In a seemingly ironic reality, many direct care professionals lack health care coverage because of cost or accessibility. As a result, they may fail to receive the screenings that detect health problems and help prevent them from getting worse.
That’s why the Iowa CareGivers Association (ICA) honored DMU’s physician assistant (PA) program in September with its “From the Heart” recognition. For the past five years, PA program faculty and students have offered health screenings at the association’s annual conference. Students, with faculty oversight, test participants’ bone density, lipid and blood glucose levels, blood pressure and body mass index measurements. They also provide materials on lung disease, colon cancer and cancer self-exams.
“A healthy direct care workforce is critical to the delivery of quality care to Iowans,” stated ICA executive director Di Findley and board chair Betty Grandquist in a letter to Jolene Kelly, PA-C’96, M.P.A.S., PA department chair and program director. “You, your staff and your students are dependable and are always a pleasure to work with.”
Approximately 100 students are currently enrolled in DMU’s two-year PA program, one of two such programs offered in Iowa. Established in 1981, it was the first PA program to be associated with an osteopathic medical institution.