ASU, WFU announce partnership

Stephanie Sansoucy

Appalachian State University and Wake Forest University announced a physician’s assistant program
partnership Wednesday.

The program will begin June 2014 with the first class graduating in 2016.

Students start a month-long class after being accepted to WFU’s program reviewing undergraduate information, then move to study at Appalachian for nine months. The last year of the program is spent in various regions of the country, monitored by WFU mentors.

The goal of this program is to promote medical jobs in rural areas, where qualified medical professionals are needed, Chancellor Kenneth Peacock said.

Peacock said he was very excited about the partnership, especially since his son graduated from the WFU program.

“This is a way that we can truly serve and improve healthcare in rural North Carolina,” he said.
Fred Whitt, dean of the College of Health Sciences, called the partnership profound.

“We feel students at both universities will benefit as they will have inter-professional, educational and clinical experiences that will provide them with a competitive advantage,” Whitt said. “But the real winners are the citizens of western North Carolina and beyond by having greater access to much-needed primary health care.”

The College of Health and Sciences at Appalachian currently includes 21 major programs with approximately 3,100 students, Whitt said. WFU’s physician’s assistant program accepts 64 students per year, according to wakehealth.edu.

Story: CHELSEY FISHER, Senior News Reporter