Sept. 26, 2013 - Five King’s students have been selected to receive educational assistance grants made possible by a five-year federal grant awarded to the College in 2010. Funds from the grant are allowing King’s to expand its physician assistant studies program by up to five students per year through 2015 to meet the growing national need for primary care providers.
The students, who can receive the assistance funds for up to two years are Candace Fegley, Adele Habbaz, Kelly Klaproth, Kesha Patel, and Samantha Shelton.
The students are the third group to benefit from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Expansion of Physician Assistant Training Program under the Affordable Care Act.
The $990,000 award was one of 32 grants awarded to Physician Assistant training programs in the United States and was the largest of four given to Pennsylvania institutions. The program is designed to provide patients greater access to preventive and consistent medical care under the Affordable Care Act and to help address a predicted national shortage of medical professionals, especially in areas designated by the federal government as Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas. There are 164 such areas in Pennsylvania, including 23 in Luzerne County.
A physician assistant is a dependent mid-level health professional licensed by the state to practice medicine as delegated by and under the supervision of a physician. Physician assistants perform physical exams, diagnose illnesses, develop and carry out treatment plans, order and interpret lab tests and assist in surgeries.
The Physician Assistant Program was established at King’s as a certificate program in 1975.
The PA program is currently operating under a seven-year reaccreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The seven-year term is the longest available from the national independent accrediting body. King’s is one of 173 ARC-PA accredited programs in the country and one of only 17 in Pennsylvania. King’s is only one of three Pennsylvania accredited programs based at a college; most are at universities.
A Catholic College Sponsored by the Congregation of Holy Cross.
Shown, from left, is Jean Denion, PA-C, clinical professor in Physician Assistant Studies Program and academic coordinator; scholarship recipients Kesha Patel, Adele Habbaz, Kelly Klaproth, Samantha Shelton, and Candace Fegley; and Diana Easton, MPAS, PA-C, associate clinical professor, clinical director, and director of the Physician Assistant Studies Program.