South University PA Program Update

Written by Jamie L. Simpson, PA-S2 and Beckie S. Hayes, MSPAS, PA-C

The first quarter of the year welcomed the Class of 2014 to Savannah. The class quickly took hold of the reins to perpetuate leadership and community involvement including volunteerism at the Ronald McDonald House and Savannah City Mission. Within the first two months, they had also served in two local health fairs including a community-based health fair and a larger-scale health fair with Memorial Health University Health Center’s screening booth at the Southern Women’s Show. They administered blood pressure evaluations, blood sugar readings, and lipid readings. The Student Council was elected in March. Among them, representing the class as GAPA representative is Kartik Gopal. Kartik’s longtime state of residence is Georgia and he is excited about his new role. Other officers elected were: President Trish Baldwin, Vice President Chris Edenfield, Secretary Erica McDaniel, Treasurer Heetal Patel, Historian Jamie Stepp, Social co-chairs Vivian Chen and Gitte Schimmelmann, Diversity co-chairs Dennis Lai and Ifeoma Ezeh, SUPAid Rebecca DeZouche and Nicole Suarez, and AAPA Representative Paul Brown.

After refreshing between quarter and holiday breaks, the second-year cohort, the Class of 2013, resumed and completed their final phase of didactic training. The quarter was packed and included evaluation of the geriatric patient in the nursing home environment. Orientation to the operating room and scrub training were also conducted. In addition, class members stepped out of their many required duties in order to serve in a class service project. The Jeans for Genes Project was successful in raising and donating more than $800 to the organization of the same name in honor of Stone Smith, son of Seth and Kathryn Smith (Kathryn is a second year SUPAP student) and Sara Beth Coogler. Stone is affected by a rare mitochondrial disease. Additionally, during the quarter, Fallon Lotson, PA-S2, and her husband, Roger, welcomed a beautiful daughter, Kadence Arianna.

After a combined 27 months of didactic and clinical training drew to a close, the class of 2012 formally convened late in the quarter for board review and general end-of-program tasks. They received their certificates of completion and look forward to a formal graduation ceremony during June to become South University alumni. They are currently either colleagues in the PA profession or are in the certification and licensing process.

On the departmental front, the program welcomed faculty member Lisa Z. Davenport, SA, PA-C, MSHS, and adjuncts, Susan Fahy, MSPAS, PA-C, and Theresa Morris, MPAS, PA-C. The program also delights in having Charlesetta Blake, M.Ed. in the Clinical Coordinator position and Vashonna Braxton in a clinical administrative role.

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