For Immediate Release
Further Information: Contact Joseph Giomboni
Public Relations Office, (570) 208-5958
Five King’s physician assistant studies students have beenselected 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 Emily Buchman, Melanie Call, Tammy Frost, Madeline Schiminger, and Julia Zafia.
The students are the second 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.
The Physician Assistant Program was established at King’s as a certificate program in 1975. Since then it has graduated more than 850 students and has grown into a combined five-year bachelor’s and master’s degree program for King’s students and a two-year master’s degree program for professional phase students who earn a bachelor’s degree from another college.
The PA program recently received 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 170 ARC-PA accredited programs in the country and one of only 18 in Pennsylvania. King’s is only one of three Pennsylvania accredited programs based at a college; most are at universities.
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Photo Ident: Shown, from left, is Diana Easton, director of the Physician Assistant Program; scholarship recipients Tammy Frost, Melanie Call, Emily Buchman, Madeline Schiminger and Julia Zafia; and, Jean Denion, associate clinical professor and academic coordinator of the Physician Assistant Program.