2022 Outstanding Student Society is Equipped to Serve

Campbell University PA Students Help Expand Access to Care for Rural Communities

May 18, 2022

By Katy Shenk

Campbell University Wallace Student Society
Campbell University PA Class of 2023

PA Betty Lynne Johnson, program director for the Campbell University PA program, tells her students: “It’s all about the patient.” Members of the Wallace Student Society put this ethos into action through their extensive volunteer work with the local community this past year, and were selected as AAPA’s 2022 Outstanding Student Society.

The Outstanding Student Society is recognized for outstanding service to the profession in the areas of public education and advocacy; public service and outreach; promotion of diversity; and professional involvement.

“For the Campbell University PA program, being selected as the 2022 Outstanding Student Society inspires us to continue shedding light on the PA profession through our events as both students and throughout our careers,” says Justine Danielson, Campbell University’s Student Academy Representative.

Danielson says that the most rewarding aspect of the PA profession is the ability to give back to the community as a student, and that the university has focused on creating these opportunities. Last fall, the society participated in numerous public health events. Recognizing the importance of prevention through screening and education, students were invited to a local high school to present on diabetes, substance use, and over-the-counter medicine safety. Community members were able to ask questions about various health issues and receive blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol screenings.

Students also staffed a first-aid station at a local race series event, taking advantage of the opportunity to represent Campbell University and the PA profession by educating participants and other volunteers about the role of a PA.

PAs have mobilized throughout the pandemic to increase patients’ access to care, and Campbell University PA students are no exception. In November, after the FDA approved the COVID-19 vaccination for children 5-11 years old, students were invited to assist with administering the vaccine to this age group.

“Administering COVID-19 vaccinations to children allowed us to focus on rural and underserved counties to increase access to care during a time of uncertainty,” Danielson says.

In addition to one-day service events throughout the year, in 2021, Campbell PA students volunteered over 950 hours at the Campbell University Community Care Clinic, which provides rural populations and migrant farm workers with access to free healthcare. Each year, a number of PA, medical, and pharmacy students have the opportunity to work in teams and see patients with provider supervision. This experience allows PA students to build proficiencies in advance of clinical rotations, engage in patient interactions, and expand access to care for underserved populations.

Internally, the society’s DEI committee hosts events that encourage students to reflect on implicit bias, racial inequalities, and health disparities. In June, the committee organized a “Women in Medicine” panel to hear firsthand about the obstacles women face in the STEM field, celebrate the panelists’ accomplishments, and learn from their successes.

The society also promotes opportunities for students to connect with AAPA, the North Carolina Academy of PAs, and other PA organizations. Last March, Campbell PA students participated in the virtual AAPA Leadership and Advocacy Summit to learn more about how to promote and advocate for the profession on a national level.

Service and leadership are at the core of students’ training as a PA, both within and beyond the classroom.

“Campbell University’s PA program prepares students to ‘equip to serve,’ which is the foundation of patient care and servant leadership,” Danielson says. “With the PA profession continuing to grow, it is crucial that the world understands our readiness to serve others through providing compassionate and quality patient care.”

2022 AAPA Award Recipients

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