Idaho State physician assistant students donate to local and international communities
October 13, 2014
Idaho State University’s physician assistant students contributed more than $8,000 this year to local and international community outreach—students raised approximately $4,650 in donations and the department kicked in $3,600 in matching funds, according to Paula Phelps, program director and chair of ISU’s Department of Physician Assistant Studies.
Every April, the students hold a silent auction to raise funds for local free clinics as well as to aid in sending students to national PA meetings. The PA students have also volunteered annually at health fairs and screenings in Boise, Twin falls and Blackfoot for medically underserved populations in Idaho.
In addition to the silent auction, the 2014 PA students ran an aid station at the annual Scout Mountain Ultra Trail Race. The race organizers donated $1,000 in proceeds to the Physician Assistant Student Society.
This year, the PA students have allocated some of the funds for the purchase of diagnostic equipment for vision assessments.
The equipment will be taken by students on medical missions to foreign countries, including a four-week international rotation in Belize and weeklong missions to the Dominican Republic and Peru. On last year’s mission to the Dominican Republic, more than 700 patients received basic eye screenings, said Phelps.
The purchase of this equipment will ensure that patients are correctly diagnosed and receive the appropriate eye glasses. It will also benefit the educational opportunities of the PA students.
“The diagnostic equipment increases their experience. Not only does it benefit patients who would not otherwise have access to health care, it gives the students valuable opportunities to learn and work with medical technology to deliver patient satisfaction,” said Phelps.
Over the past 10 years, ISU’s PA students have donated annually to the development of health care needs in Idaho and abroad.