News about Physician Assistant

Director Appointed for Penn College Physician Assistant Program

Joshua A. Bower

Joshua A. Bower has been named director of the physician assistant program at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Bower is a certified physician assistant, licensed to practice in Pennsylvania. His primary focus is in ophthalmology. Prior to joining the Penn College staff in August, he was a physician assistant for six years at the Eye Center of Central PA.

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Surgical Technology Board Exam Pass Rate Beats National Average

Penn College student Anna G. Thompson, of Mount Carmel, practices assisting with a laparoscopic surgery in the college’s mock operating room. Over 91 percent of the college’s August surgical technology graduates passed the national certification exam for surgical technologists on their first attempt.

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s 2018 surgical technology graduates passed the national Certified Surgical Technologist Examination on their first attempt with a 91.67 percent pass rate, which far exceeds the national average. The group of 12 graduated in August and took the exam the same month.

The Certified Surgical Technologist exam is conducted by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

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Penn College Students Serve Health Care Needs at LLWS

Penn College emergency medical services students Michelle K. Waughen, of Montgomery, and Ali T. Alnasir, of Williamsport, stand ready to provide to provide care to those in attendance at the 2017 Little League World Series. Penn College students pursuing careers as physician assistants and paramedics are providing health care at the 2018 World Series.

Forty-three students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s physician assistant and emergency medical services/paramedic programs will be on hand to help serve the health care needs of spectators and players at the Little League Baseball World Series, Aug. 16-26.

The event draws tens of thousands of spectators over 11 days as 16 U.S. and international Little League teams vie for the championship in South Williamsport, just a short drive from the Penn College main campus.

“We are proud to have our physician assistant and paramedic students participate with interdisciplinary members of the health care team to assist with providing care to Little League players from around the world,” said Sandra L. Richmond, dean of nursing and health sciences. “This event is an excellent example of the cross-cultural service learning opportunities we provide for our students.”

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Girded With ‘Armor of Compassion,’ PA Students Start Clinical

Members of the physician assistant Class of 2019 gather to celebrate their move from classroom to clinical learning.

Hannah M. Frantz, of Hershey, accepts a hug from Christine Frantz, who presented her pin. White coats were given by instructor Larissa D. Whitney, and each student chose an individual to attach his or her pin.

Jennifer L. Mitchell, of Kulpmont, flashes a smile at the audience as she is “pinned” by Elizabeth Bendas.

Katanga Muanza, of Williamsport, hugs Emil Lukasa after receiving his white coat and pin.

Elizabeth A. Belz, of Montoursville; Hannah M. Frantz, of Hershey; Dylan C. Griffin, of Milton; and Amber L. Grimm, of Milton, join classmates in reciting the physician assistant oath.

Students in the physician assistant Class of 2019 celebrated a milestone in their education on July 21 with the program’s traditional “white coat ceremony.” Twenty-seven students marked the completion of three semesters of intensive classroom study that will be followed – beginning with the Fall 2018 semester – with a full year of hands-on patient care at health care sites, under the supervision of clinical preceptors. The white coat, explained the program’s medical director, Dr. Gregory R. Frailey, in welcoming remarks, holds a great deal of symbolism. He dons his white coat each workday as though putting on the armor of compassion. Other speakers included Dr. Anju Sonia Dayal, a part-time instructor of physician assistant; Larissa D. Whitney, instructor of physician assistant; Brian M. McKeon Sr., assistant professor of physician assistant; and class representatives Kelly E. Heckman, of Bellefonte, and Wayne R. Jacobs, of Jersey Shore. The class, led by Physician Assistant Club President Valerie L. Kubalak, of Spring Mills, recited the physician assistant oath, pledging to hold the health, safety, welfare and dignity of all human beings as their primary responsibility, then presented gifts to the full-time physician assistant faculty, including a gift of $1,000 to the Global Down Syndrome Foundation in honor of Carter Whitney.

Health Sciences Team Owns ‘Breakout’ Session

Conquering the interactive challenge of Williamsport Escapes are (clockwise, from bottom left) Zeel Patel, a pre-nursing student from Bensalem; Long; Traister; Cera N. Blunk, a physician assistant major from Schuylkill Haven; Emily K. Conklin, a pre-dental hygiene student from Port Allegany; and Constance J. Plankenhorn, of Williamsport, enrolled in physician assistant studies.

The Health Sciences Living-Learning Community participated in an activity Friday at Williamsport Escapes, which offers a team-building series of brain games at 201 Basin Street. Tanae A. Traister, clinical director of nursing, and Taren A. (Adams) Long, a 2011 radiography graduate, joined four students as they solved clues that allowed them to break out of the facility’s locker-room area. The group was given 60 minutes to escape and managed to get out with two minutes and 57 seconds to spare! Penn College’s Living-Learning Communities provide themed housing arrangements for first-year residents in a variety of academic majors.
Photo provided

Tia G. La Named ‘Student of the Month’

Tia G. La

Tia G. La, a pre-physician assistant major from Guam, has been chosen as the December/January “Student of the Month” at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

A former student photographer for Public Relations & Marketing and a Community Peer Educator with Student Affairs, she also volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters and has given of her time at Susquehanna Health (now UPMC Susquehanna).

“Her images are fantastic! Her incredible photographic talent has graced our college magazine, marketing publications, social media, PCToday and other media/marketing outlets,” a staff nominator wrote. “For two full years (summers included), she represented PRM at countless campus and off-campus events, positively interacting with the college family and the community.”

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PA Program Receives College’s Outstanding Assessment Award

Employees of the Penn College’s physician assistant program received the college’s President’s Award for Outstanding Assessment of Student Learning. From left are Katie M. McNamee, secretary to the program; Brian M. McKeon, assistant professor; Heather S. Dorman, clinical director; Lynn Eckrote, director; Victor P. Pupo, instructor; and Dr. Kendra F. Boell, clinical director. Also integral to the effort, but not pictured, is Larissa D. Whitney, instructor of physician assistant.

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Physician Assistant Program has been named the recipient of the college’s 2017 President’s Award for Outstanding Assessment of Student Learning.

Employees of the program received the honor Jan. 5 at the all-college meeting that opened the Spring 2018 semester.

The President’s Award for Outstanding Assessment of Student Learning recognizes initiative and creativity in facilitating student learning and reflects the college’s commitment to ongoing assessment of student learning outcomes.

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