Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Allied Health Professions and the College of Graduate Nursing received state funding from the Song-Brown Program for the third consecutive year.

The California Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development Song-Brown program was created in 1973 to increase the number of family practitioners providing medical services to Californians. The program encourages universities and primary care health professionals to provide health care in medically underserved areas, and provides financial support to family practice residency, family nurse practitioner, physician assistant, and registered nurse education programs throughout California.

The Department of Physician Assistant Education, part of the College of Allied Health Professions, will receive about $180,000 from the Song-Brown program in 2016-17. The program received $177,000 last year.

The money will be used to supplement education for first- and second-year students by providing free access to Kaplan’s online question and answer bank, Qbank.

Second-year PA students will be provided with tools to assist in preparation for the PA National Certifying Examination (PANCE), which includes study texts, a Kaplan live online review, and an electronic practice PANCE exam that elicits the student’s strengths and weaknesses.  Students will be enrolled in electronic end-of-rotation exams and will be provided with gas cards to defray transportation costs for participating in rotations in areas of unmet need.

“The California Healthcare Workforce Policy Commission has generously provided funds so that PA students will be able to assess and enhance their primary PA education,” said PA Chair and Professor Roy Guizado, MS, PA-C, DFAAPA. “In return, California will potentially have more PAs to serve their medical needs, including patients in areas of unmet need and underserved populations.”

The College of Graduate Nursing (CGN) will receive $240,000 from the 2016-17 Song-Brown program. The program received $288,625 last year.

The money provides registered nursing students from diverse programs the opportunity to learn about the impact nurses are making in underserved communities, and facilitates clinical practice partnerships in unmet needs, said Mary M. Lopez, PhD, RN, CGN Associate Dean of Administration and Research and director of the ADN to MSN Program.

Out of 25 California colleges of nursing that applied for funding, CGN is No. 1 (in funding), Lopez said.