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  • Touro University California’s Joint MSPAS/MPH Program Awarded Grant to Promote a Diverse Healthcare Workforce

For Immediate Release

Contact: Andrea E. Garcia, Touro University California
Associate Vice President, University Advancement

W: (707) 638-5272
C: (707) 704-6101
andrea.garcia@tu.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, February 15, 2019

Touro University California’s Joint MSPAS/MPH Program Awarded Grant to Promote a Diverse Healthcare Workforce

Awarded a $96,000 Song-Brown Healthcare Workforce Training Programs Grant for 2019-2020

For the 12th year in a row, Touro University California’s (TUC’s) Joint Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies / Master of Public Health (MSPAS/MPH) Program has been awarded a Song-Brown Healthcare Workforce Training Programs Grant through the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD). This year, TUC received $96,000 to provide the 2-week Bridge Program and assist physician assistant (PA) students complete rotations in rural and underserved areas. TUC’s application was one of eighteen that were funded.

“Starting in 2012, we’ve provided a 2-week Bridge Program for up to 10 incoming students.  Since that time, we’ve not had any student attrition due to academics, so we’re happy that we will be able to continue the program,” said Joint MSPAS/MPH Program Director Grace Landel.  “The rest of the funds will be used for student housing and transportation stipends to rotations in areas of unmet need.   Part of our mission is to educate PAs to work with underserved populations and increase access to care.  Experience in these settings increases the likelihood that graduates will practice there.” 

The Song-Brown Healthcare Workforce Training Programs Grant provides funding to education programs to provide clinical training and education in underserved areas, to incentivize programs to increase the number of underrepresented minority primary care practitioners, and increase access to healthcare to the state’s underserved population.  Funded programs are evaluated based on the percentage of graduates from underserved areas, percentage of disadvantaged students, and percentage of graduates serving underserved areas in the state.

Since 2002, TUC’s Joint MSPAS/MPH Program has prepared students to become PAs with a public health perspective. By integrating coursework, students earn two degrees simultaneously over a 33-month period. This overlapping structure and the fact that all of the PA students also earn an MPH distinguishes TUC’s joint program from other PA programs where the two courses of study are pursued independently. As part of the program, students choose a specialized public health track – the Community Health track for those who will work with state, community and nonprofit public health organizations; the Global Health track that prepares students to be effective leaders and advocates for global health; or the newly created Health Equity and Criminal Justice track that prepares students to advocate for and address the health needs of populations involved in the justice system.

“The Joint MSPAS/MPH program seeks to increase access to quality healthcare across California and beyond,” said Dr. Sarah Sweitzer, TUC Provost & CAO. “The funds from this grant help us ensure students from underserved areas are receiving the support they need to focus on their studies. This is reflected in our 99.6% student pass rate – and over 95% first-time pass rate – on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam.”

About the Touro College and University System:

Touro University California is a Jewish nonprofit, independent graduate institution of higher learning founded in 1997 on three Judaic values: social justice, the pursuit of knowledge and service to humanity. The university, home to 1,400 students, has professional programs in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, public health, nursing, and education. Faculty, staff and students have a powerful commitment to academic excellence, evidence-based professional practice, inter-professional collaboration, and active engagement with a global community. To learn more, visit www.tu.edu or call 707-638-5200.