Physician Assistant Leadership Initiative in Oral Health from the nccPA Health Foundation

Professors Robin Duke and Marcie Fitzgerald from the Department of Physician Assistant Studies have been awarded a grant as part of the Physician Assistant Leadership Initiative in Oral Health from the nccPA Health Foundation to integrate preventative oral health education into the Mercyhurst Physician Assistant curriculum and support a community outreach project and improve oral health for Erie's inner-city children. The physician assistant students and faculty will collaborate with dental professionals as part of an interprofessional educational experience to master preventative dental screening skills and patient education techniques. Following the educational component, the physician assistant students will perform oral health screenings for Mercyhurst University's Carpe Diem Academy students. Carpe Diem Academy is an extended-day after school program for grades K-2 students in the Erie public school district. The goals of this educational community outreach project are twofold. The first is to enhance physician assistant student's oral health education and the second is to help increase dental wellness in inner-city children in the Erie community.

Along with nccPA Health foundation, this project is supported by the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health (NIIOH), with funding from the DentaQuest Foundation, Washington Dental Service Foundation, and the Connecticut Health Foundation.