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This past February, faculty and staff from ISU accompanied students to the Dominican Republic on a trip in association with the G3 Foundation. G3 is a non-profit organization aiming to provide quality dental care and basic medical services to limited-access areas around the world.

In addition to the dental personnel from G3, the team this trip consisted of two medical doctors, three ISU PA instructors, an ISU Spanish language professor, an ISU Clinical Psychology professor, and seven students. The trip was led by Jared Papa, the PA Program's Service Learning Coordinator. Prior to the team's departure, Jared Papa and the medical team collected medications and donated supplies totaling nearly $40,000. While in the country, the team was able to set up clinics in four areas: three near the capital of Santo Domingo and one near the Haitian border. At these clinics, the donated supplies were used to treat more than 1,100 people ranging from one month old to the very elderly, with a variety of illnesses and conditions. More than 200 pairs of eye glasses were distributed alone. Dr. Cathleen Tarp of the Languages and Literatures department at ISU and Dr. Melanie Rodriguez, a professor from Utah State University, served as Spanish interpreters. Jared, Dr. Jimmy Hawkes, Dr. Dick Anstett, and several second-year students also assisted in making communication much easier.

In addition to the medical aide, Jared's 15-year-old son Preston joined the trip as part of his Eagle Scout project. Preston recruited the help of many people across the state of Idaho to collect more than 250 baseballs, 20 bats, 50 gloves, 100 jump ropes, and handmade girl's dresses. The joy seen on the faces of the children was the unforgettable marker of a successful venture.

This humanitarian mission to serve the people of the Dominican Republic was a great experience. The country is beautiful, the weather in February perfect, and the rewards for such a service mission far outweighs the cost. It is such a wonderful and rewarding feeling, knowing that we've helped people that otherwise would not have had any way to obtain dental or medical help. Thanks must go out to the G3 Foundation and all those who contributed to a successful service mission.

If you are interested in participating in this annual mission, please contact Jared Papa at or 208-373-1754.

In the past several months, two of the Program's Medical Directors have accompanied groups not directly affiliated with ISU to provide healthcare to the under-served communities in Peru. Dr. Richard Anstett reported that on his trip, the team saw more than 1500 patients. On Dr. Sherwin D'Souza's 10-day trip through Idaho Condor, he spent 6 days in 6 different communities, treating more than 700 patients on their busiest day alone. 8-9 of the team-members were pre-PA students.

May 15th marked the last day of work for Clinical Assistant Professor Kent Whitaker, MEd, PA-C. Mr. Whitaker had been with the Program for 17 years, beginning in 1998. Long-time Clinical Year Team member, Kent has helped countless students navigate their way through the stresses of the second year of the Program out on rotation. Paula had this to say about him,"It is both a personal and professional loss to have Kent retire. We were classmates in PA school, so we've been colleagues for nearly 22 years. He is a gifted professor and an all around fun guy!" His cool-headed and logical point-of-view will be missed. Mr. Whitaker has graciously accepted the Program's invitation to have him speak at the class of 2015 graduation ceremony on August 7th, at 1 PM in the Performing Arts Center in Pocatello. Please attend and join the Program in wishing him a fond farewell and thank you for all his work over the years.

ISU's PA Program turns 20 this year, as many of you are already aware. In January 1995, the Program was founded by Walter Stein. The first class entered in August that year. Additionally, current Program Director, Paula Phelps, MHE, PA-C joined the Program in June of 1995, making this also her anniversary.

An event celebrating the Program's history occurred at the IAPA Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, with around 100 attendees from alumni, preceptors, faculty, staff, and current students. Pizza and a no-host bar accompanied a slideshow of historical photographs, music, and a festive Bengal pinata. A special thank you to all those who attended the party. The Program couldn't be as strong as it is without your support.

Pictured from left to right; Front: Kathy Evans, Debra Erramouspe, Linda King, Debra Ray; Back: Luke Nelson, Paula Phelps, Kebai Bills, Anntara Smith, Jeff Johnson, Tiffany McCray, Tony Bushnell, Darrell King

Alumni in attendance not pictured: Ryan Ankarberg, Kelsey Babcock, Karen Barrett, Louie Beech, Patricia Berglund, Anne Branch, Tiffany Christiansen, Katie Fisher, Courtney Hill, David Hill, Benjamin Hochhalter, Alan Jensen, Shad Johnson, Kristine Kingery, Elisabeth Kinghorn, Polina Kokoulina, Sophia Nyswyn, Anne Peterson, Rachel Sawyer, Colby Vance, Mandy VanSant.

Three ISU alumni were honored with awards from the Idaho Academy of PAs. Luke Nelson (2010) was given the Humanitarian of the Year award; David Hiel (2007) received the PA of the Year award; and Polina Kokoulina (2013) was presented with the New Comer award. The PA Program is very proud of the graduates and their accomplishments.

Assistant Professor Talia Sierra gave birth on April 21st to Karter Sierra who arrived at 12:45 AM, at 6 lbs. and 3 oz., 18.5". Congratulations, Sierra family!

On April 19, the Program's Meridian campus Video Instruction Manager, Jerry Jones, announced his successful certification for all eight models of the Biamp TesiraFORTE digital signal processor (DSP) series. The certification awards Jerry the knowledge for designing, programming, and commissioning the systems. He joins the Program's Pocatello Video Instruction Manager, Brian Redfield, in the ranks of the certified, though Jerry stands distinguished as the only ISU employee to hold ANSI-accredited certifications in both AV technology (through InfoComm CTS) and Information Technology (through CompTIA). Congratulations, Jerry!

In light of the Program's recent expansion to a third site, the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at Idaho State University is seeking physician assistant faculty members for its Meridian and Pocatello, Idaho, campus locations. The two positions to be filled are full-time Clinical Assistant Professors that include the University's benefit package. One day per week is allowed for clinical practice with earnings kept by the faculty member.

The ISU PA Program began in 1995 and will graduate its eighteenth class of students in 2015. The Program became a master's level program in 2003. There are currently 72 students accepted into the Program per year: 30 students at the Pocatello and Meridian campus and 12 students at the College of Idaho campus in Caldwell, Idaho. All three of these campuses are part of one unified program with all three classrooms connected by an advanced distance learning audio/video communications system.

Responsibilities include:
  1. Teaching, research, and service
  2. Prepare lectures and teach clinical medicine content
  3. Participate in assessment of student academic and clinical performance
  4. Participate in research, grant writing, and other scholarly activities
  5. Participate in professional development and active clinical practice
  6. Academic advising and record keeping
  7. Assist in clinical training and site visits
  8. Serve on department and university committees
  9. Other duties as assigned
Salary will be commensurate with education and experience. Includes a competitive benefits package.

Please apply utilizing the online application system found at the Idaho State University Career Site.

Looking to secure licensure in another state? AAPA provides some tips in a blog update. Check out their 5 State Licensing Tips for PAs.

Theresa Neumann, PA-C, highlights the expansion of a PA's role in the Eastern Corridor. Check out her article from the Chesapeake Physician.

PAs all over the country during the past year have fought to combat legislature and regulations that might have prevented the administering of care. AAPA has laid out a nice list of PA Victories in 2014 on their blog.
Copyright © 2015 Idaho State University PA Program, All rights reserved.

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