Adjunct Faculty Wins CARE Award

Skye Peltier MPH, PA-C, has been awarded $50,000 to research opioid use in hemophilia patients. The award comes from The American Thrombosis and Hemostasis Network (ATHN) which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by bleeding and clotting disorders. ATHN’s mission is to use technology to secure data, advance knowledge, and transform care. This organization presents research opportunities to nurses, social workers and other members of the hemophilia treatment center interdisciplinary care team by way of the CARE award. Upon winning the CARE Award, Skye will be able to have the opportunity to use the power of real-world data in the ATHNdataset to further her research.

Skye is an alumnae from our 2005 graduating class of Physician Assistant Studies. She returned to Augsburg ten years later to join our faculty and help educate the next generation of PAs. Currently working for both Children’s Minnesota Hematology Oncology and the Center for Bleeding and Clotting Disorders at the University of Minnesota, Skye has the unique role of assisting young adults transition their care.

Congratulations to Skye on her award!


MAPA President’s Perspective

Erin Rysavy is an alumnae from the 2001 Augsburg PA Program. Prior to that, she completed a B.A. in Biology at the College of St. Benedict. Erin received her Masters in Public Health from the University of Minnesota. She is the current president of the Minnesota Academy of Physician Assistants. Currently, she works for St. Cloud Orthopedic Associates. The following article appeared in the newest edition of MAPA’s newsletter, imPAct.

I was recently given the honor to speak at Augsburg University’s White Coat Ceremony. It gave me a chance to reflect on what the white coat means to me, and what a key role humanism plays in medicine!  Although I am a graduate of the Augsburg PA program, they did not have this ceremony as part of the process when I was there.  So I did a little Google research.  Interestingly I found that the history of the white coat stems from the 19th century.  At that time, there was great respect for certainty, in contrast to the quackery of medicine. During that time doctors mostly wore black garbs, representing formality, solemnity, and death. The white lab coat came to emphasize the more scientific approach to modern medicine, thanks especially to Joseph Lister, whose reproducible results helped researchers better understand how to prevent bacterial contamination. This color change also represented the “pureness”, and the dream that Lister had that bacteria could be successfully overcome; that pneumonia, appendicitis, or an infected blister no longer had to result in death.  Today, many people, including Dr. Gold suggest that the white coat is viewed as a symbol of compassion and responsibility to not only take care of patients, but to care for patients.

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Augsburg University PA Program: Looking Forward

Jenny Kluznik (MPH, PA-C), assistant professor for the Augsburg Physician Assistant Program, and Kaylie LaPlante, a first year PA student, collaborated on an article featured in this month’s Minnesota Academy of Physician Assistants newsletter, imPAct. Kaylie is the MAPA student representative for the Augsburg PA Program. 

The Augsburg Physician Assistant (PA) Program was established in 1995, and was the first PA program in the state of Minnesota. Since the launch of the program, over 500 PAs have graduated from the program and are providing care for patients in Minnesota and around the world. Building on the strong foundations in the program, we have seen many exciting changes in recent years including a new location, a new curriculum, and new community partnerships. In the fall of 2015, the PA program relocated from the main Augsburg University campus to a space on the Luther Seminary campus in St. Paul. This has offered an opportunity for the PA program to continue to develop and grow community partnerships and classroom/lab spaces for our students. This fall the PA program launched a new curriculum which emphasizes active learning and practical application of medical knowledge to patient cases. The cornerstone of this curriculum is a case-based small group course run throughout the academic phase which integrates material from the other courses. The curriculum also explores concepts and skills in cultural competency, working in various medical settings and with other health professions, and building clinical-decision making skills which are all crucial skills for new graduates.

What has remained constant at Augsburg University PA Program is our commitment and dedication to our students and our mission – which includes a deep dedication to training primary care PAs with a commitment to providing care in underserved areas. We would like to share some stories from our graduates and current students on their experience at the Augsburg PA Program including why they choose this program and how their training at Augsburg has shaped their careers.

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