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Emory PAs Celebrate PA Week 2014

The Emory PA program celebrated National PA Week in October by giving back to our community. More than 70 physician assistant students, faculty, and staff participated in the weekend of service (October 3-5) by giving of their time, talents and compassion serving over 500 patients and families across Georgia. The target sites for this service weekend included the Hispanic community in North Atlanta, the VA Medical Center and Bainbridge, GA. At the “Feria de la Salud” sponsored by the Hispanic Health Coalition, PA students staffed the Kid’s Village, serving over 200 children, providing health checks alongside Dr. Susana Montanas of Clinica del Nino, the Teddy Bear Health Clinic (SOM MD students), Dr. Ana Pimentel, and Atlanta WIC. Students performed BMI, BP, Vision, and Hearing screens as well as provided fun and interactive Nutrition activities. Each child left with an Emory cloth bag filled with books, stuffed animal, and health-related educational materials in Spanish.

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Also during the weekend, ten Emory PA students were active participants is the Atlanta VA Medical Center (VAMC)Stand Down event, a nationwide initiative to address the needs of homeless Veterans in the community by joining efforts with medical center employees and over 35 local agencies. Emory students worked with Atlanta VA Medical Center Internist, Dr. Susan Platt providing health screens to homeless veterans as part of this service experience. The VA website explains that the name of this event, Stand Down, is a military term, referring to “the brief period of time a service member leaves an active combat area in order to rest and regain strength. This event offers Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness a chance to rest from the weariness of life’s challenges they face daily.”

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Meanwhile, 240 miles south of Atlanta, an eager team of 25 PA students, from both Emory and Mercer University, and 10 Emory MD students participated in the South Georgia Farmworker Health Project fall weekend. Students worked in the fields and community surrounding Bainbridge, GA with Emory SOM physicians, PA faculty from Emory and Mercer, Emory PA alumni, as well as CDC and other community providers to deliver care to these hardworking farmworkers. Other partners during the weekend project included the Decatur County Migrant Clinic, Bainbridge College Nursing students, Atlanta-based interpreters (both Spanish and Haitian Creole) and the FSU and FAMU Haitian Cultural Club from Tallahassee.  Over 200 volunteers in total participated in this project serving the needs of Farmworkers and their families by providing healthcare, hygiene kits, socks, gloves and many clothing items donated by our generous partners.

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