James Madison University

JMU Physician Assistant Student Society (PASS) Donates To Our Community Place

By: Lori News
Posted: January 10, 2014

PHOTO: PASS Members donate fundsThe James Madison Physician Assistant Student Society (PASS), a graduate student organization that promotes academic achievement, community service and clinical excellence presented a check for $300 to Our Community Place on December 5, 2013.

Our Community Place (OCP), a non-profit Christian organization, was established in 2003 but officially opened its doors in August 2008. In September the community center agreed to host a monthly health program created by Physician Assistant (PA) students, Matthew Lassen and Shaheen Fedewa, who developed a community project that centered on health education.

Lassen, a second year PA student said, “We just wanted to give back to the community, so we gathered money from multiple fundraisers to donate to OCP.”PASS has hosted  golf tournaments fundraisers and donated a portion of their proceeds to the RMH Hahn Cancer Center as well.

Every first Thursday of the month OCP hosts an “Ask a PA Night” with a dinner prepared by volunteer cooks followed by an educational health presentation. This month’s health presentation was on the importance of getting the flu vaccine, presented by Jerry Weniger, JMU Assistant Professor and PA Program Director. Community residents were able to ask questions about the flu and the flu vaccine, but were also encouraged to ask any other health related questions.

Philip Fisher Rhodes, executive director of OCP gives the opportunity to the community residents who attend these nights to be able to ask health questions confidentially.  “I pass out index cards to everyone so they can write down medical or health related questions and place them in the “Ask a PA Box,” Fisher Rhodes explained. The PA students collect the questions at the end of the month, and research the answers prior to each monthly event.

After the program, Lassen and multiple first year PAs were there to present OCP with a check for $300. Beginning next semester, Adam Christman, Candace Bronez and Corey Pflugradt, first year PAs, will be in charge of the program for the next 12 months.

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