Physician Assistant Students, Faculty Participate in 2021 PA Olympics

By Caitlin Burns | April 30, 2021

Physician Assistant (PA) students and faculty from both the Christiana, Del. and Glenside, Pa. campuses competed in the 19th annual PA Olympics on April 10.

Hannah Middlestadt ’22, of the Christiana campus, and Sally Anderson ’22, of the Glenside campus, served as student representatives for the PA Olympics Committee in planning the event. Anderson also served as an officer on the executive committee and received an award in recognition for her outstanding leadership and dedication to the success of this year’s event.  When the PA Olympics location Bamboo Gardens closed due to the pandemic, the planning committee was challenged with changing the format of the PA Olympics celebration. 

They successfully collaborated and devised “The Amazing Race” for student teams to participate in a fun-filled scavenger hunt throughout Philadelphia. 

Each year, PA Olympics student representatives from Arcadia University, DeSales University, Drexel University, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Salus University, Temple University, and Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia University (Center City, East Falls, and New Jersey campuses) decide on a nonprofit organization to fundraise for throughout the spring semester. This year’s selection is The Krueger Hat Trick Foundation, which is devoted to providing financial aid and hope for families impacted by congenital heart defects/disease (CHD). Every year, nearly 40,000 babies are born with CHD, which is nearly 110 children per day. Despite these numbers, CHDs are not widely known about and research is underfunded. In total, this year’s event donated $25,541.34 to The Krueger Hat Trick Foundation.

“The Arcadia Class of 2022 is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to support our local community through the PA Olympics event,” said Anderson. “We are so inspired by The Krueger Hat Trick Foundation and we are excited to see what the Class of 2023 achieves next Spring.”

The PA Olympics has become a renowned cross-cultural event for PA students, faculty, alumni, and guests of local Philadelphia Physician Assistant Programs. Arcadia’s PA program has participated in this successful annual event for 12 years. The event affords participants to come together and work collectively in service to raise awareness about a community-based organization, and since its inception has raised $196,198 for local charities.

This event was developed in 2003 by Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine PA Program’s Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (SAAAPA) Class President Tom Monko and Arcadia University Director of Clinical Education Michael Huber. The inaugural event consisted of only three PA Programs: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Drexel University, and Philadelphia University. PA Olympics has grown now to 9 Delaware Valley PA programs, with over 650 PA students participating in this event each year.