Springfield College

physician assistant students in healthcare news of western massachusetts

school of health
    sciences and

mission statement

Academic Departments
  • emergency medical

  • occupational

  • physician assistant
  • physical therapy
  • rehabilitation and
        disability studies

  • Springfield College Physician Assistant (PA) students were highlighted in Healthcare News of Western Massachusetts regarding their efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Seven PA students chose to spend their spring break volunteering by signing up with ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). ACORN devised the Home Clean-out Demonstration Program after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The students were able to help with the rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina. For five days, the students worked with other volunteers, hurricane survivors, and paid contractors to gut houses and clean up trash.

    The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) encourages all PAs and PA students to volunteer in local communities and beyond as part of their professional responsibilities.

    Mike Russo, Springfield College PA student, said, “We took everything out of the houses, then we ripped the houses right down to the frames, the studs. That was all we could do, the damage was so extensive.” Russo also was quoted as saying, “It didn’t take long to realize that the pictures you see and the news stories you hear do no justice to what is going on.”

    The volunteers did what they could in the limited time they spent in the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Ashley Cary, another PA student who initiated the trip to New Orleans, stated, “The clean-up won’t be done in five years; it won’t be done in 10. I’ll enter my rotations this year, and when I graduate I want to go back to New Orleans. For my next trip, I’m hoping I can provide health care for the workers.”

    Updated: 07/19/2006

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    springfield college  263 alden street, springfield, MA 01109-3797 (413)748-3000