Carol Ekonomides, PA-C, served as President of the Connecticut Academy of PAs (ConnAPA) from 1982-1983. She also has served as a Trustee for the Connecticut PA Foundation. She has also served as the PA representative on the Connecticut Medical Examining Board (CMEB).
Ekonomides graduated from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio in 1969 as a medical technologist. Initially, her dream was to enter medical school. However, the Vietnam War was at its peak and being accepted to medical school or seminary were acceptable exceptions to being drafted into the military. Therefore, medical schools were flooded with applicants and most importantly, only ten percent women were accepted. So, facing such odds, she gave up on her dream.
After graduating college, she and several friends decided on an adventure to Connecticut. There she worked as a medical technologist at Yale New Haven Hospital. But, she knew this was not her lifetime passion. While there, young adults were seen in the corridors of the hospital with white jackets and name tags identifying them as Physician Associates. They got her attention. After several conversations with them, she knew that this was an answer to fulfilling her dream. So, the Physician Associate Program accepted her in 1976.
The early years of the profession were challenging. There were legal issues, patient rejection and few job options. Gradually, with hard work and dedication to the profession the legal climate improved, patients were satisfied with their interaction, and physicians were pleased with the quality of care the PAs provided.
Ekonomides service as ConnAPA President followed by years of involvement including time on the Board as Secretary and a Chair of both the Scholarship and Public Relations Committees. She also served as a House of Delegate representative to AAPA numerous times.
Ekonomides’ clinical experience was entirely at Danbury Hospital, Danbury, CT in the emergency department for 17 years, a Primary Care Satellite practice for 11 years and ending her career as a hospitalist for 8 years. The profession is respected and listed as the number one profession for the decade. It is so satisfying to hear a patient say that are pleased seeing their PA. She was honored to be Adjunct Professor at Quinnipiac University and Yale Medical School. She has published articles in the New England Journal of Medicine as well as Connecticut Medicine and Connecticut Health Care.
Discovering the Physician Associate students at Yale New Haven Hospital was a blessing for her. The profession fulfilled her dreams of providing health care. It was the best decision.
After retiring in 2015, Ekonomides continued to give back – serving on the CMEB and volunteering as a vaccinator during the pandemic.
Her other interests include: gardening, sewing, involvement in the Kenyan Health Care Initiative, learning to play bridge, water aerobics at the YMCA and spending time with her adult daughter and her fiancé.