Newswise — Canisius College’s Physician Assistant (PA) Studies program received a $767,500 grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation.  The grant will support the program’s development and provide scholarships for underserved minority groups.

Canisius welcomed its first cohort of 30 students to the PA program for the spring 2021 semester this January. A new cohort of 30 students will enter the 27-month master’s degree program each fall thereafter.  

The PA program builds on the strong foundation of the college’s pre-medical and general science programming and leverages partnerships with local hospitals and health systems. This first-rate program prepares practitioners to become nationally certified and state-licensed medical professionals, who practice medicine and deliver medical services with physician supervision.

The goal of the Canisius PA program is to foster a culture of team-based learning through innovative educational strategies, a supportive learning environment, and a curriculum centered in primary care with a special interest in meeting the needs of the underserved.

“As we set our sights on 2021, we must address the healthcare disparities related to race and income that have only been heightened since the onset of the pandemic,” said Msgr. Gregory Mustaciuolo, chief executive officer of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. “We honor the legacy of Mother Cabrini by funding activities, programs, and initiatives that help bridge gaps in health services, bolster the health outcomes of diverse communities, and eliminate barriers to care.”

“The grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation supports the college’s goal to improve the healthcare landscape of the region by improving access to primary care, as well as by educating practitioners that are more racially and ethnically representative of the patients that they serve,” said Program Director Aimee Larson, MPAS, PA.-C. “Graduates will be confident and proficient in multiple areas of medicine and will receive professional development with a focus on social justice and community education and health.”

The PA program features clinical assignments and service learning requirements in underserved communities to provide students with early exposure to vulnerable communities and the social and medical issues that affect patient care and health outcomes of patients from diverse socioeconomic, religious, and cultural backgrounds.

To learn more about the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies or to apply, Email [email protected], call 716-888-8550 or visit  Take a virtual tour of the state-of-the-art instructional and laboratory space here.

Canisius College is one of 27 Jesuit colleges in the nation and the premier private college in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals – able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to humanity.

The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission to improve the health and well-being of the vulnerable New Yorkers, bolster the health outcomes of targeted communities, eliminate barriers to care, and bridge gaps in health services. The Foundation – which is named in memory of a tireless advocate for immigrants, children, and the poor – provides flexible support for new and innovative approaches that enhance health and wellness across New York State. For more information, visit