Physician Assistant Program Assists in Veterans Screening Event

IPE Event at CCP with Salus StudentsOn Wednesday, April 4, faculty, staff and students from across the University’s programs – including Optometry, Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology, and for the first time Physician Assistant Studies – participated in an interprofessional screening event at the Community College of Philadelphia’s Northwest Regional Center. Adjacent to The Eye Institute, the University’s optometric clinical facility, and just three miles south of the Salus main campus, the event was the perfect opportunity for both veteran and non-veteran students to receive health services right on campus. In the past, similar events were held at the Community College of Philadelphia’s main campus in addition to Montgomery County Community College.   
For the past three years, student veterans have received vision, hearing and balance screenings while speech-language pathology was incorporated for the first time last year. It only made sense that physician assistant (PA) students would become involved at some point. “The PA students performed blood pressure screenings, and provided patient education regarding health promotion recommendations based upon focused health histories,” Rachel Ditoro, MSPAS, PA-C, associate professor and director of Education Competency and Strategic Innovation in the PA program, said.
During the four hour time period, more than 20 students received screening services. According to Ditoro, the event was a success. “The screening was very well attended, indicating a need for screenings and services in this area,” she said.
If Veterans were screened, healthcare assistance and follow-up care were provided by Philadelphia’s Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center.
IPE Event at CCPDitoro supervised the PA students, while Drs. Lynn Greenspan and Brandy Scombordi, assistant professors in the University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry supervised the vision screenings; Dr. Bre Myers, assistant professor in the University’s Osborne College of Audiology supervised the hearing and balance screenings; and Dr. Kathleen Youse, chair and director of the Speech-Language Pathology program supervised speech-language screenings. Dr. Linda Casser, coordinator of Interprofessional Education, and Dr. Karen Hanson, the University’s special consultant for program development, organized logistics and made sure the event ran smoothly.
The next multisensory screening will be held at the Veterans Expo at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pa. on April 25 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The event is for Veterans of all ages, with a special emphasis on services for men and women returning to civilian life. For more information, email or contact
Class of 2019 students who participated in the screenings:
Physician Assistant Program:
Emma Carapellotti
Caroline Slattery
Danielle Berman
Speech-Language Pathology Program:
Rosalie (Jackie) Bikoti
Stephanie Knorr
Kelsey Farrell
Jenna Feola
Pennsylvania College of Optometry (Accelerated Scholars Program):
Tiffany Phuong
Marta Roman
Jayne Mulhern
Blessy Mathew