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Gift Aids Health Science

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View an SAUtv video on the new wing and the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program

August 2015


A $1 million grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust will help St. Ambrose prepare physician assistants—and address a critical regional need for primary care health professionals.

In a dedication ceremony Tuesday, Aug. 25, the $1 million gift was acknowledged with the naming of the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver Health Sciences Education Wing at the SAU Center for Health Sciences Education at Genesis. The new wing was added last year to accommodate St. Ambrose’s new Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program.

St. Ambrose University and the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust share a commitment to medical education and the preparation of highly qualified and innovative health care professionals to serve Iowa and the surrounding region,” said Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, president of St. Ambrose. “This generous gift supports the university in addressing the nation’s growing shortage of primary care providers, while simultaneously providing highly motivated individuals the opportunity for rewarding and well-paying physician assistant careers with myriad job opportunities.”

Since 1987, the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust has distributed more than  $316 million through 2,365 individual grants, the largest percentage of which support Roy J. Carver’s passion for assisting students from Iowa and Illinois in achieving their goal to complete a college education and for supporting biomedical research and scholarship.

St. Ambrose has received several grants from the trust in support of its health sciences programs, including a 2011 grant for the acquisition of human patient simulators and a 2010 grant to assist the construction of the state-of-the-art Center for Health Sciences Education at Genesis.

St. Ambrose students also benefit from approximately $15,000 in annual scholarship aid through the Carver Scholars Program, created to help high-performing, high-need students from across the state of Iowa.

“The provision of funding for the Physician Assistant program is consistent with prior Trust grants awarded to support innovative educational opportunities at St. Ambrose,” said Troy Ross, executive administrator of the Carver Trust. “This gift will assist the university in offering a high-quality learning environment that will, in turn, attract capable, committed students who embody the leadership and community-oriented ideals espoused by Mr. and Mrs. Carver.  We are very pleased to see their legacy being furthered in this manner.”       

The 13,000-square-foot addition cost $3.5 million and includes a clinical skills lab and exam suite that simulates a medical office practice setting and emergency and trauma care. The space also features a 78-seat lecture hall equipped with enhanced technology for distance education delivery; space to support more inter-professional and post-graduate continuing education; additional classroom, study and meeting areas; and offices for the MPAS program and faculty, as well as the College of Health and Human Services dean.

The St. Ambrose MPAS program is the only physician assistant program in the Quad Cities and western Illinois region, and one of only 181 nationwide. It builds upon an existing strength and an area of strategic focus at St. Ambrose with nearly 470 students currently enrolled in the university’s accredited health sciences programs in nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and physician assistant studies, which are housed at the Center. High graduation rates, licensure passing rates, and employment rates are hallmarks of SAU’s health science programs. 

Check out the media coverage of the Aug. 24 announcement and wing dedication:

MORE LIKE THIS:College of Health and Human Services, For Alumni, For Prospective Graduate Students, Institutional-Campus, Master of Physician Assistant Studies, Video / Photo

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