Xavier Doctor Assistant Program Pupil Receives Scholarship from HRSNA

Courtesy of Xavier College,

Samuel Ramirez (‘23), a first-year scholar in Xavier’s Doctor Assistant program, was not too long ago chosen as a Nationwide Well being Service Corps (NHSC) scholarship recipient. In return for the scholarship award, students decide to offering main care well being companies to underserved communities. This system is run by the Well being Sources and Providers Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers (HHS).

Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, Ramirez is taken into account a nontraditional scholar. After graduating from Washington College in 1988 with a double diploma in Spanish and biology, he later earned his Grasp of Public Well being from Tulane College’s College of Public Well being and Tropical Drugs.

Ramirez labored in public well being for over twenty years across the nation. Earlier than settling in New Orleans, he beforehand held positions in Atlanta, Georgia, Waukegan, Illinois, and Honolulu, Hawaii. His in-laws in Louisiana had been badly affected by the flooding from Hurricane Katrina, so Ramirez, his spouse and his son moved to New Orleans in 2006 to help them. Although Ramirez and his household had solely deliberate on staying within the Crescent Metropolis for a number of years, they now take into account it dwelling. Throughout his time in Louisiana, he has labored for numerous organizations and entities, together with the Louisiana Division of Well being.

Regardless of his a few years in public well being, Ramirez nonetheless felt that one thing was missing in his life.

“I’ve at all times wished to be of service,” mentioned Ramirez. “Whereas working in public well being on a programmatic stage, I felt like I used to be doing that however lacking that one-on-one connection.”

He wished to be extra “current” in his occupation however knew he didn’t wish to turn out to be a doctor. It was whereas he labored as a Medical Assistant for Bijan Motaghedi, M.D., an Otolaryngologist in LaPlace, that he found what he wished to do.

Ramirez mentioned that seeing Dr. Motaghedi and his workers at work made him understand that there was multiple manner to assist others via well being care. For Ramirez, the encouragement he acquired from his employers, his colleagues, and his household helped him resolve to return to high school and pursue a profession as a Doctor Assistant.

He first enrolled part-time at Delgado Group Faculty and Tulane College to take the prerequisite science courses he wanted to use to Doctor Assistant packages. He admitted that he discovered returning to high school intimidating. He felt like the following technology of scholars had been studying many issues in a short time and using expertise that didn’t exist when he graduated over 30 years in the past. But, he persevered, excited for the chance to be taught new issues at this later stage in his life.

“In P.A. [physician assistant] college, it will get even sooner. It looks like we’re studying a number of new languages without delay. We now have to be taught new terminology for every medical self-discipline. Every specialty, like Cardiology or Gastroenterology, has its personal language. However as P.A.s, we have now to be taught as a lot as we are able to as a result of it opens up methods by which we’ll have the ability to assist others after we ultimately do apply drugs,” Ramirez mentioned.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic pushed public well being and well being care ideas into the highlight, Ramirez grew to become much more decided to do his half.

“Earlier than COVID-19, lots of people weren’t conversant in what the ICU workers did within the hospital, however now everyone seems to be extra conscious of what occurs when somebody goes on a ventilator. We now have all turn out to be extra acutely aware of the general public’s well being and the way fragile it’s. It’s a lesson we’re nonetheless studying; what it takes to cease the unfold of illness,” Ramirez mentioned.

By way of the NHSC Scholarship Program, Ramirez can have his tuition and different regulated prices at Xavier absolutely funded. This system additionally supplies a month-to-month stipend to help with residing bills.

Those that take part within the NHSC Scholarship program decide to a minimal of two years of full-time service to an eligible well being heart after commencement. Students will serve a Well being Skilled Scarcity Space (HPSA) clinic and hospital websites as decided by the Secretary of Well being and Human Providers. HPSA websites are recognized utilizing well being provider-to-population ratios, poverty charges, and entry to accessible main well being companies. Students can select to work at any city or rural website of their selection so long as it meets HPSA necessities.

The NHSC Scholarship Program is a aggressive federal program that awards scholarships to college students pursuing eligible main care well being professions. Ramirez first grew to become conscious of the scholarship via communication from Xavier’s Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Dr. Kathleen Kennedy. Like all Xavier college, Dean Kennedy is dedicated to serving to college students of all ranges succeed.

“Many college students in our skilled packages are sometimes compelled to finance their schooling primarily by acquiring graduate college loans or by working part-time,” mentioned Dean Kennedy. “Our college and workers at Xavier are devoted to in search of and figuring out numerous funding sources for college students to assist their schooling. Potential scholarships are such an vital useful resource since they assist our college students enter scientific apply after commencement with out the burden of extreme debt.”

Upon receiving his award letter from this system, Ramirez expressed his gratitude to the school and workers within the Doctor Assistant Program at Xavier for serving to him thrive.

“I’m comfortable to be part of Xavier College’s Doctor Assistant program,” mentioned Ramirez. “I really feel very lucky to have been chosen as a result of Xavier College’s objective has at all times been service to others, particularly the marginalized and underserved, which is in line, not simply with the NHSC’s mission, however with my very own objectives as a future P.A. as nicely,” he added.

For Ramirez, the assist he has acquired makes him glad in his option to attend Xavier. He mentioned he has realized a lot throughout his time as a Xavierite, particularly concerning the significance of teamwork in healthcare.

“The school and workers right here have helped me understand that we don’t work in a vacuum- we’re a part of a staff,” mentioned Ramirez. “As P.A.s, we work with so many different well being care professionals like physicians, pharmacists and psychological well being professionals to resolve the very best choices for our sufferers. Generally the affected person isn’t simply coping with their bodily points, so a medical perspective alone will not be going to deal with their downside. We learn to talk with different professionals, our friends, to look after our sufferers.”

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