Physician Assistant Students Engage in Volunteerism

At the University of Saint Joseph (USJ), our core value of Compassionate Service is executed daily by our community. To combine this value into our teaching and learning experiences, our Physician Assistant (PA) Students have volunteered at numerous locations in the Hartford area. These organizations included the Rocking Chair Project, Fight for Air Climb, and Foodshare.

“I am very proud of the initiative the students have taken, working with a variety of organizations in the community. Social responsibility is inherent in physician assistant practice. Being involved and committed to service, they are gaining awareness and realizing the importance as developing clinicians, in promoting accessible and comprehensive medical care to all persons. We look forward to working with these organizations again in the near future,” said PA’s Student Support Coordinator Louise Lillpopp.

On March 13, 2019, the entire PA Cass of 2020 created 43 blankets for the “Knots-for-Newborns” project to benefit the Rocking Chair Project – a non-profit organization that provides glider rocking chairs to economically disadvantaged mothers to help them nurture themselves and their babies during crucial early months. This program allows doctors to nominate a care-giver of a newborn to receive a new glider rocker to help promote bonding between caregiver and newborn. The knot blankets created by the students are then given to recipients of the chairs for their infants.

Next, on April 13, 2019, the PA students volunteered and participated at Fight for Air Climb, where participants walk, run, or race up hundreds of stairs to help the American Lung Association. The funds raised support research, education, and patient programs to help the millions of Americans impacted by asthma, COPD, lung cancer, air pollution and other lung diseases. An impressive $1,095 was raised.

Then, during the first week of April, the PA Class of 2019 volunteered at Foodshare – a non-profit that connects surplus food to individuals who struggle with hunger in the Hartford and Tolland counties. As the Greater Hartford’s regional food bank, students sorted a variety of foods in their facility.

Lastly, the PA Class of 2021 volunteered at the Miracle League Baseball Game on April 28. PA students “buddied” up with children who have physical and cognitive challenges and had an enjoyable time playing baseball. This is a continuing relationship and their next collaboration will be on June 2.

Learn more about the School of Pharmacy and Physician Assistant Studies here.

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