University of Holy Cross & LCMC Health Team Up to Launch New High-Demand Physician Assistant Program

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NEW ORLEANS –The University of Holy Cross and LCMC Health, one of Louisiana’s largest healthcare providers, announced today a major partnership to launch a new Master of Science graduate degree for physician assistants, one of the nation’s fastest growing medical professions. The new program will launch in fall 2020 and will include on-the-job training for UHC students by doctors and other medical professionals at three of LCMC Health’s five hospitals in and around New Orleans.

Additional details were shared in a press release.

Physician assistants, also known as PAs, make up a rapidly expanding career field within medicine, as they practice side-by side with physicians, surgeons and other healthcare experts.The PA career is one of the top five growing industries in the United States with the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating that the PA field will grow by 37% by 2026. PA salaries are estimated at more than $100,000 a year. The American Academy of Physician Assistants reports more than 123,000 PAs in the country today. Thirteen PAs currently work in the LCMC Health system.

“Partnering with the University of Holy Cross allows us to continue focusing on educating the next generation of healthcare professionals,” said Greg Feirn, CEO of LCMC Health. “PAs are a need in our organization and this is a great example of LCMC Health and Holy Cross working together to strengthen the talent pipeline in New Orleans.”

UHC’s inaugural PA program is a 28-month, 112-credit full-time graduate program including two phases: didactic and clinical.Graduate coursework includes clinical medicine, clinical laboratory, pharmacotherapy, anatomy, pathophysiology, and evidence-based practice, clinical skills, preventive medicine, and healthcare professional issues. The second phase of the PA program will include 2,000 hours or 12 months of hands-onhospital experience involving 8 separate rotations at LCMC Health Hospitals and medical facilities.

“The PA program at University of Holy Cross is at the forefront of the latest developments in medical careers,” said UHC president Dr. David “Buck” Landry. “Our partnership with LCMC Health, renowned as Louisiana’s leading healthcare provider, will teach our students compassionate healthcare through hands-on training at LCMC Health hospitals as they work toward their PA degree.”

UHC’s new physician assistant program will be headed by Rod Kelly. Kelly is a 20-year Army Veteran who has worked in various medical settings such as Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Correctional Medicine, Transplant Surgery, Urgent Care and PA Education. PA Kelly attended the IPAP (Interservice Physician Assistant Program) in San Antonio. After graduating from PA school, Kelly was commissioned as a 2LT and spent the next 15 years taking care of military families, deploying around the world to places like Panama, Haiti, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. While deployed, he provided military operational medicine to the men and women of the armed services. After 20 years on active duty, he retired as a Major and has continued to work in the medical field in areas including emergency medicine, urgent care and surgery.

“This partnership with LCMC ensures our students will have access to the best doctors, nurses, and medical staff the state has to offer,” said Kelly. “We’re excited to continue UHC’s strong tradition in the medical field and graduate some of the most prepared students in the state and surrounding area.” 

The University of Holy Cross Physician Assistant Program has applied for Accreditation – Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). UHC’s goal is to graduate Pas who will enhance the New Orleans community by providing high-quality healthcare to those in need.



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