Physician assistant puts heart health first
Andrea Atcheson felt like a pill pusher.
She had spent 19 years working in the field of cardiology, seeing two dozen patients a day for 15 minutes at a time. Many of her patients were overweight and taking as many as 30 medications a day, but during a 15-minute appointment, she didn’t have the time to teach them about wellness.
“I got to a point where I asked, ‘Is this all there is?’” Atcheson ’99 (physician assistant) said. “I wanted to do more.”
In 2017, she did. Atcheson started what she calls the Heart Health Academy, where she works one-on-one with people to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease through wellness coaching.
The job suits Atcheson not only because she is a physician assistant, but also because she is a professionally trained chef who even did a stint on The Food Network.
After graduating from RIT, Atcheson worked locally at Genesee Hospital for nine months before moving to San Diego, where she landed a job in cardiology.
In her free time, she loved to cook. In 2008, she decided to enroll in culinary school part time while continuing to work part time.
In culinary school, she submitted an audition tape to The Food Network. She got booked for one show of Grill It! with Bobby Flay, where she cooked breakfast on the grill.
After graduating from culinary school, she opened a small company where she did private cooking lessons, catered events and taught cooking classes in the community for a couple of years. In 2012, she moved back to her hometown of Syracuse, N.Y., and took a job as a physician assistant at the Syracuse VA Medical Center.
She still works full time at the VA and runs the Heart Health Academy on the side, where she shows her clients how small changes can make a big a difference.
“Life is too short to not really do what you love,” she said.
To learn more
Go to thehearthealthacademy.com.
August 23, 2019
Researchers gain new insight about bacteria within grapevine-killing crown gall tumors
Scientists have mapped the DNA of bacteria found within a chronic disease affecting grapevines, a feat they hope will ultimately help protect the multibillion-dollar grape industry that produces juice, jelly, wine and other important products.
August 23, 2019
RIT president outlines progress on major initiatives
RIT President David Munson this morning welcomed back the community, saying that the university is positioned for another exciting academic year.
August 20, 2019
RIT to welcome 10th Destler/Johnson Rochester City Scholars cohort and first Davitt Scholars
RIT will welcome the 10th class of Destler/Johnson Rochester City Scholars, a program that has provided more than 200 graduates of the Rochester City School District and Rochester charter schools with the opportunity to attend RIT tuition-free since 2010. RIT will also welcome the first two recipients of the Mark and Maureen Davitt Graduate Education Endowed Scholarship.
August 14, 2019
'Fall in love with the problem not the solution'
BBC features Sean Petterson '13 (industrial design), CEO of StrongArm Technologies.