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Monday, September 8, 2008

Physician Assistant Program At Charles Cole Memorial Hospital Gets $900,000.00 Boost

$900,000.00 Check Presented Today

Curt Weinhold photo
Dr. Keith Miller, president, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Ed Pitchford, president, chief executive officer, CCMH, Dr. Peter Garland, executive vice chancellor, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, Tom Bowman, aide, Sen. Arlen Specter’s office, and Sen. Joe Scarnati.

State Sen. Joe Scarnati presented a $900,000 check to Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania President Dr. Keith Miller today for the university’s proposed expansion of its physician assistant program.

The funding from the State Department of Education will be used by LHU for infrastructure and capital improvements, expanding the program into Coudersport (Charles Cole Memorial Hospital) as well as Harrisburg (Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s Dixon University Center). Pending approval by the appropriate regulatory and accrediting agencies, LHU expects to welcome its first class at both locations in May 2010, according to Walter Eisenhauer, physician assistant program director and department chair at LHU.

“This is quite a milestone for Lock Haven as well as Charles Cole,” Dr. Miller said. “This is what partnership is all about. As we move health care forward, we move the economy forward. What we’re doing in Coudersport is not much different than what we’re doing everywhere else. I hope you’ll see us as a resource that can only expand as we get to know each other better. This is part of our mission and we’re delighted to be a part of this,” he said.

“I am pleased to have been able to secure funding for this important initiative,” Scarnati said. “Without question, this is a wonderful example of the state partnering with institutions to improve the overall economic and health care climate of communities across Pennsylvania,” he said.

“Hosting the Lock Haven physician assistant program is an interesting and exciting opportunity for our hospital and the community,” said Ed Pitchford, president and chief executive officer at CCMH. “Medical education programs create a stimulating environment that will help us stay fresh and current, while providing our physicians the opportunity to teach and mentor students who will play an important role in our country’s health care delivery system. We know from experience that the best way to confront the shortage of health care professionals and avoid staff vacancy issues here at Charles Cole is to be active in the education of those who will provide medical care in the future. We are fortunate to have this opportunity and we appreciate the efforts of those who have played a role in making it happen.”

The LHU physician assistant program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). For more information, visit

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