Project Coaches


Brian Graves PhD, APRN, ACNP-BC is the Director of Advanced Practice at Tampa General Hospital (TGH). His responsibilities include providing leadership and practice support for all Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) within the Division of Advanced Practice. More specifically, under his leadership, he works collaboratively with the APPs as well as the inter-professional and administrative leadership teams to execute TGH’s mission and achieve its vision of being the safest and most innovative academic health system in America.

Dr. Graves is a 2017-2018 Duke – Johnson and Johnson Nurse Leadership Program for Advanced Practice Providers Fellow.  Additionally, prior to his position at TGH, Dr. Graves was Assistant Dean of the Master’s Program and Clinical Education Resources for the University of South Florida (USF) College of Nursing. He has over 25 years of experience in clinical practice, 16 years in nursing education, and 25 years as a researcher.

Preceding his position at USF, Dr. Graves was with the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in roles spanning research, academia, and clinical practice. His latest role at URMC was to lead an inter-professional team charged with vetting all clinical content and workflows in the implementation of their electronic health record (Epic) within their flagship university hospital and smaller community hospital. Additionally, a significant part of that role was providing leadership, education, and support to all clinicians during one of the largest organizational change projects in the history of the institution.



Melinda Blazar, EdD, MHS, PA-C joined the Duke PA Program faculty as a Clinical Coordinator in 2011, was the Director of Clinical Education from 2018-2022, and now serves as the Director of Assessment and Evaluation. Her training includes a BA in Molecular Biology from Colgate University, a Master of Health Sciences and PA certification from the Duke PA Program, and a Doctor of Education in Health Professions from A.T. Still University.  She practices in family medicine with a focus on maternal-child health at Duke Family Medicine Center and Duke Regional Hospital.

Educational interests include curriculum development, curricular innovation, self-assessment practices, as well as assessment and program evaluation.  She also serves as chair of the PACKRAT Exam Development Board for the Physician Assistant Education Association.



Peter Gunn, PA-C, joined Duke University Hospital in 2006 as a hospitalist in orthopedics, advanced to become a team lead, and has served as a Director in the Center for Advance Practice at Duke since 2013. Originally from Sheffield, Massachusetts, he earned his BS in Biology at Tuskegee University and his MS in Biology from Purdue University.  After graduating from Purdue, Peter moved to Connecticut and worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative for Pfizer, Inc.  While at Pfizer, Peter developed an interest in becoming a Physician Assistant (PA), which was fulfilled when he graduated from the PA program at Yale School of Medicine in 1995.  Peter immediately moved to North Carolina and began his second career as a PA in Rocky Mount and Roanoke Rapids, where he worked in urgent care at a rural health clinic.  After seven years in that role, he moved to Raleigh in 2003 and spent the next three years as a PA working with a spine surgeon before joining Duke University Hospital.

In 2015, Peter became President of the Triangle Area Physician Assistants (TAPA), a regional chapter of the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (NCAPA).  At that time, TAPA chapter activities and membership had been declining. With the help of other TAPA officers, Peter was instrumental in tripling the number of TAPA members in less than a year.  While he no longer President, Peter remains very active in the chapter, serving in the roles of Student Liaison and Regional Chapter Representative to NCAPA.

Peter shares this fact to live by: “Successful people learn from their mistakes and use that knowledge to improve themselves.”  In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, cycling, tennis, travel and the Great Outdoors.