Physician Assistant Program Director Walt Eisenhauer administers the White Coat Pledge to LHU PA students during the annual White Coat Ceremony.
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Forty students in the Lock Haven University Physician Assistant Program donned their white coats for the first time during the White Coat Ceremony on April 24. Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
Traditionally, the White Coat Ceremony marks the transition that healthcare providers make from classroom science-based education to clinical sciences and patient contact. It serves to remind them of the need for compassion and caring in the healing arts and recognizes the students’ academic accomplishments to date and the trust they have attained from the faculty to being caring for patients in the clinical realm.
Ms. Linda Sekhon, MMS, PA-C, President of the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants was the keynote speaker for the event. She urged the students to ask themselves the question “Why am I here?” She cited examples of responses she has received over her 25 years as a physician assistant and explored the various reasons individuals choose to enter the profession.
The Honorable Glenn R. Thompson, U.S. Representative, Pennsylvania 5th Congressional District, also spoke. He described changes in healthcare and the increasing demands for services. He noted that the PA students are well positioned to be part of the solution to healthcare reform and the evolving healthcare system.
Program Director Walt Eisenhauer administered the White Coat Pledge: “It is with honor that we don our white coats from this day forth. We pledge by what we hold most sacred to use it not as a shield but as a bridge to reach out to those entrusted to our care. We shall strive with passion and humility to create lasting alliances in health, pursue professional integrity and provide compassionate care for all.”
The new White Coat students are Brooke Bennett, Travis Bessell, Heather Chidiac, Megan Crawford, Kelley Dunkle, Jay Forman, Kathryn Gates, Amy Hake, Lisa Himes, Daria Indeck, Chad Jackson, Jessica Judge, Christine Kerschner, Britney Kline, Nathan Kuipers, Kelly Longenberger, Erin Mannella, Lindsey McKay, Wendy Midgley, Patrick Nagle, Jason Nguyen, Katelyn Orlowsky, Alyssa Phillips, Heather Pyle, Rene Rangel, Maegan Risley, Nicole Rollins, Pamela Ruane, Jacqueline Sedlock, Emily Shultz, Rebecca Small, Alice Stappler, Danielle Steinbacher, Kari Vanocker, Kara weaver, Stephen Weil, Jamie Willour, Chad Wilson, Casey Yanek and Michelle Zarko.
The White Coat Ceremony had its origins at Columbia University Medical School and is sponsored nationwide at medical colleges and PA programs to promote humanism in medicine.
The mission of the LHU Physician Assistant Program is to educate and train highly-skilled physician assistants who are capable of providing quality health care; have expertise in the health care needs of the medically underserved; are prepared to critically evaluate, and become leaders in bringing about improvement in the medical and social systems that affect the health of underserved populations; and will seek and retain employment as primary care Physician Assistants in medically underserved areas of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The Lock Haven University Physician Assistant Program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The program was last reviewed in 2005 and received a six year accreditation cycle. Information regarding PA Program Accreditation and ARC-PA can be found at http://www.arc-pa.org/.