HPU Physician Assistant Students Help Provide Free Health Assessments for Local Youth

Oct 21st, 2021

HPU Physician Assistant Students Help Provide Free Health Assessments for Local Youth

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 21, 2021 – High Point University physician assistant students are working with health care professionals in Guilford County to provide free health assessments to North Carolina public school students.

The PA students started working with the Guilford County Health Department, Triad Adult and Pediatric Medicine, and Cone Health Center for Children in August to provide basic health needs. The health assessments are required for any new students in kindergarten through 12th grade in the state public school system this fall.

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HPU PA students are getting hands-on experience by administering a hearing and vision screening, a wellness exam, a school assessment form and recording any vaccinations a child receives at the clinic.

HPU PA students are getting hands-on experience by administering a hearing and vision screening, a wellness exam, a school assessment form and recording any vaccinations a child receives at the clinic. The students will also screen for speech or learning problems that could impact their education.

“This is a great real-world experience HPU is providing to PA students,” says Erica Kerr, a first-year PA student from Peoria, Illinois. “Working at the clinic has helped me with the patient-provider interactions. We see a variety of patients here, and it has helped me with preparing for what’s to come in the future.”

Assessments are also available for any student who may not have health insurance or a medical provider. Since August, the clinic has helped more than 350 children led by Susan Hawks and her team at Guilford County Public Health.

“We are fortunate that Guilford County Public Health has been able to collaborate with High Point University’s Physician Assistant program led by Dr. Michele Jedlica,” says Hawks, an RN and public health manager for Guilford County Public Health. “The goal of this year’s Health Assessment Clinic project is to prevent any student new to our district from being excluded.”

“This is one way to help ensure children in our community stay well so they can succeed in school,” says Dr. Michele Jedlica, assistant professor in physician assistant studies. “At the same time, HPU students will apply everything that they are learning in the classroom in an actual health care setting in the community. Our PA students know their education got them to this point. They are giving the same opportunity to students in High Point.”

Health assessments will be provided as needed at the Guilford County Health Department at 501 E. Green Drive. Parents who would like to schedule an appointment should call (336) 641-3896.

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HPU PA students have been working at the clinic since August. During that time, HPU students, Triad Adult and Pediatric Medicine, and Cone Health Center for Children have helped 350 children.