PA Million HeartsPhysician Assistant program at Million Hearts eventIn May, a team from the UAB Physician Assistant program joined the Institute for America’s Health challenge at an event to support Million Hearts’ initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

The PA team, consisting of (pictured right, listed L/R) Alexis Hamilton, Amanda Haas, Brittni Thomas, Jaime Petrosky, Rick Kilgore, Ph.D., Sherri Peete, Meredith Veazey and Catherine Blair, screened more than two-dozen people at the Healthy Living Challenge at the Preserve Town Hall in Hoover.

“This was a nice chance to give back to the community,” said Haas. “Being in school, we don’t have time like we used to, to do volunteer work so this was a good opportunity for service.”

The PA team did blood pressure checks and body mass index (BMI) measurements. They also counseled people about the results including offering lifestyle modifications and, when necessary, recommending a visit to their healthcare provider.

“This was a great way to represent our program and to continue educating the public on the ever-expanding role of physician assistant’s in healthcare,” said Peete. “I enjoyed asking people if they had ever been cared for medically by a PA or if they knew what a PA was.”

The UAB PA program, housed in the UAB School of Health Professions Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, is ranked among the top Physician Assistant programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The PA field was recently ranked in U.S. News’ Top 10 “Best Healthcare Jobs” for 2014.