FIU PA program could open in Crestview as early as August 2015

Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 05:33 PM.

Former state senator Dr. Durrell Peaden, who has been working to bring the FIU program to Crestview for four years, says the program will provide certification for military medics separating from the service and wanting to become physician assistants.

"In bridging that gap, I think we have tremendous potential to give those kids from Eglin, Hurlburt and Whiting a chance to go into training right here, and make sure our local kids have an opportunity, too," Peaden said Sept. 15 during the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Development Series.

The Affordable Healthcare Act will increase the need for PAs, NOMC CEO David Fuller said, citing the 50 million Americans currently without health coverage who will be insured under the act.

"Right now there's not enough providers to take care of those people," Fuller said.

"This program (the Affordable Healthcare Act) is coming," Fuller said. "There's not enough providers. Being able to participate, we've got the experience. We can certainly partner together."

Asked by chamber President Dennis Mitchell what the community can do to facilitate bringing the FIU program to town, Gutierrez cited "a safe area for our students to be in and affordable housing," plus a medical facility to partner with.

"For what you describe, we sound like an ideal community," Mitchell said. "We fit all the criteria you just described."



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