Long-Term Follow-Up

Joan Suver, PA-C

Making a difference in patients' lives

With 22 nieces and nephews, and many of them in their teens, it's fair to say that Joan Suver knows how to communicate with the younger set.

These skills certainly come in handy for Joan, a physician assistant with the Pediatric Long-Term Follow-up Clinic.

Joan Suver

At the pediatric clinic, Joan is responsible for the ongoing care of about 50 patients ranging in age from 8 months to 22 years.

"I love patient care," she said. "I feel privileged to work with our patients and their families. And we have a close-knit group in our clinic. We're like a family that's unique to our setting.

"Working together, we make things happen," she said.

A Washington state native, Joan attended the University of Washington, where she received an undergraduate degree in English and writing. Soon after, she became interested in the medical field and returned to school. In 1993, she received a master's degree in health science from Duke University.

Joan finds working with patients a very rich and challenging experience.

"I feel I can make a difference in patients' lives, and I think as a clinic, we're making a difference. We're doing a lot of research to advance the care of patients," Joan said.

"We're dealing with some tough problems. Look at GVHD. For some of our patients, it's a very difficult problem to have—a long, long journey. And it may take a lot longer for some patients to get better.

"I hope we can continue to evolve in patient care and get patients better faster, and make their journey easier," she said.

When she is not at the clinic, Joan loves to be outdoors with her husband, Jay, skiing or biking. When the weather improves, she works in her garden.

And, of course, there are those 22 nieces and nephews who love their aunt and uncle. Many of them love to go skiing with Joan and Jay. "They keep us young and busy," she said.