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2015-2020 HRSA GRANT: PIPELINE TO DIVERSITY
 
The ISU PA Program is the recipient of a one-million-dollar HRSA Primary Care Training and Enhancement grant. Nationally, 114 grant applications were submitted, of which 30 were funded, and only 1 granted to a PA Program. The Program feels extremely fortunate to have been awarded the grant and looks forward to the ways it will make a difference in Idaho. Pipeline to Diversity's goal is to increase the diversity of the PA workforce. Specifically, ISU is targeting Latino and Latino-focused individuals.

The grant is multi-faceted. There is a high school outreach component in which ISU partners with area high schools with high Latino populations to offer dual enrollment Spanish for Health Professions courses. By taking the six credits, students are eligible to earn an additional sixteen college credits by testing out of college Spanish courses, as well as take the state Medical Spanish Interpreter Certification test. Snake River High School in Blackfoot is the first of three high schools to be involved with the grant.

There is a Latino Health Track with $4,000 stipends per year for Latino and Latino-focused individuals as well. Latino ethnicity is not required, but a desire to serve the Latino community is a requisite of the competitive scholarship process. Also, up to half of the allotted stipends are set aside for US military veterans. In year one of the grant, the following four first-year students were selected to receive the stipend: Andrea Cortez (Meridian), Samantha Davis (Meridian), Zachariah Rollins (Pocatello), and Hannah Jones (Caldwell). The stipend is renewable for the second year of PA training as well.

 
There is a curriculum component, in which each of the clinical medicine modules will be updated with pertinent cultural diversity information such as: prevalence and incidence in cultural groups; explanatory models of illness/wellness; cultural beliefs and practices; cultural formulation in case studies; and challenges to providers in this area of practice. There was a two-part faculty seminar to kick off this portion of the grant. The implementation will occur in phases over the next four years. During the seminar, faculty engaged with new material as well as enjoyed creating masterpieces with the toys and party favors available on the tables during the seminars.
Another component to the grant is the cultural language enrichment of the faculty through travel stipends. The grant provides the opportunity for eight travel stipends per year. The faculty apply for the funds through a competitive process and awardees are able to go on ISU-associated medical missions to the Dominican Republic and Peru. Faculty may also precept ISU PA students at an ISU-affiliated international rotation in Belize, or participate in a Spanish immersion experience. All faculty are encouraged to pursue the Graduate Certificate in Spanish for Health Professions.

See the graduate catalog for more information regarding the Graduate Certificate.
PAEA PROJECT ACCESS
by Marv Sparrell
Associate Program Director for the ISU PA Program

Marv Sparrell, Jared Papa, Denise Bowen, and a counselor from the National Collegiate Preparatory Public Charter School
On Friday, November 13th, Jared Papa, Service Learning Coordinator and Associate Professor for the ISU PA Program, and I were sent to the National Collegiate Preparatory Public Charter School in the poor, disadvantaged area of southwestern Washington, DC, as a part of Project Access. Our team, which included Denise Bowen from the PA Program from Western Michigan University, met with fourteen students who were all first-generation, college-bound students, answering many questions as well as educating them about multiple health care professions and the PA profession itself.

I first heard about, and participated in, Project Access in 2014 at the Philadelphia PAEA meeting, despite it being a part of the PAEA and AAPA conferences since 1987. Project Access takes PAs out to local schools who have a significant proportion of minority students to talk about health professions and specifically the Physician Assistant profession. This year, educators from around the country went to many disadvantaged Washington, DC, high schools and universities on the mornings of Thursday and Friday during the PAEA conference.

I would strongly encourage anyone to participate in Project Access.  I think it is important to meet with potential students and answer their questions. Someday, they may pursue becoming a PA because of this exposure. These students are the future of our profession, and it was fun to meet such an energetic group of students. I really enjoyed Project Access.

Find out more about Project Access here.

 
ISU FACULTY PARTICIPATE IN PAEA HILL DAY 2015
 
In conjunction with its annual educational forum in Washington D.C., the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) sponsored Hill Day, 2015. ISU PA faculty members Talia Sierra (Meridian), Marv Sparrell (Meridian and Caldwell), and Paula Phelps (Pocatello) had the opportunity to visit with staff members from Idaho's Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, as well as with staffers of Representative Michael Simpson and Rául Labrador. Although neither Sierra nor Phelps had participated in such an event before, Sparrell took the lead of the Idaho delegation as a Hill Day veteran.

The talking points regarded two bills introduced into the House of Representatives: H.R. 3943 (The Physician Assistant Public Health Initiative Act of 2015) and H.R. 3944 (The Physician Assistant Higher Education Modernization Act of 2015). These are important to Idaho as they will both help increase patient access to primary care providers in Idaho.

For more information on the bills, please visit this article from PAEA's website.
WELCOME NEW FACULTY AND STAFF!

MICHAEL NELSON
Dr. Nelson graduated from the Program in 2008. He earned a Doctor of Health Sciences degree with an emphasis in Leadership and Organizational Behavior from A.T. Still University in 2015. His clinical experience is in primary care, orthopedics, and spine surgery. Prior to joining the ISU PA Program, he assisted in founding and instructing at the PA Program at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo, UT. Dr. Nelson joined the ISU PA Program in 2016.

CHRISTINE HALL
Christine graduated from Oregon Health & Science University's Physician Assistant Program in 2003 and currently works in urgent care. She has clinical practice experience in family medicine, internal medicine, and cardiothoracic surgery. She earned a Master of Arts in Teaching Biology from Duke University in 1993, where she completed her undergraduate education, and taught science for six years prior to pursuing her PA training. Christine intends to complete ISU's Graduate Certificate in Spanish for Health Professions. She joined the ISU PA Program in 2015.

CHAD WHITAKER
Chad has worked in various roles in theater and classroom technology for six years, including aspects of sound and lighting design and implementation; operation and maintenance of lighting, sound, and video equipment; and space design and construction. He has worked for Idaho State University in the Distance Learning department of two years. He joined the ISU PA Program in 2015.

DAN D'EON
Dan has years of experience as a live-event and media technician. He has mixed hundreds of concerts for large audiences, and shot and edited thousands of television commercials. Dan has always focused on making sure that the intended message is clearly communicated. Dan enjoys the students' vibe and energy. At home, he loves to hang out with his wife, go camping, and hack hardware. He joined the ISU PA Program in 2015.
POINTS OF INTEREST
 
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