Beth Mercer Named Director of Physician Assistant Studies Program
Le Moyne College has named Elizabeth Mercer PA-C, MPSA as chair of its physician assistant studies master’s program. She takes over for Mary Springston M.S. Ed., PA-C, who has served as director since 2008.
“I am thrilled to appoint Beth as director. Her intimate knowledge of the program will ensure a smooth transition,” said Meega Wells, Ph.D., dean of the Purcell School of Professional Studies. “At the same time, we will miss Mary’s vision and leadership, which, for more than a decade, has been instrumental in the growth and strengthening of the program.”
Mercer has worked in Le Moyne’s PA program as a professor of practice since 2012. Among her key responsibilities during this time were the administration of two Health Resources and Service Association grants to increase the number of veterans entering the PA field, formalizing a mentoring program for the direct entry PA students and designing professional development activities for the Le Moyne PA community and regional clinical partners. Prior to Le Moyne, her background included serving in various positions with the D’Youville College PA program and also working as a primary care PA in Virginia, North Carolina and New York.
“It is an honor to take over as director for such a prestigious program,” said Mercer. “I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to continuing to develop and improve the program to meet the changing needs of the health care marketplace."
Le Moyne’s PA Program, which began in 1996, is highly competitive and has developed a national reputation for excellence. Among the key accomplishments during Springston’s tenure:
· Converting admissions to an on-line application process, increasing applications from around 100 each cycle to around 1,500 per cycle and resulting in a dramatic increase of qualified applicant from all over the country.
· An increase in class size from 35 to 75 student, allowing the College to more than double the number of PAs ready to help address healthcare shortages, particularly in medically underserved communities (approximately half of Le Moyne PA grads serve in underserved communities.)
· Emergence of the program as one of the top grant awardees in the nation, with roughly $4 million received in grants over that time. These grants have served to enhance the curriculum, support service learning initiatives, strengthen clinical placement in underserved communities, increase staffing and diversify recruitment efforts.
· Relocation of the program from the basement of Coyne Science Center to its state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories on the third floor of the science addition.
“I would like to thank the Le Moyne community and the members of my team for making my time as director so rewarding,” said Springston, who will remain with the program as director of clinical advancement.