Barry University is training students in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, to become physician assistants through the expansion of its PA program.
Posted On : October 29, 2012
Barry’s PA program has been providing supervised clinical training for 12 students in the USVI since August 19 through its primary partnership and clinical affiliate, the Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center ( JFLH) in St. Croix.
The new student orientation and courses for the inaugural class were temporarily
conducted at the Martha and Bennie Benjamin Foundation Teleconference Center at the Virgin Islands Cardiac Center, until permanent space for the PA program, currently under construction, is completed at the Sunshine Mall in Frederiksted. Students receive the same classroom training via the interactive video conferencing process already in use on the mainland. Clinical rotations for students at the St. Croix campus will continue in USVI hospitals, clinics and physician offices.
“JFLH saw this as an opportunity to invest in our community by improving access to Virgin Island students to gain educational and clinical experience. We are excited about partnering with Barry University in building awareness of the health care opportunities in St. Croix and the USVI,” said Chief Executive Officer Jeff A. Nelson.
Barry University was awarded two grants under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to expand PA training to the USVI: the one-year, $273,000 HRSA Equipment Grant for equipment needed to conduct classes via interactive video conferencing, and the five-year, $1.2 million HRSA Training Grant to support and develop faculty and staff and to support PA student travel to the USVI for two years.
The first phase of the federal training grant began in July 2010. The grant placed currently enrolled PA students from the Miami Shores and St. Petersburg, Florida, campuses in clinical rotations in the USVI. Barry PA students completed 19 rotations in internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, family practice, surgery and emergency medicine. Students worked at JFLH, as well as Roy Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas and the Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center on St. John. These rotations provided clinical training experiences in patient populations that include underinsured, low-income, culturally diverse, indigent and elder individuals of the USVI community.
Grant funds have supported the placement of the PA students in clinical rotations and an advance team of faculty and staff assigned to St. Croix for the start-up phase. The grant funding also provides the initial administrative, faculty and technical support personnel needed for the operation until it is self-sustained. The PA Program has hired three permanent employees for the St. Croix campus, two of whom are residents of St. Croix. The Program will support further recruitment and development of local PAs and physicians from the islands as future core and adjunct faculty members for the Barry
PA Program campus in the USVI.
The PA Program received approval for the expansion project from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in spring 2011.
“It will take time to develop the PA applicant pool in the Territory,” said Keith L.
Moore, JD, PA-C, associate program director. “Our goal is to attract and train applicants from the USVI and retain them as PAs in the regional health care system upon graduation.”
For more information about Barry’s PA Program, call the admissions office at 800-319-3338, option 2, or email email@example.com.
Barry's Physician Assistant program helps bill become law in U.S. Virgin IslandsAug 20, 2012
Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr., of the U.S. Virgin Islands signed legislation into law on July 17, permitting physician assistants to prescribe non-narcotic medications for up to 30 days and a 72-hour supply of Schedule II-V controlled medications, for patients seen in the emergency department of a Virgin Islands government hospital.
The persistent and determined efforts of the Barry University PA inaugural class in St. Croix, local PAs and physicians, and the Barry PA team in St. Croix played a critical role in helping to get the legislation passed. Working closely together, AAPA staff, Barry PA faculty and PAs in the Virgin Islands developed a successful advocacy plan to educate the health care community, legislators and regulators about the many benefits of the physician-PA team model in providing high quality health care to patients within the territory. As a result, the new legislation will allow better access to health care for all residents of the USVI.
Among other improvements, the new law removes an on-site supervision requirement and incorporates much of the American Academy of Physician Assistants’ (AAPA) model state legislative language. With the governor's actions, PAs are authorized to prescribe in all jurisdictions where they are licensed.
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded Barry’s Physician Assistant program $1.5 million in grants. Funds from this award being used to support expansion of the Barry PA program into the Virgin Islands. The university’s first PA class in St. Croix began in August, 2011.
The program's expansion into the Virgin Islands is in direct response to the health care and educational needs of those in the territory, as well as to the recommendations made in the HRSA State Health Workforce Profile for the Virgin Islands. One of the goals of the expansion was to improve the PA practice environment and utilization of PAs in all clinical settings in the territory.
“This legislation passed in the U.S. Virgin Islands can help bolster legislative efforts in other states in the United States when people see how progressive an approach the USVIs have taken to PA health care services for medically underserved populations,” said Keith Moore, JD, PA-C, associate program director for the Barry PA program.
Barry’s PA program on the main campus is located in Miami Shores, Florida and offers a Master of Clinical Medical Sciences degree and PA Certificate of Completion. Barry’s two off-site locations are at the University Partnership Center of St. Petersburg College and in St. Croix in partnership with the Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital.
Physician Assistant program in St. Croix adds new faculty and staff
Posted On : April 20, 2012
Professor Claire Lokitis; PA Student and USVI native, Jenifer Samuel; Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen, and Seana Hanley PA staff member.
Barry University’s Physician Assistant program hired three new members for its new off-site campus in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Claire Lokitis, Seana Hanley and EvaMarie Gibbs-Stevens will join the students, faculty, and staff in St. Croix.
Lokitis is the operations director and assistant professor of medical education, Hanley, is an administrative assistant and Gibbs-Stevens, serves as the senior videoconferencing support specialist.
Lokitis, who serves as the overall operations director of Barry’s new PA program, holds an associate of science degree in Animal Science from SUNY – Farmingdale, New York, a bachelor’s of science degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Touro College in New York, and a MS degree in Physician Assistant Education and Leadership from the Arizona School of Health Sciences. The professor explained she enjoys spreading the news about the PA program in St. Croix to island residents, while the PA students perform community service such as blood pressure screenings, during the 41st Agricultural Fair, among other locations.
Recently, the PA program conducted a Pediatric Physical Diagnosis Lab at their school site, attended by local pediatric volunteer patients, ranging in age from two months to nine years, and their parents. Lokitis demonstrated pediatric wxam techniques, which the PA student volunteers examined. The community response to the establishment of the Physician Assistant Program in St. Croix is overwhelmingly positive and the effort by Barry University is providing a major thrust to improve health care in the region, which is severely medically underserved.
Hanley holds the position of administrative assistant at the new off-site campus. She hails from St. Croix and attended Norfolk State University, where she studied and received a BA in fine arts/graphic design in 2008. Hanley plans to return to school, and pursue a master’s in guidance counseling. Before joining Barry at the St. Croix Campus in 2011, she served as a facilitator at Youth on Track, coordinating counseling group sessions with parents and students at public and private schools. Hanley explained Barry PA students have been well received in St. Croix since the local residents realize they are providing valuable volunteer health care services at local events on the island.
Gibbs-Stevens is the senior videoconferencing support specialist, providing technical support in St. Croix, which enables the PA program to educate students on its three campuses (Miami Shores, St. Petersburg and St. Croix) via interactive teaching. Gibbs-Stevens said it is amazing how new technologies have provided alternative teaching methods allowing professors to be located in three separate sites that interact collectively at the same time. She holds her Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology from the University of Phoenix Online and was a post-secondary instructor before joining the PA program.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Health Resources and Services Administration awarded Barry University’s Physician Assistant Program $1.5 million in grants to address the dramatic primary health care shortages in the U.S. Virgin Islands through PA training. The goal of the five year grant projects led by Dr. Doreen C. Parkhurst, associate dean and director of the Barry PA program, is to improve access to primary health care of the medically underserved islands and to provide medical education to islanders to enable them to pursue careers as physician assistants upon graduation.
Barry's Physician Assistant program hosts three simultaneous white coat ceremoniesSeptember 12, 2011
Ninety-three physician assistant students from the class of 2013 took part of a historic interactive white coat ceremony, held simultaneously on three campuses. On Aug. 26 Barry University’s Physician Assistant (PA) program was live on Barry University’s Miami Shores campus, the University Partnership Center at St. Petersburg College, and the new U.S. Virgin Islands campus at the Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center, Virgin Islands Cardiac Center classroom.
The new campus in the U.S. Virgin Islands was made possible through two grants totaling nearly $1.5 million to the PA program from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Health Resources and Services Administration.
The ceremonies, conducted by videoconferencing, recognized Barry students from all three campuses for achieving qualifications for acceptance into the rigorous PA program, which received more than 1,500 applicants.
At the Miami Shores campus, Dean for Barry’s School of Podiatric Medicine and Physician Assistant program, Dr. Jeffrey Jensen, welcomed the students.
“This program you are about to begin is unique among health care student training programs,” he said. “Its high expectations, tremendous program standards, and an unparallel level of innovative teaching methods are all designed to provide you with the tools necessary to make your careers a success.”
Associate Dean and Program Director of Barry’s PA program, Dr. Doreen C. Parkhurst, spoke from the St. Petersburg campus.
“You are entering your education with the Barry mission as your foundation,” she said. “Barry University pursues knowledge and truth, promotes social justice, embraces an inclusive global world view, and services its local and global communities through collaborative educational partnerships. We expect that you will make a difference in the world.”
Associate Director of Barry’s PA program, Keith Moore, JD, PA-C, addressed the students from St. Croix.
“Every inaugural class is exceptional, in fact, this class is audacious,” he said. “We are offering for the first time a PA program to the U.S. Virgin Islands that is breaking new ground with the highly inventive teaching techniques and what we have accomplished to get where we are today. What you learn today in class will keep with you for a lifetime.”
Barry’s PA program began in the fall of 1997 and by 2005 the PA program began admitting students on the west coast of Florida in collaboration with the University Partnership Center at St. Petersburg College. In 2009, the PA program underwent a stringent reaccreditation survey and was awarded a seven year reaccreditation and has now graduated more than 450 PAs.
For more information about Barry University’s Physician Assistant program and its primary training partner and clinical affiliate, the Governor Juan F. Louis Hospital and Medical Center at St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, call 1-800-319-3338, option 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org