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Marshall B. Ketchum University Awarded Song-Brown Grant for Physician Assistant Studies


Marshall B. Ketchum University has received a $79,800 grant from the California Song Brown Program for its School of Physician Assistant Studies. The Song Brown program is dedicated to funding health workforce development in the forms of education and training in the state of California.

The grant will support MBKU in providing top-level education and training to Physician Assistant (PA) students that reflect the cultural diversity of Southern California with an emphasis on providing needed care in underserved areas of the community. MBKU will continue to develop clinical training sites, financially support students as they travel and practice in rural or underserved communities and to provide academic assistance to students who are academically at risk by implementing a new online support tool in preparation for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam.

“MBKU seeks to reimagine the future of health care education. Interprofessional teams are learning together to deliver safe, effective and timely care that is culturally and linguistically appropriate within and across all settings,” said Dean of the College of Health Sciences Judy Ortiz, M.H.S., M.S., P.A.-C.

MBKU’s PA program strives to create social and physical environments that promote good health for all individuals, especially those living in underserved areas. PA students are educated and trained to address the social determinants of health. 12 four-week rotations create clinical opportunities with diverse and challenging patient encounters. Students complete their clinical rotations in Federally Qualified Health Centers, which provide comprehensive services in underserved areas. Students quickly understand the needs, concerns, limitations and behaviors of diverse patient populations.

“MBKU is committed to improving care by addressing social determinants of health that contribute to poverty, unequal access to health care, lack of education and language,” said Marshall B. Ketchum University President Kevin Alexander, O.D., Ph.D. “We are grateful to the Song Brown Program for sharing with us in that commitment.”

PA students receive instruction on multicultural and socioeconomic issues. By effectively creating a framework for preventive care, MBKU PA students are removing many of the barriers that poor health and chronic disease can create, such as poverty, reduced opportunities and the ability to meet daily needs.

In addition to Ortiz, the program team consists of Sandra Fineman, P.A., Director of Didactic Education Kimberly Lopipero, M.P.A.S., P.A.-C., Director of Clinical Education Don Ragsdale, M.P.A.S., P.A.-C. and Director of Research Allison Mollet, M.M.S., P.A.-C. MBKU is currently educating its inaugural class of PA students, set to graduate in 2016.