A.T. Still University (ATSU) will launch a California-based physician assistant (PA) studies program, Central Coast PA Program (CCPAP), in July 2020. The University plans to enroll up to 100 PA students at a new location in Santa Maria. The program will operate in partnership with Community Health Centers of the Central Coast and will advance ATSU’s mission to prepare compassionate providers who will increase access to quality healthcare in underserved communities.
Currently, the University has campuses in Mesa, Arizona and Kirksville, Missouri, as well as a dental clinic in St. Louis.
“ATSU and the National Association of Community Health Centers will continue collaborating with Santa Maria and nearby communities to develop a nationally recognized region for health professions education, patient care, and research,” said ATSU President Craig M. Phelps, DO, ‘84. “We recognize California communities, like many underserved communities nationally, do not have adequate and affordable quality healthcare due to acute and chronic shortages of healthcare professionals and lack of health professions educational opportunities.”
“The University spent several years researching and visiting California locations,” said Ted Wendel, PhD, ATSU’s senior vice president of university planning and strategic initiatives. “The relationships developed over the last 18 months with organizations including Community Health Centers of the Central Coast, Marian Hospital, and CoastHills Credit Union have created a strong foundation for ATSU’s future in California,” said Dr. Wendel. “Santa Maria and the Central Coast stood out as an ideal location where our students, faculty, and staff would want to learn, work, and live, and in turn, positively impact the community. The University is indebted to the support provided by Santa Maria and Central Coast communities.”