by Clem Boyd, Communication Content Manager
Cedarville University plans to launch a physician assistant (PA) graduate program by May 2022, pending approvals by the Ohio Department of Higher Education, the Higher Learning Commission, and the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. The new health care program was approved by the Cedarville Board of Trustees at its May meeting.
Physician assistants are in high demand, helping fill a growing need in the United States for primary care providers. According to the Market Demand Report and Feasibility Study conducted by the university, the PA profession is expected to grow 37% by 2026. Conferral of PA degrees increased an average of 10% per year between 2012 and 2016, with 7,682 degrees awarded in 2016 alone.
— Jason Grahame
Cedarville will join the University of Dayton and Kettering College as the only Miami Valley schools offering the degree program.
“The PA program fits well with our mission to prepare students for godly service and vocational distinction,” commented Janice Supplee, dean of graduate studies. “Health care providers who care for the whole person — mind, body, and spirit — that is our goal.”
Cedarville already offers a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, a dual Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Business Administration degree and a Master of Science in Nursing with specializations in global public health, family nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, nursing leadership, and nurse educator.
In approving the new program, the trustees also hired Jason Grahame as its founding director for the PA program. Grahame, a 1999 alumnus of Cedarville University, currently serves as associate professor and associate program director for the Physician Assistant Program at Eastern Virginia Medical School. He has been a practicing physician assistant at Jordan-Young Institute in Virginia Beach, Virginia, since 2003.
“Jason has been instrumental in our exploration of a PA program,” Supplee said. “He has already made strong connections with the leadership of the school of nursing, school of pharmacy, and department of kinesiology and allied health — academic units that will be key partners in the development of a PA program. He is an effective teacher and leader and looks forward to leading and developing a program that will equip its students to excel as physician assistants who honor Christ with their profession.”
“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 Grahame. “My wife and family are also thrilled to be returning to our alma matter and look forward with great anticipation to being a part of the Cedarville University family and community.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its doctor of pharmacy, master’s in global public health, M.S.N. family nurse practitioner, healthcare mba, pharmd/mba dual degree, and M.S.N. nurse educator programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.