SUNY Upstate to Ease National Healthcare Worker Shortage
In Sept. 2010, SUNY Upstate Medical University received $2 million in federal funding to expand their physician assistant training programs and help ease the nation's shortage of healthcare workers.
Upstate started its physician assistant program in 2009 and has 28 students enrolled. Upstate will receive about $2 million to help cover student tuition, fees and stipends.
The grant, from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, will provide annual stipends of $22,000 annually for two years to 10 students beginning in 2011, allowing some students in the program to graduate debt free.
Physician assistants are health care professionals licensed to practice under the supervision of a doctor. They can conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order tests, assist in surgery and write prescriptions.
The federal government also awarded Upstate another $1 million in Sept. 2010 to pay for faculty development, student housing, software and training equipment in the physician assistant program.