SPOTLIGHT: PA STUDENT JESSICA WARNER MAKES A CHANGE
Be the CHANGE grant recipient and PA student Jessica Warner and her first-year PA classmates from Samuel Merritt University made a change to improve health by running a medical clinic in the rural, mountainous community of Batata, Panama. They were joined in this interdisciplinary trip by nursing and physical therapy providers and students.
During the three-day clinic, 486 patients were seen; and most patients were treated for musculoskeletal and respiratory complaints. Additional community members will be reached through the patient education materials left at the school where the clinic was held.
The nearest permanent medical clinic is eight hours away on foot, and most residents do not have access to the necessary transportation. As a result, the SMU medical clinic, now in its fourth year, provides the primary source of health care for the community.
“The trip made me feel more confident as a budding medical provider, and it was so incredible to help people in such a remote area,” said Warner. “I look forward to continuing to be the change for health in my PA studies and in my future practice."
First-year PA students and Samuel Merritt PA Program Director ran a three-day medical clinic in Panama. Front row (L-R): PA students Jessica Warner, Ellen Mendoza, Padmaja Murtinty, Diana Ha. Back row (L-R): PA students Peter May, Beverly Carlos, Patrick Ohsann, and Michael DeRosa MPH, PhD, PA-C, Assistant Professor/Department Chair.
Community members lined up outside the school building while waiting to be seen by the PAs and other health providers who had set-up the clinic.
SPOTLIGHT: HEALTHY TEETH, HEALTHY SMILES!
During AAPA Conference 2016 in San Antonio, TX, two PAs and three PA students volunteered alongside five dental students from the UT Health Science Center School of Dentistry to put on an oral health education event at The Children’s Shelter, a safe haven for homeless/displaced children in the San Antonio Area. The children live, have meals, and attend school on site. The education event utilized the Pediatric Oral Health Toolkit designed by the SAAAPA Oral Health Task Force (2015-2016) and reached 20 children ranging from 2 to 14 years old. The children were taught about good nutrition and proper oral hygiene practices.
These activities were part of the Physician Assistant Leadership Initiative in Oral Health, a profession-wide movement that brings together leaders and students from across PA national organizations and educational programs to expand integration of oral health in PA practice. Interprofessional collaboration with the dental students allowed the professions to learn from and with each other setting the foundation for interprofessional practice. PAs and PA students can play an important role in eradicating dental disease, through screening, prevention and referral for patients with oral disease.
SPOTLIGHT: SMILE DETROIT
Four health professions students. Two universities. One big idea.
When students and faculty from the University of Detroit Mercy and Wayne State University tried to envision a way to learn together about oral health, Students of Michigan for Interprofessional and Leadership Education (SMILE) Detroit was created.
Funded through an oral health community outreach grant, SMILE Detroit brought together Theresa Gattari, WSU Medical School; Rami Nazarian, UDM Dental School; Kendall Gjetaj, WSU PA program; and Sylvia Hang, RDH, UDM PA program (left to right in picture above) to design and lead a pilot program to increase interprofessionalism between health professions students through education and promotion of oral health. In February, the SMILE Detroit team hosted an oral health huddle, which consisted of case studies on the impact of oral conditions on overall health and disease, followed by an oral health bootcamp, where students rotated through a series of interactive exercises to lean the oral exam, the application of fluoride varnish, and how to provide oral health instruction to patients.
The students presented their work at the University of Detroit Mercy’s Celebration of Research and Scholarship in April, and plans are underway to replicate and expand the program with future classes of health professions students.
SPOTLIGHT: KELSEY BERG, PA Student
Grant recipient and PA student Kelsey Berg and her classmates at the University of Texas Medical Branch are making a change with their Teaching Others Oral Treatments and Health (TOOTH) program. The program teaches children about why oral health is important to overall health as well as about brushing and flossing.
The program reached more than 130 children in 2015; read more about the program here.
Berg replicated the successful outreach event to include an additional 150 children at a local elementary school in February for Oral Health month. To make the program's expansion possible, Berg turned the event into an interprofessional outreach that
included first and second year PA students, nursing students, and a respiratory therapy student, all from UTMB. The success of the TOOTH program is catching; and Berg and her classmates have been invited to bring the program to a local senior center and a community health fair later this year.
PA, nursing, and respiratory therapy
students participate in interprofessional
Teaching Others Oral Treatments and
Health (TOOTH) program during Oral
Health month in February 2016.
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