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College of Health and Human Sciences

Local Kansas health care experts provide support in creating world-class physician assistant program at K-State

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Health care experts from Northeast Kansas have supplied their expertise and support to the newly developed physician assistant program within the College of Health and Human Sciences, helping them prepare to welcome their first cohort of students in January 2021.

The physician assistant, or PA, program began their development in 2018 and was publicly announced in spring 2019.  The past two years have been spent developing curriculum and clinical site locations, preparing for accreditation and creating a new space in Ice Hall, where the program will be housed.

The PA program would like to extend their sincerest appreciation for the local health care experts for their unwavering support time and talents as members of the program’s founding advisory committee. The committee serves as a direct link between the program and the local health care professionals to strengthen the quality of the educational experience and provide a more informed view of the medical community.

“In 2018, using their knowledge of current trends in health care, the committee reviewed the proposed PA curriculum to ensure relevancy; promoted the PA program in their communities; and secondary to their concerted efforts are now assisting with interviewing for the inaugural class,” said Gwen Ferdinand-Jacob, program director.

Members of the founding advisory committee include: Mike Trausch, physician assistant-certified, and MAJ Vivien Guevara, physician assistant-certified, Irwin Army Community Hospital, Fort Riley;  Amy Fitzgerald, Lindsborg Community Hospital, Lindsborg; Erin Thornton, physician assistant-certified, Manhattan Dermatology, Manhattan; Keith Wright, medical doctor, Stonecreek Family Physicians, Manhattan; Lance Saville, medical doctor, Manhattan Surgical Hospital, Manhattan; Kerri Maxcy, physician assistant-certified, Manhattan Primary Care, Manhattan; Anne Gnadt, physician assistant-certified, Lafene Health Center, Manhattan; Tandalayo Kidd, registered dietitian nutritionist, licensed practical nurse, professor, College of Health and Human Sciences, Manhattan; Kelcie Strecker, physician assistant-certified, Kansas Medical Clinic, Shawnee; Megan Brown, physician assistant-certified, Kansas Medical Clinic, Topeka; and David Brosa, physician assistant-certified, Stormont Vail Healthcare, Topeka.

From outside Kansas, Brad Dirks, physician assistant-certified, Kansas City Veteran’s Medical Center, Kansas City, Missouri.

The physician assistant program will be located in Mary and Carl Ice hall on the Manhattan campus. The 27-month, full-time graduate program, leading to a master’s degree in physician assistant studies, consists of three semesters of classroom instruction, followed by 15 months of clinical training. PA students will complete approximately 2,000 hours of hands-on clinical experiences, through 11 rotations at various clinics and hospitals across the State of Kansas, and beyond.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 37% increase in physician assistant jobs between 2016 and 2026, compared to a 13% increase in physician jobs. Physician assistants are one of the three primary care providers, recognized by the Affordable Care Act of 2010, along with physicians and nurse practitioners.

For more information on the physician assistant program, please visit their website.

This article was posted on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, and is filed under College News, Physician Assistant.