School of Medicine

Dr Erin Wentzell

Abby Johnson

Academic Director, Pediatric Residency; Assistant Professor of Health, Human Function, and Rehabilitation Sciences

Physical Therapy and Health Sciences

Erin Wentzell is a practicing pediatric physical therapist who has worked in both acute care and outpatient settings. In 2010 Dr. Wentzell purchased her own practice where she provides in-home early intervention therapy Dr. Wentzell purchased her own practice where she provides in-home early intervention therapy for children throughout Washington D.C. Her practice serves primarily infants and young toddlers with a focus on parent education and family empowerment to increase activity and physical play from an early age. Dr. Wentzell earned a Specialist Certification in Pediatrics (PCS) from the Board of Physical Therapy Specialties in 2012. She is active in the APTA and Pediatrics Section as well as the International Organization of Physical Therapists in Pediatrics. Dr. Wentzell teaches in the Foundations of Interventions and Pediatrics courses. In addition, she organizes and runs the Inter-Professional Community Practicum course. Her areas of interest are physical activity and exercise promotion for children with special needs as well as obesity prevention in special needs populations.


Dr Howard Straker

Abby Johnson

Director, Physician Assistant/MPH Program; Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies & Prevention and Comm Health

Sociology, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration

Howard Straker has more than 30 years of PA educational and clinical experience and is an assistant professor in the Physician Assistant Program. Straker serves as director of the Physician Assistant MPH Program, coordinating the joint degree curriculum across the Physician Assistant Program and four departments within the Milken Institute School of Public Health. He teaches in both the Department of Physician Assistant Studies and the Department of Prevention & Community Health. Straker’s interests are in the preparation of practitioners to work in underserved communities, diversity and inclusion, health professions workforce, and blended learning pedagogy. He currently serves on the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) Board of Directors as president-elect.


Dr Lalit Narayan

Abby Johnson

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Physician Assistant Program, Prevention and Community Health (Secondary)

Lalit Narayan, MBBS, MA, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. He received his medical degree from St. John's Medical College, Bangalore, India in 2007. He subsequently worked as a general practitioner in rural India for two years before moving to the US to pursue further education. He earned a Master's Degree in Anthropology at Syracuse University, New York in 2013, completed his Residency in Primary Care/Social Internal Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center, New York in 2016, and completed an Academic Fellowship in Medical Education at George Washington University in 2017. Dr. Narayan strongly believes in a holistic assessment of medical problems using a bio-psycho-social approach. He is passionate about social medicine, a school of thought within modern medicine that plays close attention to the historical, social, environmental, and epidemiological context in which ill health arises and seeks to meet patients 'where they are at' to work together on their health. His clinical interests center around the provision of comprehensive primary health care. This includes clinic-based management of acute and chronic medical conditions, screening and reduction of risks to physical and mental health, women's health and the care of medically vulnerable populations.


Dr Maranda Ward

Abby Johnson

Visiting Assistant Professor in Clinical Research and Leadership

Med and Health Science: Clinical Research and Leadership

Dr. Maranda C. Ward is an Assistant Professor and Director of Equity in the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership in the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. In this role, she designs, evaluates, and teaches health equity curriculum for student and faculty learners. Her teaching excellence was recognized with the highest teaching honor at GW- the 2021 Morton A. Bender Teaching Award. When asked, she describes herself as a community educator, curriculum developer, and youth builder. She has strong commitments to service-learning, equity, community legacy, youth development, and honoring youth voices. Maranda earned the 2023 GW Black Alumni Impact Award, the 2022 Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement Award by Transform Mid-Atlantic, the 2020-2021 GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Award as well as the 2021 Stigma Warrior Award during the 12th Annual International Conference on Stigma at Howard University for going above and beyond in her field to fight discrimination among historically marginalized populations. She has been consulted by, Rolling Out Magazine, DCist, and the Washington Post for her research on HIV disparities and featured on a live segment of Good Morning Washington, NPR’s Morning Edition, and the KevinMD podcast for her health equity expertise.


Dr. Susan LeLacheur

Abby Johnson

Professor of Physician Assistant Studies

Physician Assistant Program

Susan LeLacheur is a professor in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. LeLacheur is a Distinguished Fellow in the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). She has more than 35 years of clinical experience in primary care, HIV/AIDS, and infectious disease. She is certified as an HIV Specialist by the American Academy of HIV Medicine and is among the founding members of the Physician Assistant AIDS Network of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Her ongoing clinical practice at Whitman Walker Health in Washington, D.C., includes both primary and HIV care.  Dr. LeLacheur’s research interest is in behavioral aspects of patient care and the reduction of bias and stereotyping in the clinical encounter. She has written and presented widely on infectious disease topics, health disparities, bias and stereotyping, and patient-provider interaction. She has served in leadership roles in multiple professional organizations, including the Physician Assistant Education Association and the American Academy of Physician Assistants. LeLacheur also serves as a peer reviewer for several professional publications, including JAAPA, Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Journal of Physician Assistant Education, Clinician Review, and Clinical Advisor. Dr. LeLacheur’s career has been devoted to providing high-quality patient-centered care to people from disenfranchised populations, improving primary care for people with HIV, and educating and inspiring the next generation of PAs to do likewise in all areas of clinical practice.