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History

1997

  • Program founded and provisionally accredited by Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
  • Program admits first students

1999

  • Program granted full accreditation by Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
  • First graduating class

2000

  • Faculty planning retreat initiates periodic self–study
  • 100% of first-time test takers pass the national certifying examination.
  • Clinical students begin using PDA database to record patient encounters

2001

  • The Physician Assistant Program was awarded a three–year grant of $439,917 by the Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Professions. The Barry University Primary Care PA Training Project focused on the development of a Cultural Competency Curriculum and improved computer and online capability of the program. The major focus was delivery of primary care to rural, medically underserved and disadvantaged communities.
  • 100% of first - time test takers pass the national certifying examination.

2002

  • Program accreditation renewed for five years by Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.
  • Service Learning component added to the curriculum

2003

  • Fund - raiser in Palm Beach County for endowed student scholarship
  • Problem based learning component added to the curriculum
  • The Physician Assistant Program was awarded a one - year supplemental grant of $75,000 by the Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions. This supplemented the existing grant awarded in 2001.

2004

  • Planning began for an expansion program serving place–bound students on Florida’s west coast.
  • The Physician Assistant Program was awarded over $475,000 for its third three–year grant from the Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions to support distance education.

2005

  • First - year students enroll in the expansion program at the University Partnership Center at St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, Florida. Students began attending first-year didactic lectures delivered simultaneously between St. Petersburg and Miami Shores.

2006

  • Hurricane Wilma forces the SGMS into temporary quarters.
  • Lisa Wharry was awarded the Service Above Self Award by the North Miami Foundation for Senior Citizens for placements in service learning experiences.
  • Second–year students enrolled in the expansion program at St. Petersburg, Florida began their first rotations on Florida’s west coast.
  • Division of Medicine established to include School of Podiatric Medicine and School of Graduate Medical Sciences

2007

  • Ground breaking for the Center for Community Health and Minority Medicine
  • Program accreditation renewed for two years by Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant
  • PA Student Association was selected as the 2007 Outstanding Student Society in the country by the Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants
  • First graduating class including the expansion program at St. Petersburg, Florida as well as Miami Shores students.

2008

  • Travis Rogers, PA class of 2009 was the recipient of the national Physician Assistant Foundation Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded nationally on the basis of financial need, academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and future goals as a PA.

2009

  • Program accreditation renewed for seven years by Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant; the maximum number of years the Commission will accredit physician assistant programs.
  • It was noted that the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) had no PA training programs, yet the entire territory is deemed medically underserved.  As part of its periodic mission assessment, Barry PA examined national health care trends and sent an advance team to the USVI to engage stakeholders on the feasibility of an expansion program in St. Croix.  
  • PA alumni continue to return to the Program as both core and adjunct faculty members, assisting with physical diagnosis labs and the Program’s annual primary care board review lectures.  PA alumni also act as preceptors for students in the clinical setting.
  • The Physician Assistant Program held its first videoconferenced White Coat Ceremony for the PA Class of 2011. The ceremony was held simultaneous at the Broad Auditorium in Miami Shores and at the University Partnership Center Digitorium on the St. Petersburg campus.
  • The Center for Community Health and Minority Medicine building project was completed this summer.  Courtyard landscaping touches were added during the Founders Week Paint the Campus Red celebration.

2010

  • Cultural competency component continues annually at new student orientation
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded Barry University's Physician Assistant program $1.5 million in grants to address primary health care shortages in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI).  The first of the grants encompasses a one-year project of $273,332 to purchase equipment to establish video conferencing capability in the USVI.  The second grant of $1,223,615 is a five-year project to address primary health care shortages in the USVI through PA training.
  • The PA Program has been advancing exercises in Problem Based Learning to encourage active learning.  The faculty is scrutinizing the curriculum to accommodate the new learners who are adept at technology.  Presently all course materials are published on Blackboard and all didactic testing is done electronically. 
  • Dr. Charles Culver, the first faculty member of the PA Program, retired.  During his tenure, he served at various times as Associate Program Director, Director of Self-Study and faculty member mentor for scholarly activity.  Dr. Culver was a Professor whose earlier career was at Dartmouth Medical School.  He is a highly acclaimed author of medical ethics articles and books.  He was instrumental in helping develop the early PA Program.

2011

  • First - year students enroll in the expansion program on St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Students began attending first-year didactic lectures delivered simultaneously between St. Croix, St. Petersburg and Miami Shores.
  • The PA program at Barry University simultaneously celebrated the first white coat ceremony for students in the class of 2013 at its new campus in the U.S. Virgin Islands and at its two other campuses in Miami Shores and St. Petersburg, Florida, through interactive videoconferencing.
  • Dr. Doreen Parkhurst, the Associate Dean and Program Director of Barry's Physician Assistant Program, talked about the Program with the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital Board’s regular monthly meeting.

2012

  • The PA Program faculty conducted a one-day kick-off for the millennial task force Think Tank.  The faculty acknowledges that the learner has changed and the curriculum design needs to respond to future generations of students who are tech-savvy, multi-taskers with short attention spans.  A literature review of best practices in higher education was studied and discussed. 
  • Barry’s membership in the Pi Alpha National Honor Society continues to grow.  Pi Alpha is the national Physician Assistant honor society organized for the promotion and recognition of both PA students and graduates. Membership signifies the inductees' significant academic achievement and honors them for their leadership, research, community/professional service and other related activities. The society also encourages a high standard of character and conduct among students and graduates.
  • Ms. Evelyn Garcia was the recipient of the Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin Award presented during Barry’s Year End Celebration on April 27, 2012. 
  • Barry University is supporting an initiative to amend the PA Practice Act in the Virgin Islands to provide prescriptive privileges for PAs that will allow them to better meet the needs of patients across the islands.  The participation of citizens, government, physicians, PAs and others in this process demonstrates the inclusive community that is working together to meet basic human needs.
  • PA Program conducted its own Commencement Ceremony with three-way interactive videoconferencing between Miami Shores, St. Petersburg and St. Croix.
  • Several members of the PA Program faculty have published books, articles and/or presentations:  Physician Assistant Review (Surgery Chapter), The Evaluation of Physician Assistants’ History-Taking Abilities Using Actors as Standardized Patients, Predictors of Student Participation in Patient Care, and Evidence Based Admissions Screening Derived from Predicted PANCE Success.
  • In July efforts by the Barry University Physician Assistant Program culminated in the passage of new legislation governing PA practice in the U. S. Virgin Islands.  PA Program faculty testified effectively in support of the proposed law before the legislature of the Virgin Islands.
  • The School of Podiatric Medicine and Physician Assistant Program were treated to a luncheon sponsored by the Annual iGIVE Campaign on November 27, 2012 as a reward for 100% participation with a total pledge amount of over $24,000.00.

2013

  • The St. Croix campus is now fully staffed with three full time faculty members and four full time staff.  Construction of a second classroom is complete.
  • Use of electronic media for office and course materials reduces environmental impact.  All course materials available to students online.  The majority of testing is electronic based. 
  • The Program has long engaged in team building activities, retreats, seminars and assigned readings for faculty and staff.  Given the recent growth on three campuses, with many people who have never had the advantage of those activities, the Program has instituted refresher seminars in team building with the assistance of Barry University QIP.
  • The Class of 2015 matriculated and has enrollment in Miami Shores, St. Petersburg and St. Croix.  Their White Coat Ceremony was conducted using interactive videoconferencing on August 19, 2013.

2014

  • The St. Croix campus matriculates it first class of 24 students.
  • Greg Burns becomes Operations Director in St. Petersburg and Valery Kepley become Operations Director in St. Croix.
  • Terry Helopoulos, the first Operations Director in St. Petersburg, retires after serving in the program for seven years. She remains a lab instructor.
  • Dr. Doreen Parkhurst, the first PA faculty member, is granted approval for sabbatical from September 2014 to March 2015.

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