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Strategic Plan for Physician Assistant Studies

Context For Planning

The Physician Assistant Studies (PAS) program at GVSU started in August of 1996. The program is 28 months in length and consists of 2 phases, didactic and clinical. The didactic phase is 16 months in duration and consists of classroom, laboratory and small group classes. Following the 4 semesters of didactic education, PAS students then enter the clinical phase of the program where they spend 12 months (3 semesters) in clinical rotations. There are 7 core clinical rotations that consists of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Women's Health, Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Psychiatry, and a rotation in a clinic focusing on the underserved. Students have the opportunity for a minimum of 2 elective rotations which can be in any specialty, or a repeat of a core rotation. The program also offers international rotations. 

The PAS program started a distant campus in August of 2015. This distant campus is located in Traverse City, Michigan, at the GVSU Traverse City Regional Center at Northwestern Michigan College. The distant site accepts 12 students in a cohort annually, while 36 students are accepted into the main campus cohort in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The GVSU PAS program is the only PA program in the state of Michigan that offers a distant education. 

The PAS program at GVSU has had 593 graduates since the start of the program. The PA program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on the Education of Physician Assistants. The PAS program has a five year first time pass rate of 100% on the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination. 

The GVSU PAS department met as a faculty in January, 2016 to discuss the approach to strategic planning. At that time, it was decided that an ad hoc committee would be developed and the final product brought forth to the entire department. A committee was formed which included the Department chair, the director of clinical education, the director of pre-clinical education, and a faculty member from the Traverse City campus. This group met 4 times throughout the Winter 2016 semester to develop the plan. The entire plan will be presented to the entire faculty at the end of the semester once final edits are complete.

Mission

The mission of the program is to educate individuals to become competent Physician Assistants, who possess the skills necessary for interprofessional medical practice.

Vision

The PAS department does not have a vision statement specific to the department.

Value Statement

The values of the Physician Assistant Studies Department include: 

Professionalism
Medical Knowledge and Competence in Patient Care
Interprofessional Education
Evidence Based Learning 

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 1.A.1

Maintain 100% of PAS students participating in at least one high-impact learning experience during both the didactic and clinical phase of the PAS program.

Baseline

100% of PAS student perform one high impact learning experience in didactic and one in clinical.

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
100% of students in the Class of 2017 participated in at least one high impact learning experience.

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
The program continues to maintain 100% participate in at least one high impact learning experiences in both the didactic and clinical year. Clinical year high impact learning experiences include their individual clinical rotations. Each student will have 9 rotations in various geographic locations, medical disciplines, and with various educators. During the first 4 months of the program (didactic phase), 100% of PAS students have participated in at least 4 simulations. These simulations can be individual, as well as interprofessional.

Objective 1.A.2

The PAS program will engage learners by teaching in a variety of different methods

Baseline

No data collected

Progress

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
The program continues to collect information regarding the types of methodology used in providing teaching to PAS students. At this point, various pedagogical approaches are used including lecture based instruction, hands on laboratory instruction, small group case-based instruction, and some technology enhanced instruction, including Socrative (R), and video based instruction, included recorded lectures.

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
In 2017, The PAS program will begin tracking and evaluating the various teaching methods within the program. No specific data has been reported at this time.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.1

The PAS department will strive to increase applicants from underrepresented groups by 5%.

Baseline

Currently, the PAS department is at 3% underrepresented groups overall.

Progress

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
collection of the admission data has been done but no data is ready to be presented at this time.

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
The admissions committee will be discussing this initiative during the upcoming year.

Objective 1.B.2

Develop initiatives to increase the cumulative diversity of CHP graduate students, faculty and staff to a 3 year average of 7% by 2020.

Baseline

Currently we have 3% of students and 0% of staff from underrepresented groups.

Progress

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
Since 2016, the program has continued its efforts for diversity. Meetings have been held with the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute, Kent Intermediate School District, and the Trio program at GVSU. No specific plan or actions have been developed based on these meetings.

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
This objective aligns with the previous objectives and the program will continue to look for ways to improve diversity. Multiple meetings have been held with various organizations in order to strategically put in place programs or actions that will have a positive impact.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.1

25% of PAS courses will include a new innovative teaching, integrative scholarly and creative activity, or technology.

Baseline

no data collected at this time

Progress

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
No new data has been collected on the number of new technologies used in the classroom. This is in part due to data collection on other, more pressing assessment issues. The program will start reviewing data and collecting new data in 2018.

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
The PAS department has encouraged various methods of delivery of course material. Currently, data collection on what types of technology is being used for course delivery is being collected.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 1.E.1

The PAS department will complete a second endowed scholarship.

Baseline

Currently, the department has 1 endowed scholarship

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
At the conclusion of 2017, the PAS program has 3 specific endowed scholarship for students within this program. Two more scholarships are available to PAS students, but are not specific to our department.

2016 Status
Achieved
In 2015, the PAS department established its first endowed scholarship, thanks to generous giving of Chris and Joan Panopoulos. At that time, the department was working on a second endowed scholarship, the Stephanie A. Urbanawiz scholarship, in memory of a former PAS students. In 2016, the Stephanie A. Urbanawiz became fully endowed.

Objective 1.E.2

Include one student member on the PAS department Pre-Clinical Committee

Baseline

Zero students currently sit on any PAS department committee

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
Two students, one from each the Grand Rapids campus and the Traverse City campus participated on the PAS Pre-clinical curriculum committee.

2016 Status
Achieved
The PAS faculty, along with the PAS Student Society, identified two students in mid-2016 to attend PAS Pre-Clinical meetings. Two students were chosen for representation from both the Grand Rapids and Traverse City campuses in order to be inclusive of both sites.

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

By 2018, increase the number of PAS faculty that have undergone inclusion advocacy (IA) training to four faculty.

Baseline

Currently 1 PAS faculty is an inclusion advocate

Progress

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
3 more faculty have started the Inclusion Advocate training.

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
The faculty in the PAS department have been notified about inclusion and diversity initiatives. 11 of the 12 PAS faculty have undergone an including and diversity inventory. The faculty were updated on the findings of the department. From this activity, 3 more faculty will be identified to undergo IA training.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 2.C.1

Expand the number of clinical sites by 25%

Baseline

The PAS department currently has approximately 300 current clinical sites in active use.

Progress

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
10 new sites were developed in 2017 representing an approximately 5% increase in site. In total, the PAS clinical team has increased the clinical preceptors and sites by 10%.

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
15 new clinical sites were developed in 2016, representing a 5% overall increase in number of clinical sites. The clinical team in the PAS department has set this as a top priority for 2017. The clinical team is looking for various ways to increase the number of clinical sites and preceptors, such as meetings with administrators at various institutions and working with the Vice Provost for Health.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 2.D.1

50% of faculty will participate annually, in a technology and learning event

Baseline

no data collected

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
Since 2016, the PAS faculty have attended at least one technology presentation delivered by IT on distant teaching using ITV.

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
Data has not been collected on number of faculty that have participated in technology training events.

Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 3.A.1

The PAS department will have a complete curricular map of the didactic courses to the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants blueprint topics.

Baseline

No curricular map at this point

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
The curricular map has had substantive progress and is complete in terms of didactic courses and the NCCPA blueprint topics. More mapping of the other components and topics in the program will be done in 2018 and in the future. ,

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
The PAS program has begun a curricular mapping process. Unfortunately, the task is quite large and it has been determined that the

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 3.B.1

The PAS department will structure, align, and increase use of faculty inclusion advocates.

Baseline

Currently, the PAS department has one IA. This one IA is effective, however only 3 department committees have an IA.

Progress

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
3 more faculty are in the process of completing the training to become an IA

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
Faculty have undergone a diversity inventory. The results of this inventory should prompt faculty into action to become Inclusion Advocates (IAs). Once these faculty have undergone training in IA, they will be placed on the various committee's within the program, including but not limited to Admissions and Clinical.

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 4.A.1

Maintain annual 100% first time pass rate on the PA National Certifying Exam (PANCE)

Baseline

100% for the past 5 years (99% overall)

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
100% of the Class of 2017 passed the PA National Certifying Board examination on this first attempt.

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
44 of 47 graduates of the December 2016 class have taken the PANCE. 43 of the 44 have passed.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 4.C.1

Recognize faculty contributions to community collaborations

Baseline

Faculty currently contribute to community collaborations, however it is not reported consistently or recognized in a formal manner.

Progress

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
No new information has been gathered since 2016 regarding community relationships of faculty and therefore no recognition has been given. Unfortunately, more pressing assessment items have required attention of the faculty and program director.

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
Faculty continue to contribute to community collaborations. Recognition of this collaboration has occurred in two venues.

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