Radford University Carilion Physician Assistant Students Celebrate PA Day with Community Service
Students, faculty and staff from the Radford University Carilion (RUC) Physician Assistant (PA) program celebrated National PA Day on October 4, 2019 by volunteering at organizations across the Roanoke Valley. The annual event is an opportunity to raise awareness and visibility about the profession through community service, according to the American Academic of Physician Assistants (AAPA).
Participating students organized multiple health and human services opportunities throughout the area, including:
- blood pressure screenings and breast cancer awareness sessions at the Kirk Family YMCA;
- patient evaluations at the Roanoke Rescue Mission Clinic;
- food service at the Rescue Mission;
- home building with Habitat for Humanity at two different locations;
- an American Red Cross Blood Drive at RUC;
- food organization at Feeding America; and
- visits to Radford University, Roanoke College and Virginia Tech to educate others about the profession.
In total, the students donated more than 300 hours of community service to these organizations and initiatives.
“PA Day is an important way for our students to connect with the community and learn about all of the ways we can support those in need across the Roanoke Valley and beyond,” said Sara Nicely, associate professor and department chair of Physician Assistant at RUC. “We look forward to this day every year.”
The celebration culminated with Roanoke City Council member Bill Bestpitch — representing the Roanoke City Mayor’s Office — presenting a PA Day proclamation that declared October 4, 2019, as PA Day in the City of Roanoke. The proclamation was read at First Fridays with a Purpose, a community event hosted in downtown Roanoke.
PA Day is an important way for our students to connect with the community and learn about all of the ways we can support those in need across the Roanoke Valley and beyond.
The program’s Class of 2020 then donated $500 to Project Starfish Haiti, a nonprofit organization that provides medical care to underserved people in Haiti. The donation was accepted by Jennifer Cleveland, a Roanoke pharmacist who works with Project Starfish Haiti and teaches in the program.
“This is a wonderful chance for us to give back,” said student Andrew Judy, “both through the donation to Project Starfish Haiti and through the time we gave to all of these great organizations today. It means a lot to those we helped, and it means a lot to us as future physician assistants.”
Through the service-oriented PA Day celebration the core value of community, that embodies the Radford family, was brought to life in the Star City and beyond.