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Physician Assistant Department

Steeping in History, Committed to the Future

While our program is one of the oldest in the nation, we are continually looking forward to cutting-edge research and advancements within this exciting field so that our graduates excel in the quickly growing PA job sector.

Physician Assistant Department

The Physician Assistant Department’s PA program, one of the nation’s oldest and largest, is pledged to providing students with the most current and finest preparatory training available. Employing continuous curricular analysis, assessment of the best clinical practices, and utilization of state-of-the art in educational technologies, program graduates are eminently prepared to undertake their roles as professional health care practitioners.
The Physician Assistant profession is one of the fastest growing and highly regarded professions in the country. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has consistently ranked the profession among the 30 fastest growing occupations. We are committed to providing the education and training needed to enter this exciting job sector.
We offer a Physician Assistant Master’s (PA) Program and a PA Post-Professional Master’s Program. Please explore our web pages for a wealth of information about our programs, students, faculty, research and clinical practice.

Programs

Master of Health Science - Physician Assistant
As a PA, you will complement the practice style of the supervising physician or physicians.

The PA Post-Professional Master's Program
Receive personalized professional development through an adult learner model.

Post-Master's Certificate in Geriatrics
Designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of Physician Assistants in clinical geriatrics.

Physician Assistant Faculty

View Profiles

History of Physician Assistant Program

News & Events

 

08/14/18

Citizens Bank Park Commencement 2018The tradition continues as the all-University Commencement ceremony was held for the third straight year under the bright lights of Citizens Bank Park. This video captures not only the excitement of the day, but also the essence of the Dragon.

Hollywood legend M. Night Shyamalan addressed the new graduating class and issued a challenge for our graduates to go out and change the world. We're looking forward to witnessing all the incredible achievements of our CNHP alumni!

04/24/18

This is the first edition of R & B News (Rundio & Brooks News) or as we like to refer to it: “R & B (Rhythm & Blues) or R & B Rocks.”

The following are nursing highlights from the past month:

The most significant item to highlight is the excellent Collegiate Commission on Nursing (CCNE) accreditation site visit that we had from February 26th through February 28th, 2018. The CCNE will make their final board decision in early October 2018 regarding our reaccreditation of all nursing programs. So, we cannot state that we have been re-accredited. We can state that we had an accreditation site visit and that we met all four standards and elements with no recommendations.

I want to bring attention to the American Heart Association—a passion of mine for several years now. I became involved while supervisor of emergency services at Atlantic City Medical Center, City Division, now AtlantiCare. While serving as chair of the emergency cardiovascular care committee for New Jersey for three years, I led the way to regionalize this committee becoming the DE-NJ-PA ECC Regional Committee and creating more effective use of resources. A group of representatives from each state, not including me, took up the planning of how the committee would proceed. As a result, they requested that I chair the new regionalized committee. I have served two years thus far.

The committee has changed its focus from being, what I call “the CPR police” to getting CPR and AEDs out in the community and policy changes like mandating CPR and AEDs in schools. I would like to encourage everyone to join You’re the Cure—the American Heart Association’s health policy site. There you’ll be able to learn about significant initiatives by state, communicate with key legislators using sample letters provided, connect with advocates near you and stay up-to-date on the heart and stroke issues that matter most to you. This takes less than five minutes to do. As cardiac arrest happens to any one of us, our loved ones and colleagues, I am really passionate about AHA’s initiative.

If you feel the same as I do, please send me the information requested below and I will send it to AHA for you. Yes, I want to join You’re the Cure.

  • NAME
  • EMAIL
  • ADDRESS
  • TELEPHONE NUMBER

In future issues, I will share more about my work with AHA. And, for anyone who really knows me well, there will certainly be some humorous things that have happened.

Congratulations to Suzan Blacher, PhD (c), MSN, RN, CARN on her appointment as chair of the ANCB (Addictions Nursing Certification Board) for the International Nurses Society on Addictions. Congratulations, Professor Blacher!!!

The next issue will focus more on the Health Professions. Please submit any item that you want published in this newsletter, and don’t forget, anyone, faculty, staff and students, can submit items to the Daily Dose.

Al Rundio, PhD, DNP, RN, ARPN, NEA-BC, FAAN
Clinical Professor of Nursing
Associate Dean for Academic Nursing
Chief Academic Nursing Officer

Stephanie Brooks, PhD, LCSW, LMFT
Clinical Professor
Associate Dean for Academic Health Professions
Director of PMC Program

04/24/18

Faculty and Student Accolades

The American Academy of Nursing inducted 173 nurse leaders as Fellows in the Academy Three of those receiving one of nursing’s highest honors are CNHP professors. The inductees are: associate professor Joan Rosen Bloch, PhD, CRNP; associate clinical professor Theresa Campo, DNP, FNP-C, ENP-BC, FAANP, and associate clinical professor and department chair Kymberlee Montgomery, DrNP, CRNP-BC, CNE, FAANP.

Sue Smith, PT, PhD, CNHP associate professor and dean emerita, was elected a Distinguished Fellow in the National Academies of Practice (FNAP). A Distinguished NAP Fellow is a very high honor that acknowledges outstanding achievements and recognition in promoting Interprofessional Practice and Education toward the goal of improving healthcare.

As part of its accreditation process, The Collegiate Commission on Nursing (CCNE) visited the Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions on February 26, 27 and 28, 2018. The Commission reviewed all of the nursing programs against their very stringent guidelines. ALL of our nursing programs met compliance in all four standards and elements completely with NO recommendations.

Creative arts therapies Assistant Professor Girija Kaimal, EdD is on the #100WomenInScience list. Twice. A celebration of ground-breaking, trailblazing research led by women, this list of 100 articles from Taylor & Francis journals represents the most-downloaded research from the last five years in medicine, health, STEM and the social sciences, with a female lead author.

Anna Schlupp, a student in the graduate nutrition program, presented at the Annual Meeting for the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine in Seattle, WA on March 21, 2018. Her poster presentation is titled “Is RDS for YMSM? Successful enhancements to respondent driven sampling methods for recruiting 15-18 year old participants in Philadelphia.”

The College of Nursing and Health Professions received a top ranking from Community for Accredited Online Schools (CAOS) for 2017. Coming in at number two in the country, our Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) program scored a 99.07 out of 100. COAS cited CNHP offering a high student-teacher ratio and credit for experience.

Creative arts therapies Assistant Professor Girija Kaimal, EdD was named one of the #100WomenInScience. One of her studies, “Active-duty military service members’ visual representation of PTSD and TBI in masks” was downloaded more than 13K times and the other, “Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants’ Responses Following Art Making” saw close to 12K downloads.

Amber Amick, an MSN student in the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program was selected to receive the Ralston Center’s Award for Excellence in Gerontology Nursing.

Nutrition science graduate student Kira Sy has been selected to receive the 2018 Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Diversity Scholarship Award.

Joseph Stanzione, PhD student in Nutrition Sciences, has been selected for a 2017 to 2018 Teck-Kah Lim Graduate Student Travel Award. This award provides a travel subsidy to encourage graduate student participation in prestigious academic meetings and conferences nationwide. Stanzione will present at the American Society for Nutrition in Boston in June 2018. The title of his abstract is “Evaluation of Lean Body Mass as a Predictor of Dietary Protein Intake."

Publications

Paek MS, Nightingale C, Tooze JA, Milliron BJ, Weaver K, Sterba K. Contextual and stress process factors associated with head and neck cancer caregivers’ physical and psychological well-being. European Journal of Cancer Care. 2018; [EPub ahead of print].

Ayers P, Boullata J, Sacks G. Parenteral nutrition safety: the story continues. Nutr Clin Pract. 2018;33:46-52.

Sarah Wenger, Jason Drott, Rebecca Fillipo, Alyssa Findlay, Amanda Genung, Jessica Heiden, Joke Bradt; Reducing Opioid Use for Patients With Chronic Pain: An Evidence-Based Perspective, Physical Therapy, Volume 98, Issue 5, 1 May 2018, Pages 424–433

Research by Layla Booshehri, PhD, assistant research professor, and collaborator Jerome Dugan, PhD, assistant professor, both of health systems and sciences research department, has been published. The paper, in collaboration with Sandy Bloom, MD, associate professor, and Mariana Chilton, PhD from Dornsife School of Public Health, appeared in the Journal of Child and Family Studies—Booshehri is the first author and Dugan, the second.

An article by Laura Gitlin, PhD, Dean and Distinguished University Professor, and others titled "Targeting Behavioral Symptoms and Functional Decline in Dementia: A Randomized Clinical Trial" was recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The goal was to determine whether a home-based activity program (Tailored Activity Program; TAP-VA) would reduce behavioral symptoms and functional dependence of veterans with dementia and caregiver burden.

Dean and Distinguished University Professor Laura N Gitlin, PhD co-authored a paper titled “African-American caregivers’ perspectives on aggressive behaviors in dementia”in Dementia.

The purpose of the research was to determine why African-American dementia caregivers report less upset and more confidence managing aggressive behaviors. After interviewing 13 African-American family caregivers, the researchers determined it was due to two common themes: “It’s the disease, not the person,” and “You’ve got to pick your battles.”

Presentations

Nancy Gerber, PhD, director, PhD program in creative arts therapies, presented at the European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry in Leuven, Belgium in February 2018. Her presentation, entitled "Mixed Methods Research and Arts-Based Research: A Creative Synthesis," represents a collaboration between Gerber and University of Adelaide's Mandy Archibald, PhD, who co-authored a forthcoming article entitled "Arts and Mixed Methods Research: An Innovative Methodological Merger."

Stephen F. Gambescia, PhD, professor in the Department of Health Services Administration, was a presenter for delegation of health education and government professionals representing 12 of China’s provinces. Gambescia’s presentation “Health Education Specialists as Keystones to the Health Enhancement Team” showed how to plan, organize and implement mass public health screening programs.

Director of Music Therapy Flossie Ierardi, MM, MT-BC, LPC, Director of Field Education Scott Horowitz, MA, MT-BC, LPC, and Assistant Clinical Professor Dawn Morningstar, MA, BC-DMT, LPC, appeared as presenters at the "Trauma: A Paradigm Shift" Symposium on Saturday, February 17. The symposium covered a number of trauma-related topics including mindfulness and self-care for the therapist, cultural trauma and the experiences of counselors of color, intergenerational trauma, domestic violence, and the uses of the creative arts in trauma stewardship and self-care.

Assistant Clinical Professor Yasmine Awais, MAAT, ATR-BC, ATCS, LCAT, LPC and Creative Arts Therapies doctoral candidate Marisol Norris, MA, MT-BC, presented at the "Critical Pedagogy in the Arts Therapies: A Public Conversation" on March 13, 2018 at New York University.

Nancy Gerber, PhD and doctoral candidates Jacelyn Biondo and Ming Yuan Low participated as workshop presenters at symposium entitled "Arts-Based Research: Getting Messy and Asking Critical Questions." The symposium was held on March 10, 2018 and sponsored by the music therapy department of the State University of New York.

Glenn N. Williams, PT, PhD, ATC, associate professor and department chair of physical therapy and rehabilitation science, presented “Next Generation Rehabilitation: Better Outcomes, Lower Costs, Happier Clients” at the BAYADA Speaker Series on March 22, 2018 in Philadelphia.

Lisa B. Aiello, RN, MSN, AOCNS, APRN, assistant clinical professor, presented a poster titled “Assessment Of Genomic Knowledge Among Nurses In An Online RN To BSN Completion Program” at Maimonides Medical Center Fifth Annual Nursing Research Conference and a podium presentation at the International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG), titled “Assessment Of Genomic Knowledge Among Nurses In An Online RN To BSN Completion Program.” In addition, Aiello recently published a manuscript in Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing titled "Genomics education: Knowledge of nurses across the profession and integration into practice."

Students from two nursing programs, Dionisia Echevarria (RN-BSN) and Marc Summy (NACE) presented posters at the New Jersey Emergency Nurses' Association's 40th Annual Emergency Care Conference on March 21, 2018 at the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. Echevarria's poster was titled "Secondary Traumatic Stress and Emergency Nursing"and Summy's poster was titled "Analyzing Patient Handoff from Emergency Medical Services to Emergency Department Personnel to Ensure Efficient, Accurate, and Optimal Care."

Angela Colsitra, PhD, assistant clinical professor and opioid researcher, participated in a panel discussion on April 18 at the University of the Sciences presented by APHA - ASP titled "A Crisis in Pain: Fighting the Opioid Epidemic."

Dance/movement therapist and assistant clinical professor Dawn Morningstar, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, LPC presented her experience working with a group of adolescent boys in special education in a TED-style talk for American Dance Therapy Association.

Sponsored Research and Major Gifts

Jaime Slaughter-Acey, PhD, MPH, principal investigator and assistant professor in the Departments of Health Systems and Sciences Research and Graduate Nursing has been awarded a research grant in the amount of $34,904 from the Russell Sage Foundation for a two-year investigation of the inter-relationship between race and skin color on the pregnancy outcomes of black women called “Shades of Color: The Impact of Skin Tone on African American Women and Their Birth Outcomes.”

Brandy-Joe Milliron, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences and principal investigator, has been awarded a $25,000 grant to develop nutrition-related programming for cancer caregivers and survivors by the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University. The project, entitled "Optimizing Healthful Nutrition of Cancer Caregivers and Survivors," will identify nutrition-related beliefs and behaviors, and post-treatment nutrition-related challenges, from the perspectives of cancer caregivers and survivors, a critical first step in development of nutrition interventions.

Joke Bradt, PhD, MT-BC, an associate professor in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies and principal investigator, and collaborators have been awarded a $1,270,000 grant by National Institute of Nursing Research (R01NR016681) for their study "Mechanisms of Music Therapy to Palliate Pain in Patients with Advanced Cancer." Chronic pain is one of the most feared symptoms in people with cancer. Insufficient relief from pharmacological treatments and the fear of side effects are important reasons for the growing use of complementary pain management approaches in cancer care. The purpose of this three-year multi-site randomized controlled trial is to examine the underlying mechanisms of interactive music therapy for chronic pain management in people with advanced cancer. The study will recruit outpatients with advanced cancer and bone metastases pain at Hahnemann University Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

The Hahnemann Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association contributed $100,000. Funds will be used to enhance the association’s endowed scholarship fund benefiting undergraduate nursing students.

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