that existed for someone like myself who already had a husband and son, and was already in her late 20s. I never would have thought that I would be accepted into Emory's program in 2001 at that particular time.

After having my second child, I began my career as a physician assistant a year later after graduating in December 2003.  My first job was a temporary one at Emory's ENT clinic; I was filling in for another PA who was on maternity leave. In 2004, I started co-organizing an annual  health fair at my church. I have also worked in GI and had a PRN position in correctional medicine in several juvenile detention centers including Love Joy, Griffin  and Gainesville RYDC from 2005 until 2008.  I enjoyed that position because I was in a field I love the most as a PA - pediatrics. In 2006, I joined the team at Georgia Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at Grady Health System.  That was my most ideal position because it included  everything I was interested in and had a background in - research, community outreach, pediatrics, internal medicine, family practice and hematology.  In 2010, I decrease my time at the Sickle Cell Center to part-time, three days a week to start working at a free clinic two days a week.  In April 2011, I started working full time at that free clinic, I must say my dream job, The Healing Community Center at City of Refuge in Atlanta, GA.  It took me almost eight years to find, but every minute was worth the wait.

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