Legislation Should Provide Boost to KCMA Academic Program

Kettering, OH - 2/7/2006

Kettering, Ohio (Feb. 7) — The recent passing of an important piece of state legislation has faculty and administrators at Kettering College of Medical Arts excited about the opportunities that will be extended to graduates of the school's physician assistant program. Senate Bill 154 was passed in the house two weeks ago and received concurrence from the senate last week. It now awaits the governor's signature next week, and once signed, SB154 will become effective in 90 days.

Ohio physician assistants can now practice with the same latitude and influence as those in other states. Ohio was one of only two states that did not allow physician assistants (PAs) to write prescriptions and was the only state that did not allow PAs to see new patients. This new bill will lower health care costs in Ohio and extend physicians' practices both in their offices and in hospitals across the state.

The new legislation makes several provisions —

  • Permits physicians to delegate increased responsibilities to PAs
  • Allows physicians to delegate prescriptive authority to PAs for certain medications
  • Permits PAs to see new patients or existing patients with new conditions
  • Requires newly certified PAs to have master's degrees, beginning in 2008

“We are so pleased with the passing of this bill. It means so many things to PAs who have been practicing and also for those preparing to graduate and practice. For the college, the bill means we are now educating PAs who will be more inclined to stay in Ohio to practice,” said Sue Wulff, director of the physician assistant program at Kettering College. “It also means PAs can now be better utilized, with the opportunity to see new patients with new conditions, and to write prescriptions. Overall, there should be better utilization of health care which, of course, benefits the patients.”

The only school in southwest Ohio to provide the course of study, Kettering College has received approval from the Ohio Board of Regents and the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC–PA) for its new Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program. This new master's program becomes far more vital, now that newly practicing PAs soon will be required to have the advanced degree. During the legislative process, Kettering College president Dr. Charles Scriven testified on behalf of certified PAs. One of just five schools in the state of Ohio that offer an accredited physician assistant program, kc has educated one–in–four of the state's practicing PAs.

To speak with Kettering College's practicing physician assistant alumni or physician assistant faculty members, please contact public relations officer Mindy Claggett atmindy.claggett@kc.edu or (937) 395-8601 ext. 55611.

About Kettering College of Medical Arts
Kettering College of Medical Arts is a fully accredited, coeducational college that specializes in health science education. A division of Kettering Medical Center, the College is located on the KMC campus and is chartered by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Kettering College offers certificate programs, two-year Associate of Science degrees, a Bachelor of Science in Health Professions degree with four specialty tracks, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing completion degree, and a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.

An institution of Christian higher education, Kettering College graduates health care professionals of high character who, in the tradition of the Master Healer, give whole-person care to their patients and generous service to their communities. Eighty percent of Kettering College graduates live and work in Ohio, with the majority settling in the Dayton area.

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