Physician Assistant Students Give Back During Weekend of Service

By schwartzsa | May 10, 2012

Students in Arcadia University’s Physician Assistant program participate in national conferences, complete clinical experiences across the globe and collectively score among the top 4 percent on national certification examinations. At the same time, they remain grounded and grateful to the communities that mold, shape and support them.

During the last weekend of April, students and faculty from the Glenside and Christiana campuses participated in PA Community Service Day and the Physician Assistant Olympics, which benefit local community service and charity organizations.

“The PA Olympics and Community Service Day are great opportunities for students to become familiar with some of regional community service organizations and to witness the impact of their fundraising efforts,” says Michael Huber, PA-C, Assistant Professor and Academic Coordinator of Arcadia’s PA program, and founding committee chair of the PA Olympics.

The students kicked off the weekend of service on Friday, April 27, with PA Community Service Day, organized annually by Arcadia’s Community Service Office. They volunteered at four local community service organizations—Philabundance, Cradles to Crayons, Special Equestrians and Aid for Friends—before reconvening on Saturday morning to represent Arcadia University PA Olympics in New Jersey.

Each year the PA Olympics brings together the leadership and talents of more than 300 PA students and faculty from five local colleges and universities: Arcadia University, Drexel University, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia University and Salus University. The programs raise money independently by running their own charity events and then come together to raise funds for a designated charity. On game day this year, they competed in a series of competitions, many created by PA students and faculty, including the Egg Speculum Race, Dodge the Flu, Tug-of-War, Trivia Challenge Bowl and a lake relay swim. A barbecue followed the games.

Arcadia’s team came in second place to Salus University’s PA program in the competition, but the event was a success for all involved, as the five programs raised $3,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

“It’s a privilege to get an education as a health professional,” says Huber. “I believe it’s always important to make time to give service back to the community, be it locally or abroad. There’s only so much you can learn from a book, a lecture or a power point presentation. My style of teaching has always been to take advantage of every opportunity, to get students out of the classroom, roll up their sleeves and help make an impact in the world.”