News about Physician Assistant

PA Program Again Celebrates Physician Assistant Week

Penn College physician assistant students practice their suturing skills. During National Physician Assistant Week, the Penn College physician assistant program is celebrating the announcement of its continued accreditation through the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.

Pennsylvania College of Technology has much to celebrate during 2017’s National Physician Assistant Week.

An initiative of the American Academy of PAs, National PA Week takes place Oct. 6-12 each year. This week, more than 115,500 physician assistants celebrate the profession’s contributions to the nation’s health and increase public awareness of the important role PAs play in collaboration with physicians in providing patient-centered health care. Commemorating the first PA graduates from Duke University in 1967, this year also marks 50 years of the PA profession.

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Students Aid Flu-Shot Clinic at College Health Services

Under the watch of Barbie D. Harbaugh, instructor of nursing, Bryce J. Merrill administers a flu shot to Kaitlyn E. Miller, a student in applied health studies, radiography concentration.

Kaitlyn L. Andersen, of Mastic, N.Y., enrolled in the Fundamentals of Nursing course, swabs the arm of classmate Emily L. Tashner-Thompson, of Muncy.

Jessica M. Dreese, a student in Adult Health Nursing I, immunizes nursing student Ciara N. Bond.

Nursing student Michael G. Covone, like his classmates, uses both technical and communication skills while providing a flu vaccine to graphic design student Alexandria C. Wood.

Students in one of four Adult Health Nursing I labs take their turn administering flu shots in College Health Services. From left are Covone, a student from Bellefonte; Harbaugh; and students Merrill, of Williamsport; Danita M. Robinson, of Watsontown; Ryan E. Reid, of Linden; Dreese, of Selinsgrove; Crystal S. Pearson, of Muncy; and Jessica L. Yoder, of Watsontown.

Students in nursing and physician assistant majors put their skills to use this week in College Health Services, where they administered flu shots to the college community. The students were overseen by instructors as they provided the vaccines.

PA Students, Program Director Interviewed at Little League

WNEP interviews PA students, director at LLWSWNEP’s Kristina Papa, among the journalists covering the Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, recently talked with physician assistant majors Michelle D. Detwiler and Angela R. Vought and program director Lynn Eckrote about School of Health Sciences students’ experience during the 11-day sporting event. Detwiler, of Milton, and Vought, of Elysburg, are among nearly 50 PA and emergency medical services/paramedic technician students represented on the LLWS medical team. Papa’s report premiered during Tuesday’s 5 p.m. newscast.

Physician Assistant Alumnus Honored by Penn College

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour presents the Alumni Achievement Award to Kevin A. Hickman, a 2008 physician assistant graduate.

A 2008 graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s physician assistant major was honored with the college’s Alumni Achievement Award at Summer 2017 commencement ceremonies, held Aug. 5 at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

Kevin A. Hickman, of Avon, Connecticut, and a Luzerne County native, received the award in recognition of his contributions to the physician assistant field and his alma mater.

Hickman serves as director of Physician Assistant Services for Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, in Hartford, Connecticut. The medical center employs over 200 physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses, and is part of Trinity Health Of New England, a regional health system serving Connecticut and western Massachusetts.

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LLWS Medical Team to Include Nearly 50 Penn College Students

A large group of Pennsylvania College of Technology students is set to join the medical team at the 2017 Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport this August.

The students are pursuing careers as physician assistants and paramedics. During the 11-day tournament, they will serve both participants and spectators of the series, which draws 16 teams from around the world, and tens of thousands of fans each day.

“Our paramedic and physician assistant programs deeply appreciate the clinical practice our students gain from such an exciting annual international event as the Little League World Series just across the river from campus,” said Edward A. Henninger, dean of health sciences.

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Penn College Summer Commencement to Take Place Aug. 5

Penn College’s Summer 2017 Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 5, at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

Nearly 250 students have petitioned to graduate in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Summer 2017 Commencement ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 5, at the Community Arts Center.

The student speaker for the ceremony, which begins at 11 a.m., is Michael Raymond Harer, of Williamsport, who will be awarded an Associate of Applied Science in surgical technology. He will be presented with the Surgical Technology Outstanding Academic Achievement Award before commencement. Harer will be employed as a surgical technologist with UPMC Susquehanna following graduation.

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Emergency Scenarios Translate to Real-Life Benefit for Students

Occupational therapy assistant student Rachel N. Zimmerman, of Pine Grove, shows physician assistant student Zachary S. Kimble, of Bellefonte (acting as a hip-replacement patient who later in the simulation would have a stroke) and other students watching how to use a “reacher” to help with dressing. Observing is Christine A. Tilburg, clinical director of physical therapist assistant.

Emergency medical services student Ian P. McClure, of Littlestown, and paramedic technician student Megan E. Bobby, of Dysart, explain the actions they would take when called to the Dental Hygiene Clinic to help a patient experiencing an allergic reaction to Novocain.

Surgical technology students simulate a laparoscopic gall bladder removal.

Around 250 students in the School of Health Sciences – an academic division that spans 11 distinct health care and allied health fields – are participating this week in a series of hands-on emergency health simulations. The school’s fourth annual Interdisciplinary Professional Event involves 24 student teams, each made up of a cross section of health disciplines, discussing and observing one another’s role in their assigned case. Students in the physician assistant major played roles of patients, whose health problems ranged from an allergic reaction to Novocain in the Dental Hygiene Clinic to a loss of consciousness in the Keystone Dining Room, and surgeries to replace hips and remove gallbladders. As “patients” moved through the health care system, they moved, with their observers, from lab to lab in the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center. The purpose of the experience is to prepare the students to deliberatively work together as patients interact with each of them during their health care experience, with an ultimate goal to improve patient care. Also involved were 23 staff and faculty from the school, who planned and managed the event and led groups through their simulations on Tuesday and Thursday.

Board Approves Master’s Degree Program in Physician Assistant

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Board of Directors has approved a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies – the first graduate degree program ever to be offered at the institution, a special mission affiliate of Penn State.

Penn College plans to begin offering courses leading to the master’s degree in the fall of 2017, with conferring of degrees to begin in 2022.

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The Whole Picture

Cindy Spinello, '84. Photo courtesy of John Gardner, The Lewisburg Studio

Backed by her husband, Greg, right, and former Gov. Tom Corbett, Spinello speaks at the signing of the Pennsylvania Breast Density Notification Act.

From the Fall 2016 Penn College Magazine: Reeling from a late-stage breast cancer diagnosis, Cindy Spinello, ’84, pushed for legislation that could prevent the same outcome for others. Read “The Whole Picture.”

WBRE Spotlights Health Sciences Students at LLWS

Eyewitness News on campus

WBRE’s Cody Butler made a visit to Penn College students who are lending their skills at the Little League Baseball World Series. Forty-four students from the college’s physician assistant, paramedic and emergency medical services majors are stationed at the South Williamsport complex throughout the Series, which ends Aug. 28. Paramedic students, enrolled in the Intermediate Clinical Practicum course, are stationed in the stadiums to help meet emergency needs of spectators at the games. Physician assistant students are helping to staff the infirmary inside International Grove, where the teams reside during the Series. Both are under the direction of staff from Susquehanna Health and Susquehanna Regional Emergency Medical Services. Butler’s report – which featured emergency medical services major Molly J. Durland, of Dushore, and physician assistant student Macie N. Lucas, of Reedsville – aired during Tuesday evening newscasts.

Students to Work Behind the Scenes at Little League World Series

When the Little League World Series begins Aug. 18, students from Pennsylvania College of Technology’s School of Health Sciences will once again help to provide urgent and emergency health care.

Forty-four students pursuing careers as paramedics and physician assistants will lend a hand and gain valuable experience during the 11-day championship that draws thousands of spectators.

“The Little League World Series welcomes diverse players and guests from around the world, and we are so fortunate to be able to provide such a wonderful opportunity for our PA and paramedic students so close to campus,” said Edward A. Henninger, dean of the college’s School of Health Sciences.

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Physician Assistant Honored With Alumni Achievement Award

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour (left) presents the Alumni Achievement Award to Megan E. Wright, of Hummelstown.

A physician assistant at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center received the Alumni Achievement Award at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Summer 2016 commencement ceremonies, held Aug. 6 at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

Megan E. Wright, a 2012 graduate of the college’s physician assistant program, is employed as a physician assistant in Hershey’s Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation department. She’s been engaged in an effort to establish a new consult service for the department and also serves on the Advanced Practice Council, which represents more than 300 physician assistants and nurse practitioners throughout the Penn State Hershey Health system.

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Health Sciences Students Learn From One Another in Simulations

During a three-day set of emergency simulations that involved 320 Penn College students, Timothy F. Schwartzer (in hat), an emergency medical services student from Bensalem, explains to students in other health sciences majors how paramedics would begin treatment for a patient – played by a volunteer actor – who had fallen from a second-floor balcony.

Because a patient experiencing a health emergency will likely be cared for by many health care professionals with differing specialties, Pennsylvania College of Technology has taken an active approach to ensure that students understand the roles and collaboration necessary on a health care team.

The college’s School of Health Sciences took part in two recent events that involved more than 400 students in mock patient cases on its campus.

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Penn College Appoints Director of Physician Assistant Program

Lynn Eckrote

Lynn Eckrote has been named director of the Physician Assistant Program at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Eckrote, who had served as a clinical director before being named interim director of the program, began her employment at Penn College in 2014.

“The same high level of enthusiasm, collaboration, dedication and professionalism Lynn brought to our clinical directorship will translate well in her new role as program director,” said Edward A. Henninger, dean of the college’s School of Health Sciences. “We fully expect that Lynn will make a positive and lasting impact on the program’s mission of producing high-quality health professionals who contribute effective, evidence-based and compassionate care.”

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TV Segment Shares College’s Responsiveness to Workforce Needs

"Stay Tuned" to WVIA-TV

Penn College’s success in answering the skilled demands of industry will be featured in the next episode of WVIA-TV’s “Stay Tuned,” premiering at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21. The recurring series continues the public television station’s goal to highlight those making a difference in meeting critical community needs. “Television viewers often are bombarded with ‘What’s wrong with the world?’ news stories. WVIA’s ‘Stay Tuned’ reminds us that great people do great things every day in our region,” said Elaine J. Lambert, special assistant to the president for creative development and public relations. “It is an honor for Penn College to be featured in this episode.” Interviewed in the 10-minute segment are Tracy L. Brundage, vice president for workforce development; Kirk M. Cantor, professor of plastics technology; Christopher J. Gagliano, program manager, Thermoforming Center of Excellence; Alison A. Diehl, director, National Sustainable Structures Center; Ryan L. Newman, a former technician with the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center (who has since accepted employment in Louisiana); and students Madison T. Powell, of Linden (plastics), Eric M. Danz, of Hershey, and Kyle D. Bomboy, of Unityville (both physician assistant).

Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University