Providing Comprehensive Healthcare to All
Carroll University’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) program has partnered with strong community members to provide healthcare to medically underserved populations through an interprofessional team composed of physician assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, and public health students. The PA Program is part of the Health Science Primary Care Training and Enhancement Program, an initiative made possible by a five-year, $1.25 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Through this initiative, Carroll has designed, implemented, and is evaluating a training model that prepares physician assistants (as well as the other interprofessional students listed above) to work in a transformed health care delivery system while meeting the primary care needs of Hispanic seniors in Milwaukee and medically underserved patients in Waukesha.
Carroll University has partnered with Milwaukee’s United Community Center (UCC), a comprehensive social service agency serving predominantly Hispanic families of the city’s south side and the Waukesha Free Clinic at Carroll University (WFC), the oldest free clinic in Wisconsin providing healthcare to uninsured and underinsured community members. Through the HRSA grant, PA students within their interprofessional teams provide wellness, primary care and health literacy education to patients and their families at the UCC and WFC. Graduates of these programs contribute to the profession and communities and are prepared to practice in a variety of primary care settings including medically underserved communities and diverse patient populations. (This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number T0BHP29989 titled Primary Care Training and Enhancement (PCTE). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.)
Carroll University has renovated a 9,000 square foot office building near campus where the Waukesha Free Clinic at Carroll University is now housed. In addition to the WFC, the new facility houses faculty-supervised clinics in physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, and rehabilitative exercise services available to Waukesha community members. Physician Assistant students in their first and second year rotate through the WFC located at the Carroll University Community Health Services building where they can collaborate with other allied health care students and their faculty to provide optimal and comprehensive care to their patients.
First and second year PA students have participated in several community projects through the WFC. Most recently, University faculty and students in the PA department partnered with the WFC to provide free covid-19 testing to community members in Waukesha free of charge. Grant support for this project was provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Waukesha Department of Public Health. Covid-19 vaccines will also be provided to the medically underserved Waukesha community members through this same partnership.