Physician Assistant (PA) Studies
Physician Assistant (PA) Program Development is Well Underway
In May 2019, the Cedarville University Board of Trustees authorized the development of a Physician Assistant program with a goal to enroll the first cohort of students by May 2023, pending receiving all necessary approvals. This authorization included hiring a program director, initiating the accreditation pathway, securing required faculty and staff, and allocating appropriate funding to ensure successful program development and launch.
Driven by a passion for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ, the PA program currently under development at Cedarville will equip graduates personally, spiritually, academically, and professionally to live out their calling to practice medicine competently, ethically, and compassionately in their communities and to those in need.
Meet the Inaugural Program Director
Cedarville 1999 alumnus Jason Grahame was hired as the founding director of the PA program. Jason previously was a practicing physician assistant at Jordan-Young Institute in Virginia Beach, and an Associate Professor and Associate Program Director for the Physician Assistant Program at Eastern Virginia Medical School. “This will be a unique opportunity to train and disciple PA students to meet not only the physical needs of patients but also the more critical spiritual needs in a loving, empathetic and discerning manner,” said Jason.
Read more in the Summer 2019 Cedarville Magazine »
More than 20 years ago, Dr. Dee Morris, who currently serves as Professor of Allied Health in the Department of School of Allied Health, approached Cedarville University’s academic leadership about the opportunity to start a PA program. At the time, the University had not even launched its first graduate program and priorities were focused in other areas, so the idea was not pursued. In 2014, the possibility of a PA program was revisited and a preliminary proposal was prepared. However, due to transitions at Cedarville and the emergence of a new PA program at the University of Dayton, the idea was again tabled.
In the fall of 2017, as we began to explore future graduate programs for Cedarville, PA professional education again emerged as a high-growth career field with strong alignment to Cedarville’s Gospel-driven mission and our existing healthcare program array. Since December 2017, we have intentionally studied the potential to bring a PA program to Cedarville University, and the following steps have been taken or are planned:
|Market demand study||completed December 2017|
|Feasibility analysis (phase I)||completed April 2018|
|Meetings with key internal stakeholders (Cabinet, Graduate Task Team, Finance/Operations, Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy, School of Allied Health)||ongoing|
|Engaging outside expertise (other university PA program directors, alumni, medical professionals)||ongoing|
|Equipment and facility needs assessment||August-September 2018|
|Preliminary pro forma development||August-September 2018|
|Formation of the PA Exploratory Advisory Council||January 2019|
|Medical Director Begins||February 2019|
|Advisory Council Meeting||February 2019|
|Inaugural Meeting of the Council||March 29, 2019|
|Recommendation to and approval by Board of Trustees||May 2019|
|Hired inaugural program director||May 2019|
|Entered accreditation process||May 2019|
|Feasibility study (phase II)||September–October 2019|
|Program Director Begins||December 2019|
|Director of Clinical Education Begins||October 2020|
|Creation of the School of Allied Health||July 2020|
|ODHE Authorization HLC Accreditation Applications||Planned October 2020|
|ODHE/HLC Site Visit||2021|
|ARC-PA Application Due||February 2022|
|ARC-PA Site Visit||May 2022|
|ARC-PA Provisional Accreditation Application Considered||September 2022|
|Enroll First Cohort, pending approvals||May 2023|
Overview of the PA Profession
“PAs are medical professionals who diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient’s principal healthcare provider...PAs practice in every state and in every medical setting and specialty, improving healthcare access and quality” (American Academy of PAs). Along with Nurse Practitioners, PAs are advanced practice providers who participate on collaborative healthcare teams and are often responsible for patient’s primary care.
Generally awarding a master's-level degree, PA programs in the U.S. are accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The Market Demand Report and Feasibility Study conducted by the University provided extensive data related to PA career growth projections, PA program competitors, and enrollment potential.
- PA profession projected to grow 37% from 2016 to 2026.
- Conferrals of PA degrees have increased an average of 10% annually between
- 2012 and 2016. There were 7,682 degrees conferred nationwide in 2016.
- Ohio has 12 accredited PA programs in the state. Kettering College and University of Dayton offer PA programs in the Dayton market.
- Only four Christian universities currently offer a PA program: Trevecca Nazarene; Harding University; Bethel University (MN); California Baptist University
In the News
Trustees Focus on Mission, Comprehensive Campaign, and New Physician Assistant ProgramTrustees also approve four other graduate programs and the hiring of 10 faculty.
New Physician Assistant Program Planned for May 2022Alumnus Jason Grahame '99 will serve as the director.
This two-story expansion will house a new weight room, expanded locker rooms, and office/classroom space for a new Master of Athletic Training and Physician Assistant Program.