New director of physician assistant studies program named

Author: Carroll University

Published Date: 12/13/2017

Categories: Faculty and Staff Physician Assistant Studies University News


James Bandes photo

Carroll University has hired Dr. James Brandes to assume the position of director of the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program and clinical professor of physician assistant studies. Brandes, a nationally recognized leader in healthcare, was appointed following a national search and will begin his role in June 2018.

“Dr. Brandes’ experience in the medical field will allow him to provide a unique perspective and strong vision for the physician assistant studies program in the midst of an ever-changing medical landscape,” said Dr. Cindy Gnadinger, president. “His extensive knowledge of operating a practice and administering patient care will prepare our students for a successful future with a well-rounded skill set.”

Demand for physician assistants has been growing in this region and across the nation as the country’s population ages. Carroll’s physician assistant studies program is unique in that it not only prepares students for general practice but also focuses on culturally appropriate healthcare, integrated practice and health literacy for underserved populations. Additionally, a partnership with the United Community Center provides opportunities for students to gain practical experience in a diverse setting while delivering essential services to local communities in need. To date, the initiative has received over $2 million in federal funding.

The program has graduated five cohorts of students and, most impressively, Carroll’s pass rate on the NCCPA PANCE exam is 98 percent for all first-time test takers.

“One of my greatest passions is teaching, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead and direct the physician assistant studies program at Carroll University,” said Brandes. “I have been familiar with Carroll’s dedication to educating future health care providers in many areas, and the alignment of our values and goals along the premise that students come first will ensure the program remains strong for years to come.”

Brandes is currently CEO and president, nephrology practice of Midwest Nephrology Associates in Milwaukee, Wis. The organization has provided specialty services for kidney disease, dialysis and transplant patients in southeastern Wisconsin for over 27 years.

He has spoken extensively and published many pieces on nephrology as well as received numerous awards and honors in teaching throughout his career including a National Institute of Health award. In 2017, he was named “Best Doctor, Nephrology” by Best Doctors in America, a recognition that was voted on by his peers. Additionally, Dr. Brandes developed an extensive curriculum in nephrology covering twelve major topics that is taught to family practice interns and residents throughout their rotations with him.

The Kenosha, Wis. native, earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and M.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He completed his internal medicine residency and nephrology fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin where he also served as a member of the faculty.