Jeffrey Heinrich

February 17, 1945 ~ May 10, 2020 (age 75)


J.Jeffrey Heinrich, Ed.D, PA-C Emeritus, born February 17, 1945 in Colchester, Vermont, died at his home in Guilford, Connecticut, on May 10, 2020.

Dr. Heinrich grew up in Burlington, VT. In 1966, he served in Vietnam as a Hospital Corpsman with the 1st battalion 9th Marine Regiment of the U.S. Marine Corps. He was the recipient of the Purple Heart Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Fleet Marine Force Combat Operation Medal and National Defense Service Medal.

He received degrees from Castleton State College (VT) in 1970 and Duke University Physician Assistant Program in 1973. While attending Duke he was founder and first Student President of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA).

Following graduation from Duke, Heinrich took a position within the Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery of the Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. One of the first PAs at Yale, he worked as a Clinical Physician Assistant in the emergency room, burn service, and taught PA students. He was also one of the first PAs to serve on the board of the American Burn Association (ABA). He was Co-Director of the Norwalk Hospital/Yale University School of Medicine Postgraduate PA Surgical Residency Program. He was involved in the Armenian Air-Lift Project that brought surgical/trauma services to the 1988 earthquake victims.

He obtained a master's degree from Southern Connecticut State University in 1985 and a doctoral degree in 1990 from Nova University in education. In 1998, he became the Program Director of the George Washington University Physician Assistant Program, in the Department of Health Sciences, in Washington, D.C. He remained in this position as a Full Professor until 2007. Returning home to Guilford, he volunteered as Chairman of Faulkner's Light Brigade, focused on preserving the working lighthouse commissioned by Thomas Jefferson in 1802. Also, at this time, he was Clinical Coordinator for students on rotation in Connecticut from the Lincoln Memorial University Physician Assistant Program in Harrogate, TN.

Heinrich was a leader in state and national PA organizations. He was co-founder and first President of the PA History Society. He wanted future generations of PAs to appreciate the legacy and history of their chosen profession. He was a pioneer in creating post-graduate opportunities for PAs, as well as a longtime supporter of PA students through his dedication to raising scholarship funds. In    1998 the Connecticut PA Foundation established the annual J. Jeffrey Heinrich Scholarship.

Over the years he has received many professional awards. Some of these include the Civilian PA of the Year Award from the AAPA Veterans Caucus, the President's Award from the Connecticut Academy of Physician Assistants, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Duke University PA Program, President's Leadership Award from the American Academy of Physician Assistants, inducted into the PA Hall of Fame at the Duke University PA Program and the National Outstanding PA of the Year Award from the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Read more about Dr. Heinrich's awards and career at the PA History Society website

Besides his wife, Suellen Austin Heinrich of Guilford, CT, he is survived by his son John Heinrich and daughter-in-law Anna Luciano of Somerville, MA. He was predeceased by his parents Francis and Patricia Dower Heinrich and brother-in-law Morgan Lacy. He is survived by siblings Pamela (Bruce) MacPherson, South Burlington, VT, Mark (Starleen) Heinrich, Kingwood, TX, William Heinrich, Las Vegas, NV, Thomas (Theresa) Heinrich, Colchester, VT, Mary Alice (Nicholas) Aloi, Burlington, VT and sister-in-law Sheila Lacy, Fessenden, ND. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made in Dr. Heinrich's name to The Connecticut PA Foundation, or One Regency Dr., P.O. Box 30, Bloomfield, CT 06002, or to The PA History Society, or 12000 Findley Rd., Suite 100, John's Creek, GA 30097, or to a charity of one's choice. The Hawley Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home in Guilford, CT is in charge of arrangements to be held at a later date.

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