News Briefs

CSJ’s Physician Assistant Studies program makes strides

RUTLAND — College of St. Joseph is developing a Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant Studies (PA) program, and it is moving forward quickly.

The program recently welcomed three new staff members. Sarah Tatko joined CSJ as the program’s academic coordinator and assistant professor. In this role, she will be responsible for coordinating the didactic education curriculum. Tatko graduated with her Master of Physician Assistant Studies in 2013 and has worked in emergency medicine and as clinical assistant professor in the Communications Sciences and Disorders Department at University of Vermont.

Kelli Kruzel has also joined the college as the program’s clinical coordinator and assistant professor. As a physician’s assistant, Kruzel has worked in emergency medicine and primary care. Born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y., she has recently relocated to the Rutland area to help with the development of the PA program. As the clinical coordinator, Kruzel is focused on the clinical education curriculum and attaining the best clinical sites. She holds a Master of Physician Assistant Studies from D’Youville College.

Dr. Rebekah Thomas has transitioned her role from undergraduate health sciences associate professor to principal faculty member within the PA program. Thomas has been instrumental throughout the development and planning of the PA program.

Looking ahead, the program is working to earn provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) in March 2016. The program anticipates matriculating its first class in June 2016, pending ARC-PA accreditation-provisional. Accreditation-provisional status is an accreditation status for a new PA program that has demonstrated its preparedness to initiate a program in accordance with accreditation standards.

The program, which will be housed in nearby Proctor, was recently notified by The New England Association of Schools and Colleges that it has accepted the College’s substantive change approval request to proceed with program development.

The program is currently accepting applications for the first class through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). The deadline for applications is Dec. 1, 2015.

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