PA Program Here For Now, Answers To Why It Was Moving In The First Place 7/17/13
CBS 7 News
July 17, 2013
MIDLAND-Midland’s Physician Assistant Program has been a flagship of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center since 1999.
But the school has been on probation for months and officials were told the program would move to Lubbock, sparking an outcry from the community. CBS 7 finally has some answers about why they want the move.
After weeks of rumors, a cancelled press conference, and a closed door meeting. It seems the fate of Midland’s PA Program is finally clear and that's it here to stay, at least for now.
Texas Tech was scheduled to hold a press conference today addressing why they are considering moving the pa program. Instead, President Tedd Mitchell spoke with a handful of media outlets this morning and did not confirm whether or not it would stay.
“Mr. Craddick is working with Chancellor Hance on working with the community on what we can get done to see that it happens,” said Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center President Mitchell.
“So no solid answer on whether the program will stay?”
“That’s all I can tell you, what I just said,” said President Mitchell.
However, this afternoon both representative Tom Craddick and Texas Tech University Chancellor Kent Hance confirmed the program will in fact stay in the basin.
"The options were presented to the Board of Regents and they have chosen to leave it in Midland,” said Representative Tom Craddick. “It is going to stay in Midland.”
“We’re not going to be cutting back on our students, we are going to be increasing in the Permian Basin,” said Texas Tech University Chancellor Kent Hance.
We asked the President why they are even considering the move--he cites cost of living as one reason.
"Some challenges are purely economical like the cost of housing for our PA's here in the basin,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell also raised questions about the accreditation of the program--which is currently on probation with its sole accrediting body, the ARC-PA.
"It’s really a probationary deal,” said Midland County Commissioner Robin Donnelly. “They finally put the program on probation.”
A source close to the program told us the probation is a result of a lack of self-assessment by the programs former regional dean, Ed Maxwell.
Chancellor Hance says the probation was one reason why Texas Tech wanted to move the program.
"We wanted to make sure we had the correct management. We made a change there,” Hance said. “They didn't turn in some forms, didn't comply with some procedures. No mater how great your students perform, you must follow every aspect of accreditation."
Hance says they will be hiring an assistant dean to oversee the program.
Regardless of the challenges--leaders are happy it's staying.
"For quality of life and healthcare needs, I think it’s vital that we keep this program here,” said Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance President James Beauchamp
Donnelly tells us they will have to raise around 1 million dollars to provide housing stipends to students in light of the skyrocketing housing prices in the basin.