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Traverse City PAS program will earn national award for its innovation

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Posted on January 31, 2020

The Physician Assistant Studies program in Traverse City will receive a national award recognizing its innovation and excellence from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association at its annual conference in March.

The PAS program will receive the Outstanding Credit Program Award. Nicholus Kopacki, site director for Traverse City and PAS assistant program director, said a number of factors have contributed to the satellite program's success since it was established in Traverse City in 2015.

Kopacki said students in the three graduating classes have passed the national certification exam, and more than 70 percent are practicing in a rural or underserved community. He added a recent grant through a partnership with Munson Medical Center will fund training for students in telemedicine.

Theresa Bacon-Baguley, professor of PAS and associate dean for research, College of Health Professions, wrote the nominating letter to UPCEA and said the program's delivery model could be replicated to address health disparities in other areas of the country, citing the cost-effectiveness of using technology to deliver live lectures from Grand Valley's Health Campus to Traverse City as among the program's assets.

Shannon Owen, director of Grand Valley's northern Michigan programs, said the program has also received recognition locally for serving the needs of the community and nationally for its innovative approach to educating students.

Learn more about Traverse City's PAS program online.