Mercy College Awarded Primary Care Training and Enhancement Grant

Denise Hudgin
Students at the sign

Mercy College of Ohio was awarded a $557,234 Primary Care Training and Enhancement – Physician Assistant Rural Training (PCTE-PAR) grant, from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) to increase clinical rotations for Physician Assistant (PA) students in primary care located in rural areas. The grant will support Mercy College's PA program from July 2022 through June 2027.

The grant will be used to provide stipends for program participants who complete 12 weeks of clinical rotations in designated primary care settings; curricular modifications including enhanced instruction in telehealth; an interprofessional learning experience needs assessment; and interprofessional education opportunities for rural preceptors and clinical staff, along with PA students.

Susan Wajert, PhD, President of Mercy College says, "We believe this will better equip our PA graduates to serve the unmet healthcare needs of rural communities and to increase the number of PAs entering the rural, primary care setting upon graduation."

Dr. Tara Jenner-Donaldson, Clinical Coordinator and Assistant Professor for the Physician Assistant program, will serve as the PCTE-PAR Project Director. She says, "This grant will provide Mercy College with the opportunity to meet the health workforce goal of increasing the number of primary care practitioners who are ready to practice in and lead the transformation of healthcare systems aimed at improving access, quality of care, and cost effectiveness in rural areas.”

Prospective Physician Assistant students who want to practice in rural medicine are encouraged to apply for Mercy College’s Master of Physician Assistant (PA) Studies program to potentially participate in the Primary Care Training and Enhancement grant. Admission requirements and program information are available at

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $146,644 in the fiscal year 2023, with zero percentage financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit

Pictured above: Mercy College's inaugural Physician Assistant class.

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