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Child Health Associate/ Physician Assistant Program - Research


The Physician Assistant faculty has received local and national grants for research and development of physician assistant education. This funding has focused on the creation and implementation of innovative teaching strategies, including the use of technology.

In recent years, projects have included:

  1. use of standardized patients to longitudinally evaluate student knowledge and skill development over three years;
  2. development and evaluation of an evidence-based Master's curriculum;
  3. development of a community-based adolescent health education learning initiative to enhance recruitment of minority, disadvantaged, and rural students;
  4. development, implementation, and evaluation of a curriculum in primary care for adjudicated adolescents;
  5. implementation of an enhanced rural track through additional linkages in a rural, underserved area in southwestern Colorado;
  6. implementation and evaluation of online problem-based learning and evidenced-based medicine curricula through the development of a cross-cultural case of adolescent obesity; and
  7. development, implementation, and evaluation of a new Web-based assessment tool and test bank.

Objectives for currently funded projects include:

  1. enhanced recruitment of minority and disadvantaged students through the development of a community-based, health promotion/disease prevention and service/learning initiative, targeting middle-school-age children;
  2. increased PA student competency in geriatric medicine through the design, implementation, and evaluation of an enhanced didactic and clinical curriculum in long-term and palliative care; and
  3. enhanced cultural competency through the design, implementation, and evaluation of a curriculum addressing the role of spirituality and religion in patient care.

Jonathan M. Bowser, MS, CHA/PA-C, has been on the faculty of the CHA/PA Program since 2006. His scholarly interests are in the areas of testing and assessment and he is involved with national efforts to promote oral health in primary care. He is also involved in a partnership with Walter Sisulu University to promote a new medical profession in South Africa. Jonathan serves on the Frontier Center Advisory Committee and the Physician Assistant Education Association Conference Curriculum Committee and is also is a test-item writer for the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

David Eckhardt, MS, PA-C, has served on the CHA/PA Program faculty since 2010. His research and scholarship interests are specifically the integration of high fidelity simulation in physician assistant education and international clinical education. He currently serves on the University of Colorado Global Health Steering Committee.

Celia I. Kaye, MD, PhD, is a pediatrician and geneticist with a long standing interest in medical education and genetic services. Dr. Kaye has served as Medical Director of the Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant Program since December, 2007. She is a member of the American Pediatric Society, the Society for Pediatric Research, the American Society of Human Genetics and numerous other professional organizations in pediatrics and genetics. She serves on several advisory boards and committees for national organizations. She currently serves as Project Director of the Mountain States Genetics Regional Collaborative Center, a cooperative agreement with the Genetic Services Branch, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Rebecca Maldonado, MS, PA-C, teaching interests include pediatric medicine and the development of diagnostic thinking. Ms. Maldonado’s research interests focus on the development and assessment of clinical reasoning, for which she has received two grants.

Cathleen C. Ruff, MS, PA-C, has been on faculty with the CHA/PA Program since 2001. Ms. Ruff has research interests in pediatric allergy and asthma, service learning, and rural medicine. Her areas of academic interest include community education and student assessment. Before joining the faculty she worked in family medicine; and now practices clinically at National Jewish Health in the out-patient pediatric clinic where she enjoys treating children with asthma, allergy and food allergies.

Jacqueline N. Sivahop, MS, PA-C, has served on the CHA/PA Program faculty since 2009. Her research and scholarship interests are specifically physician assistant workforce and child abuse curriculum in physician assistant education. She currently serves on the Physician Assistant Education Association Clinical Education Committee and The Children’s Hospital Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Workgroup.

Darcy Solanyk, MS, PA-C, has served on the CHA/PA Program faculty since 2010. Her research and scholarship interests are integration of Evidence Based Medicine and Information Mastery practices into the CHA/PA curriculum. She currently serves on the steering committee for the University of Colorado Urban Underserved School of Medicine Track.