Special to the Times-Tribune
In March, after three years and many hours of dedication, the University of the Cumberlands (UC) Physician Assistant (PA) program was granted Continued Accreditation through the Accreditation Review Commission on Education.
“The faculty and staff’s dedication and commitment to the education of our PA students has been outstanding and should be commended,” said Dr. Eddie Perkins, director of the PA program. “It was through a team effort that accreditation was accomplished.”
With help from UC administration and the PA program faculty and staff, as well as the PA Advisory Board, the process went smoothly and bonded an already tight-knit group.
“We are a family,” said Dr. Sonia Young, associate director of the program, noting the reason accreditation is important. “We are here because of the students,” she said. “We are willing to put forth the effort for them.”
The students were a large part of the accreditation process, being interviewed by ARC-PA officials this past fall. During the interviews, students commented on things that work well and things they like about the program, and things they think need improvement.
“They keep saying ‘thank you’ to us, but we wouldn’t be here without Dr. [Sonia] Young,” said Katelyn Glass, Cohort 2 student from Somerset.
The accreditation is a boost for the PA Program, and reflects the three years of hard work the students, faculty and staff have dedicated. “It gives us confirmation that we are running this the right way,” said Young.
The faculty, staff and PA Advisory Board Members responsible for working to accomplish accreditation are:
Faculty & Staff: Eddie Perkins, MD, Director of PA Program; David Williams, MD, Medical Director; Sonia Young, PT, Associate Director; Kathleen Flynn, PA-C, Clinical Director; Lesley Tipton, PA-C, Clinical Coordinator; Kenneth Reed, PA-C, Associate Professor; Joe Reed, PA-C, Assistant Director; Gregory Manning, Office Administrator;
UC Administration: Dr. Jim Taylor, President of University of the Cumberlands; Dr. Larry Cockrum, Vice President of Academic Affairs; and Dr. Tom Fish, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs;
PA Advisory Board Members: David Williams, MD; Donnie Bunch, MD; Eddie Perkins, DO; Joe Reed, PA-C; Joe Shelton, PA-C; Kathleen Flynn, PA-C; Kenneth Reed, PA-C; Laura Clifton, PA-C; Paul Henson, PA-C, Scott Caddell, PA-C, Sonia Young, PT; and Tom Fish, PhD.
The first PA Cohort graduated this past May, and Cohort 2 will begin rotations in May and graduate in May 2013.
The Master of Physician Assistant Studies program at University of the Cumberlands is offered under a cohort system with course work to be completed over 24 months. Of the 101 credit hours in the Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree program, 61 hours are earned through Didactics coursework in a traditional classroom and laboratory setting. All Didactics coursework takes place on the university campus in the Forcht Medical Wing of the Correll Science Complex. The remaining 40 hours of the Physician Assistant programs in Kentucky are earned during the second year in the program through eight supervised Clinical Rotations in the field.