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

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Program graduates to address growing need for health care among culturally diverse population.

A picture of the Marshall B. Ketchum University seal.

Marshall B. Ketchum University

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.

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.

About Marshall B. Ketchum University
MBKU is now home to the Southern California College of Optometry and the School of Physician Assistant Studies. The University confers a four-year, professional degree, Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) and a Master of Science in Vision Science (M.S.) degree. MBKU's School of Physician Assistant Studies awards a Master of Medical Sciences (MMS) degree. MBKU has recently announced plans to establish a College of Pharmacy and plans to welcome its first class in the fall of 2016. MBKU owns and operates two premier eye and vision care centers – University Eye Center at Fullerton and University Eye Center at Los Angeles. Marshall B. Ketchum University closed on a $10.3 million deal in January, 2015 to purchase an 88,000 sq. ft. building in Anaheim, CA. The building will be the new home of the University Eye Center, currently housed at MBKU’s main campus in Fullerton. In addition, the new space will allow for expansion of additional primary health care services, as well as a pharmacy.


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Katie Santos-Coy
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