Current & Former Residents

The UF Department of Surgery is proud to welcome the Physician Assistant Surgical Residents for the Fall 2024 & Spring 2025 cohorts, respectively.

Fall 2024 Cohort

  • Simona Ilizarov, MPAS, PA-C, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Spring 2025 Cohort

  • Destinyee Sims, MPAS, PA-C, Morehouse School of Medicine

Program Alumni

Class of Name PA School last known Appointment
2023 Kelsey Azzato, PA-C Springfield College Texas Children’s Hospital, Austin, TX – Congenital Heart
2023 Cecilia Hampson, PA-C Northeastern University UF Health Shands, Gainesville, FL – Surgical Oncology (BMSE)
2023 Caroline Henika, PA-C Medical University of South Carolina Moffit Cancer Center, Tampa, FL – Surgical Oncology (BMSE)
2022 Anna White, PA-C University of South Florida Moffit Cancer Center, Tampa, FL – Surgical Oncology (BMSE)
2022 Jeancy Baraka, PA-C Florida International University UF Health Shands, Gainesville, FL – GI Surgery
2022 Ansley Hong, PA-C Nova Southeastern University UF Health Shands, Gainesville, FL – Surgical Oncology
2022 Grace Wettengel, PA-C College of Saint Mary Sierra Pacific Orthopedics, Fresno, CA – Orthopedics
2021 Nicholas Duarte, PA-C AdventHealth University Advent Health, Orlando, FL – Vascular Surgery
2021 Keli O’Shaughnessy, PA-C AdventHealth University Orlando Health, Orlando, FL – ER
2020 Julianne Folger, PA-C Thomas Jefferson University Trinity Health of New England Medical Group – Cardiovascular Surgery
2020 Hannah Jacon, PA-C Rochester Institute of Technology UFHealth Shands, Gainesville, FL – Congenital Heart Surgery
2020 Nicole Gazzola, PA-C Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine UFHealth Shands, Gainesville, FL – Surgical ICU
2020 Ghazal Vafabakhsh, PA-C Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA Baptist MD Anderson, Jacksonville, FL – Surgical Oncology
2019 Hannah Coleman, PA-C Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, VA UFHealth Shands, Gainesville, FL – Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular – Aortic Disease Center
2019 Ashley Kohler, PA-C Elon University, Elon, NC Baptist MD Anderson, Jacksonville, FL – Surgical Oncology – Head and Neck
2018 Ashleigh Markowitz, PA-C University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY UFHealth Shands, Gainesville, FL – Pediatric Surgery
2018 Ashley Waldon, PA-C University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY Group Practice, Houston, TX – Orthopedic Surgery
2018 Sarah Campos, PA-C Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY Group Practice, Boston, MA – Surgical Technology
2018 Tamara Bateh, PA-C NOVA Southeastern University, Orlando, FL UFHealth Shands, Gainesville, FL – Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
2017 Katherine Grasso, PA-C Kettering College of Medical Arts, Kettering, OH Volunteering with Medical Missions Work
2017 Noah Mostkoff, PA-C Miami Dade College, Miami, FL Baptist Health, Miami, FL
2017 Stacey Saxon, PA-C Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport, PA Surgical Practice in Florida
2017 Ashley Sweat, PA-C NOVA Southeastern University, Orlando, FL Peidmont Hospital, Atlanta, GA. – Transplant Surgery & Hepatobiliary Surgical Oncology
2016 Christa Campbell, PA-C D’Youville College UFHealth Shands – Critical Care
2015 Kelly David, PA-C Osceola Regional Medical Center – Trauma/Critical Care


“The PA surgical residency program at UF really helped develop my surgical skills. The program offers PAs a great balance of inpatient, outpatient, OR, and ICU experience where you work side by side with the general surgery residents. I had the opportunity to rotate with multiple different surgical specialties which helped me decide which surgical field I wanted to start my career in. The PA residents are also incorporated into the weekly surgery lectures and skills labs with the general surgery interns which greatly expanded my surgical knowledge. I feel very confident with the surgical training that I received from the program and as a result, I was able to secure an amazing position as a trauma/acute care surgery PA! Thank you to the entire surgery department at UF for helping me achieved my goals!”. 2015,  Kelly David, PA-C

“I really saw my surgical skills and confidence grow during my time spent with the thoracic and cardiovascular surgery service, that led to me getting my dream job!” 2015, John-Colby Carter, PA-C

“Looking back on my past year as a PA surgical Resident, I cannot believe how much I have seen, learned, and grown as both a person and practitioner. I truly believe that I would not have been exposed to or gotten to do half the things I did anywhere else. The complex patients and pathology seen here at UF has made me confident that I can take care of any surgical patient in the pre, intra, and post operative period whether it be on the floor or in the ICU. My technical skills and didactic knowledge were supplemented by weekly lectures and skills sessions along side the surgical residents. I was directly integrated into their training and everyday duties. Throughout my rotations, I found that I had a passion for surgical critical care and was able to further focus my training on this by completing my electives in the SICU. UF Health has such a great learning environment and supportive staff, that I decided to stay on staff in the Surgical ICU after completion of my residency. The training that I received as a resident made for a smooth transition into my new position with minimal additional training needed.” 2016, Christa Campbell, PA-C

“UF’s Surgical Physician Assistant Residency Program was the essential opportunity I needed to help me change my specialty from Family Practice to a Surgical PA who LOVES her job! The program was an invaluable clinical and didactic experience that provided me with the skills and the confidence I needed to land the job of my dreams!” 2017, Stacey Saxon, PA-C