Michell McDiffett

Research and Outcomes Coordinator and Assistant Clinical Professor

Michell McDiffett, MSHS, PA-C is the Research and Outcomes Coordinator and Assistant Clinical Professor for the PA Program.  In addition, she practices as a psychiatric physician assistant providing treatment to adults with mental illness and substance use disorders. 

Professor McDiffett graduated from Riverside High School in Painesville, Ohio. Following high school, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The Ohio State University in 2003. She spent two years as a Child and Adult Protective Services social worker for Lake County Job and Family Services, and later as a community support provider for adults and children with mental illness at Signature Health, Inc.  She completed a Master of Science in Health Sciences and Physician Assistant Studies at Cleveland State University and Cuyahoga Community College in 2010, and returned to Signature Health, Inc. She has been practicing in the Ashtabula office since 2010. 

In her role as a physician assistant, she was awarded membership in the National Health Service Corp for her commitment to working with patients in a healthcare shortage area. She has developed a Psychiatric Walk-In Clinic to provide same-day care to patients with the greatest needs. She co-chaired the EHR Selection Committee to adopt a new EHR vendor in order to integrate behavioral medicine with primary care and other specialties across treatment facilities. She obtained her DATA 2000 Waiver for the treatment of Opiate Use Disorder in 2018. Her areas of clinical interest are treating patients with mood disorders, trauma, sleep disorders, eating disorders, comorbid psychiatric disorders and autoimmune disease. She focuses on a holistic approach to healing including nutrition, exercise, psychotherapy and spiritual practice. She is currently pursuing certification through the Institute of Functional Medicine. 

She has been a member of the Ohio Association of Physician Assistants since 2008. As the first physician assistant employed by Signature Health, Inc., she realized the importance of understanding PA law and advocating for the profession in an effort to reduce barriers to providing clinical care. She has been able to pursue this goal by becoming an active member of OAPA. She has served on several committees, and is currently the Student Affairs Committee Chair and the Region 1 Director for OAPA. Her work with students in OAPA inspired her interest in becoming a PA educator and she began precepting students from LEC PA Program in 2017. She was hired as adjunct faculty for the LECPA Program in 2019 and taught the Research and Evidence Based Medicine course. 

Professor McDiffett’s interests include travel, cooking, yoga, spending time with family and friends and exploring all that Northeast Ohio has to offer including Cleveland sports! She and her husband live in Chardon with their three dogs.