San Clemente, CA (PRWEB) October 11, 2011 National PA Week is celebrated every year, from October 6 - 12. It is a time to support, celebrate and recognize PAs, and increase public awareness of the Physician Assistant profession. Medelita is a PA-founded manufacturer of superior quality gender-specific medical garments. This week Medelita honors physician assistants, as well as the man who is recognized as the "Father" of the PA profession, Dr. Eugene A. Stead, Jr. Eugene A. Stead, Jr., MD was born near Atlanta, Georgia on October 6, 1908 and was an advocate for positive change within the medical industry until he passed away on June 12, 2005 at the age of 96. One of five children, Eugene Stead helped his father as a child, selling patent medicines door-to-door. Many of the people he encountered were poor, and he was intrigued by the effects of poverty. As a boy, he noticed that poverty had two effects on people - either they were consumed by it or they rose to the challenge of overcoming it. He would later apply these same observations to different patterns of behavior among patients. Eugene A. Stead, Jr., MD received both his undergraduate and graduate education at Emory University, and in 1942, he became the youngest person to chair the Department of Medicine at his prestigious alma mater. In 1946, he was named Dean of the School of Medicine at Emory, but he left a year later to accept a position as Professor of Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Duke University. It was the patient, not the illness that most fascinated Dr. Stead. In response to a complicated medical case, Dr. Stead was often heard to say, “What the patient needs is a doctor.” He reminded his young learners that, “A doctor makes a mistake if he thinks he knows more about a patient than the patient does himself.” Eugene A. Stead, Jr., MD believed that it was possible to meet many patient needs without a traditional medical education, and in 1965, Dr. Stead established the first U.S. Physician Assistant Program at Duke University with ex-military corpsmen. "We started the first PA Program with four students, all veterans . . . we had to have people who could stand their ground," stated Dr. Stead in PA Profession in Review: A Founder's Perspective, "Nurses and physicians at Duke Hospital were not overly enthusiastic about our idea. It was not easy to become a PA in those days." Over the course of his lifetime, Dr. Eugene Stead watched the PA profession grow from a small few struggling against criticism to a thriving and respected role within the medical community. He attributed a great deal of this success to the determination and ambition of the PAs themselves and felt that opportunities for Physician Assistants would only continue to grow. "PAs sought and found the opportunity to see people in a way that nobody else but a doctor had ever envisioned. PAs have the ability to take that and parlay it into all kinds of ventures in business, industry, and law," concluded Dr. Stead, "All that remains is for each PA to seize the opportunity." Medelita founder, Lara Manchik Francisco, PA-C, recognized the need within the healthcare industry for high-quality, stylish, professional appearing and technically innovative lab coats and scrubs. After a decade in Emergency Medicine and Urgent Care, she took a hiatus from medicine to start Medelita, a best-in-class medical apparel manufacturer for both women and men. As a PA-founded company, Medelita proudly recognizes National PA Week and the over 81,000 physician assistants now working in the United States. A daily feature on Facebook highlights exceptional Physician Assistants from all over the country, in many different specialties and with a variety of remarkable achievements, such as the first PA to perform robotically assisted lobectomy in New York, a past AAPA Paragon Award Winner for Service to the Underserved, and a PA who serves as the Medical Director for a very large multispecialty group in Long Island, NY. About Medelita Medelita® is redefining the way that healthcare professionals think about their lab coats, uniforms and scrubs by offering the highest quality, best fitting, and most comfortable medical garments available. Medelita combines innovative performance fabric technology and intuitive design to create uniforms that present a professional and sophisticated display of achievement, confidence, and prestige. For more information, visit the Medelita website at http://www.medelita.com or call 877.987.7979.