PA majors continue to serve the community.
PA majors continue to serve the community.

In November of last year, the PA students at King’s College were notified that a 2012 alumna of the program enlisted in the United States Navy was deployed to Afghanistan. She was destined to remain there throughout the holiday season without coming back stateside to see her beloved family and friends. A secret holiday care package was then planned to be the PAs for Change Project 4. This would aid the young medical professional to get through the months overseas until she could safely return once again.

An email was sent out to the PA students informing them of the plan and suggested items included: chapstick, Christmas cards, drink mixes, lotion, non-perishable food, etc. At the conclusion of Clinical Rotation 4, on December 18, students gathered to organize and assemble the care package for safe shipping to Afghanistan.

A few weeks after the package was delivered, the students received pictures and an email from the naval physician assistant that said, “Receiving these boxes gives my team and I a little piece of home. All of the goodies will be put to good use! The holidays are definitely different here and reading all the cards helps spread the holiday cheer. The ornament will be cherished forever. Very sweet!”

Those who assisted in Project 4 included Christina Gugliotti, Jocelyn Hook (Associate Clinical Professor and Clinical Coordinator), Lynnae Imdorf, Munazza Khan, Shelby Munson, Lauren Reese, Cornelia Roberts, Christopher Tobias, Dana Zovko as well as members of the class of 2015 who assembled their own care package to send.

Due to an unexpected snow storm hitting the Wilkes-Barre area, the next project planned for February was postponed to late March. Project 5 for the PAs for Change mission was performed at the Saint Vincent de Paul soup kitchen in Wilkes-Barre.

The PA students arrived and changed into the “volunteer garb” consisting of plastic aprons and white latex gloves. They were then instructed to make some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for an addition to the dinner service for the attendees. After constructing approximately 100 sandwiches, the volunteers were then re-directed to assisting in serving the main meal.

As the room flooded in with the underprivileged of Wilkes-Barre, the students assumed their positions to feed the hungry guests. One student was assigned to served coffee and hot water, while another added the sugar and cream to the coffee. An additional student was given the task of serving the tea bags and adding hot chocolate mix to the hot water and the last student was allotted the task of handing out the previously made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to those who requested one.

The students served about 50 people. After the dinner was completed, the students moved on to begin cleaning up. They moved the chairs from the tables to the ends of the room to be piled on top of each other, wiped down the tables, and swept the floor. Upon completion, they were thanked accordingly and they departed.

Participating in this project was Heather Bowman, Lauren Pristash, Rebecca Rittle, and Christopher Tobias. Project 6 was completed following Project 5 and Project 7 is scheduled in May. Stay tuned for the next update on how those projects turned out.