Mission Statement & Goals
The mission of the program is to increase access to healthcare, particularly in small, rural, and underserved areas, by educating future Physician Assistants who will provide high quality medical care in a compassionate and competent manner.
Goals (ARC-PA Standard A3.14.b)
In addition to the goals of Heritage University, the Physician Assistant Educational Program goals are to:
- Actively recruit qualified candidates from diverse cultural backgrounds.
- We meet with academic advisors from both local and regional academic institutions.
- Foster intercollegiate relationships to ensure applicants receive the prerequisite education and experience to become successful students.
- We belong to the Yakima Valley Interprofessional Practice and Education Collaborative, which allows our students to learn with, about, and from multiple healthcare related students.
- We are partners in a HRSA Grant, Primary Care Training Enhancement, which allows our students to receive additional interprofessional education in their clinical experience sites.
- Provide a broad based interprofessional education with an emphasis on primary care, allowing graduates to thrive in a dynamic health care environment.
- Our alumni are employed in multiple disciplines, but 42% of Class 2016, 60% of Class 2017, and 50% of reported graduates of Class 2018 work in primary care. Additionally, 70% of Class 2016, 63% of Class 2017, and 75% of reported graduates of Class 2018 work in underserved areas.
- Equip physician students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are essential elements of professional practice and instill a desire for life-long learning.
- Our students complete a master’s research project on a health promotion/disease prevention of their choice
- Provide opportunities for, and encourage involvement in, interprofessional education, community professional activities, and organizations that advance the PA profession.
- Students are encouraged to participate in both state and national organizations
- A member of class 3 served as an officer in the national student organization.
There continues to be strong demand for trained health care providers in the Pacific Northwest. In partnership with their supervising physicians, PAs can provide care for a diverse population of patients in a wide array of settings and specialties.
Heritage University is strategically positioned in a region where no such degree programs are available elsewhere. Located in Toppenish, Washington, within the Yakama Nation, the Heritage mission is to provide educational opportunities to underserved and underrepresented populations. Heritage graduates often go on to serve the needs of those same populations living and working in the communities in which they were raised.