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4 Reasons why Gannon University celebrates PA Week

Published: 10/12/2021

Gannon University physician assistant students.

Gannon University physician assistant students.

Gannon University physician assistant students and faculty were celebrated alongside aspiring and current physician assistant professionals across the country during PA Week on Oct. 6-12.

This celebration is in recognition of the physician assistant profession and its contributions to the nation’s health.

“Gannon has a longstanding history of educating outstanding physician assistants who impact patients’ lives every day,” said Kim Cavanagh, DHSc, PA-C, associate professor and chair of the physician assistant program. “We’re proud to have a tremendous faculty who are committed to providing our students with a high-quality education that will prepare them to be well qualified and competent professionals. We are incredibly proud of our students and graduates who are dedicated to the health and wellness of their patients and communities.”

With the conclusion of PA week, we’re sharing four reasons why we celebrate our students and faculty in Gannon’s physician assistant program and their meaningful contributions to our communities.

1). A Longstanding History of Success
Gannon University has been educating physician assistant students for more than 40 years. The program launched at the Erie campus in 1977 and has since seen more than 1,350 students graduate from the program.

The program features a curriculum designed to provide didactic classroom experiences through traditional and online instruction. Students complete eight clinical rotations during their academic experience through Gannon’s more than 250 clinical partners who support their learning each year. Students can also learn in Gannon’s Patient Simulation Center, a clinical-like setting that mimics the way health care professionals collaborate in real time using the protocols they’ll encounter in their career.

Ultimately, students are equipped with the skills needed to deliver high-quality, compassionate health care service to patients as a vital member of a health care team.

2). Ranked Among the Best
Gannon’s physician assistant program was ranked in the top 27% offering graduate physician assistant degrees by the U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best Graduate School rankings. The program was ranked 46th out of 170 for best physician assistant programs.

3). A Commitment to Serving Communities
Gannon’s physician assistant students commit to serving their communities – not just in the career field but in their communities, as well.

Gannon physician assistant students recently held a donation drive in partnership with the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants in support of The Kindness Project. The project is a donation-based nonprofit that supports foster families when children are placed into new foster homes in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas. Students also recently participated in Gannon’s annual GIVE Day to serve the Erie community by helping to manage shreddable items that were dropped off at Shriners Hospital.

4). Excellence in Academics
Gannon University offers outstanding physician assistant programs at both its Erie and Ruskin campuses.

The Physician Assistant Department at the Erie campus offers a five-year, entry-level master’s degree program or two-year post-baccalaureate degree (when openings are available). The program’s mission is to provide a stimulating and collaborative learning environment led by highly qualified and dedicated faculty and staff. Our students are prepared to become ethical, professional and high-quality health care providers who are socially responsible leaders in their discipline and community. The program’s vision is to be on the forefront of professional advancement as we aspire to contribute to the evolution of the PA profession. We will be recognized for excellence in PA education and community partnerships. Both mission and vision follow a set of core values: compassion, inclusiveness, interdisciplinary approach and life-long learning. Click here to learn more.

The Physician Assistant Department at the Ruskin campus is offering a Master of Physician Assistant Science degree available through a post-baccalaureate curriculum. The curriculum is predominantly clinical work during the final year of the program. Adjunct regional medical faculty, in conjunction with various health care institutions, introduce students to professional physician assistant training. Clinical sites are offered primarily in Florida. Watch this video to learn more about the PA program at the Ruskin campus.