State senator to speak at Phyicians Assistants' Week lecture

  • Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD-(October 3, 2011) State Sen. John Astle (D-District 30, Anne Arundel County) will speak at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore as part of National Physician Assistants' Week, Oct. 6-12.

    Astle's presentation, "Experience with Medical Evacuation in Vietnam," takes place on Thurs., Oct. 6, at 1 p.m. in Hazel Hall, Room 1032.

    "The community is invited to hear real wartime experiences that impacted our current medical model-military and civilian-including the creation of the Physician Assistant profession," said Dr. Donna Parker, assistant professor in UMES' PA Department.

    Astle was a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot, who saw active duty in Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War. He earned multiple decorations, including the Legion of Merit, two Purple Hearts, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Presidential Service Badge and 31 air medals.

    For nearly 17 years, he has served Marylanders in the State Senate.  He is currently vice-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, where he plays a key role in shaping state policy on energy, healthcare, banking and insurance.

    He will be joined by retired Capt. Bill Dial of Easton, a hospital corpsman who provided emergency medical care in the helicopter piloted by Astle to wounded combatants in Vietnam.  Dial later received a degree in hospital administration and served as a Medical Service Corps officer.

    PA Week, Darlene Jackson-Bowen, chair of UMES' PA Department says, serves to focus attention on the significant impact physician assistants make in health care and to bring awareness to the profession.

    "PAs practice across a range of medical settings and specialties as a vital part of the health care team," Jackson-Bowen said.  "They add a generalist perspective to the care they provide, identifying early warning signs and symptoms of chronic illness which can become more dangerous and costly."

    UMES physician assistant students will also disseminate breast cancer awareness information on Oct. 6 in the lobby of Hazel Hall as a community outreach project.  They recently participated in Wicomico County's Relay for Life at Shorebirds Stadium and the Susan G. Komen "Race for the Cure" event.

    Call the PA Department at 410-651-7584 for more information.

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    Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, gcstephens@umes.edu.  

    Bill Robinson, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, wrobinson3@umes.edu.