Red Rocks Community College News Release

Red Rocks Community College
News Release
More information: Kim Rein
July 17, 2012  


Red Rocks Physician Assistant student accepted into
 2012 Primary Care Leadership Program

Also awarded $5,000 scholarship by GE Foundation


LAKEWOOD, CO - Red Rocks Physician Assistant student Amanda Smithers has been accepted into the 2012 GE-National Medical Fellowships Primary Care Leadership Program (PCLP).  In addition to her acceptance, Smithers has been awarded a $5,000 scholarship that will aid her during the program.

The GE-NMF Primary Care Leadership Program awards eight physician assistant, or nursing graduates, and 30 medical students the opportunity to practice primary care in a unique community health center in the U.S.  The summer 2012 externship is a 200-hour, 5–7 week program that will give each individual the opportunity to better hone leadership and networking skills vital to becoming successful in the medical profession.  Smithers will complete her program requirements in Jackson, Mississippi this summer.   

In addition to the PCLP award, Smithers was also awarded the William Conrad Rural Primary Care Scholarship (HRSA grant scholarship) in June 2011. The scholarship awarded $44,000, over two years, to aid Smithers in her PA education at Red Rocks. 

Smithers believes that embarking on this experience will positively influence the way she practices as a PA.  “I have been given an opportunity to directly impact and reshape the perspective of patients whose voices go widely unheard,” she said. “I hope to empower this community to educate themselves on maintaining and improving their health, and to help shape a community's movement into active participation in their own health care.”  During her rotations in Jackson, Smither’s will be journaling her experiences on a blog:

Red Rocks was one of 28 PA programs awarded funds under the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Expansion of Physician Assistants Training (EPAT) Grant.  The HRSA EPAT Grant was implemented to better assist medically underserved rural areas by increasing the number of primary care physician assistants.  With a mission to train clinically competent and compassionate physician assistants to provide primary care to the medically underserved, RRCC was a prime candidate for the grant.  The Physician Assistant program targets applicants who are likely to accept primary care positions in rural Colorado or Wyoming.

More about the Red Rocks PA program: Physician Assistants (PAs) are health professionals authorized by law to practice medicine under the supervision of a licensed physician. Within the physician/PA relationship, physician assistants may exercise delegated autonomy, providing many diagnostic and therapeutic services. Red Rocks' physician assistant program offers rigorous courses leading to a certificate in PA Studies and prepares the student for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam, administered by the National Commission for the Certification of Physician Assistants.
More about Red Rocks Community College:  Established in 1969, Red Rocks Community College delivers high-quality, affordable education programs leading to two-year degrees or professional certificates. The college serves over 15,000 students per year online and at campus locations in Lakewood and Arvada.                                                                  

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Foundation Fundraiser
Amanda Smithers, shown here doing embassy work in West Africa, has always been service- and community-minded.