Fast Facts about the Touro University California Joint PA/MPH Program

Fast Facts about the Touro University California PA Program

Courtesy of Joy Moverley, DHSc, MPH, PA-C, Touro University California PA Program Director

Program mission, vision & values:

Using a social justice framework and a public health lens, the mission of the Joint MSPAS/MPH Program is to:

  • Recruit applicants from under-resourced communities and individuals with a demonstrated interest in serving these communities.
  • Educate quality PAs who will provide culturally sensitive care and advocate for under-resourced communities.
  • Increase access to high-quality care for under-resourced communities with an emphasis in primary care.

The faculty, staff, and students of the TUC Joint MSPAS/MPH program value:

  • Primary care as the backbone of the U.S. healthcare system with public health as the means to achieve health equity.
  • Educating empathetic PAs who provide patient-centered, culturally sensitive, gender-equitable, evidence-based care to all patients, especially historically under-resourced communities, as members of an interprofessional team.
  • An exemplary education where student success occurs in a collaborative and supportive learning environment.

What year did your program welcome its first class of students? 2002

How many students have graduated from your program to date? 642

How has your program contributed to creating a more diverse, just, and equitable profession?

As the 2020 recipient of the PAEA Excellence Through Diversity Award, we believe our program attracts applicants who value diversity and inclusion. Our program’s focus on social justice and public health is woven into the curriculum to offer our graduates a unique perspective for providing care to diverse patient populations.

Our admissions process reflects our commitment to DEI: We believe that recruiting students from underrepresented backgrounds is necessary to provide care for the diverse patient population in California. We employ a holistic admissions process that utilizes multiple mini-interviews and looks beyond just GPA. We also have established pipelines for increasing our recruitment of diverse applicants through a partnership with the California Army National Guard and San Francisco State University. Of our current students (classes 2022-2024), 81% of are from disadvantaged backgrounds or are members of under-represented minority populations. Our graduates show continued commitment to DEI with 55.6% of graduates work in medically underserved communities and 50.7% in primary care.

How has your program impacted the community it serves?

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for PAs. Our campus partnered with the local health department to provide COVID-19 vaccinations throughout the community. Students and faculty have volunteered thousands of hours to help our county obtain a vaccination rate of over 73% in those eligible to receive vaccines.

Using the mobile diabetes education classroom (“MOBEC”), our students and faculty are present in community events providing fluoride varnish thanks to a NCCPA outreach grant or screening for diabetes and pre-diabetes.

Our PA students founded a Student-Run Free Clinic in 2010 which continues to partner with the osteopathic medical school to provide osteopathic manipulation, vaccinations, screening for hypertension and diabetes, and provide much-needed patient education.

All of our students are Certified Lifestyle Coaches through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Diabetes Prevention Program. Every year, students volunteer as lifestyle coaches to help our community reduce the rates of developing diabetes in those at highest risk.