About Pennye Rohde, PA-C, AAHIVS

Pennye Rohde is the associate rural medical director at St. Hope Foundation. She has occupied her current position since 2005. Pennye has worked as a licensed physician assistant since 1999 and has concentrated her work within the field of HIV primary care. Pennye completed her undergraduate degree with a bachelor’s of science in medical technology in 1987. She went on to complete her graduate degree in physician assistant studies in 1998 from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

Pennye’s interest in caring for individuals with HIV disease began in 1987 when she began working as a microbiologist for a reference laboratory in the Houston area. At that time, microbiology labs were busy helping to diagnose various opportunistic infections that were being seen in people with the newly- recognized HIV/AIDs disease. After nine years of working “behind the scenes” of HIV disease, Pennye decided to go to PA school so that she could assume a more direct role as a healthcare provider for HIV positive individuals. Pennye prides herself on the ability to develop trusting relationships with her patients and feels that this trust translates into better health outcomes for most of them.

Pennye is a recognized speaker in the field of HIV medicine. She currently serves as a speaking consultant for several pharmaceutical companies. She enjoys educating both patient’s and other healthcare professionals on HIV disease. Pennye is a certified HIV specialist with the American Academy of HIV Medicine. She is also a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. When not caring for patients, Pennye enjoys riding her Harley, bicycling, playing with her dogs, watching sporting events, camping or traveling to a new destination.

What inspired me to become a practitioner?

I knew from an early age that I enjoyed science and medicine. In high school, I decided that I wanted to work within the field of microbiology and infectious disease. I completed my first Bachelor’s degree in medical technology and immediately began working in the field of infectious diseases. After 9 yrs of being behind the scenes of patient care, I decided that I wanted to have a more active role in helping patients. I decided that being a PA would allow me to be directly involved in the medical care of people living with infectious diseases. My knowledge can now make a difference in the health of my patients.

What brought me to St. Hope?

I came to St Hope from a busy private practice. A friend and colleague encouraged me to make the career move. I was drawn to the idea of helping those individuals with challenging medical and social needs. I was also intrigued by the idea of working in a predominantly rural geographical area where few HIV services were available.

What is my philosophy on patient care?

I believe that the key to successful health outcomes is empowerment. I feel strongly that my patients should be involved their own care. Patients should be knowledgeable in their own disease processes. I believe that knowledge will ultimately breed adherence to medical care. I encourage honesty and respect in my patient/provider relationships. In my experience, honesty and respect will usually result in better health outcomes.