College of Saint Elizabeth launches physician assistant program

The College of Saint Elizabeth announced Monday it has launched a new degree program, the Master of Science in Physician Assistance.

The first class will begin in October of this year, this Morristown-based institution said.

Just one of four programs in the state, the 27-month curriculum aims to equip graduates with strong medical knowledge as well as critical thinking, interpersonal and communication skills.

“The launch of the PA program is a significant achievement, especially for the size of a school such as the College of Saint Elizabeth,” Dr. Helen J. Streubert, president of CSE, said. “We are proud that this new program not only continues CSE’s longstanding tradition in the area of healthcare education, but also underscores the College’s mission to provide leadership through service to others started by the Sisters of Charity nearly 120 years ago.”

The college’s newly-renovated Henderson Hall will house the program, CSE said. Funded through a $5 million endowment, the space will offer students real-life clinical experiences with classrooms, a 12-bed clinical assessment lab, a Simulation Center with interactive mannequins and task-trainers, six evaluation rooms, virtual dissection tables, a video-capture system, and more.

“The students we will be enrolling are coming to the College of Saint Elizabeth with a passion to bring medical care to a patient population that is underserved,” Dr. Medea Y. Valdez, director of the PA program at CSE, said. “Through this new program, we will be transforming students’ lives and they in turn will transform the lives of those in need of medical care.”