BY VICTORIA MESCALL
Sacred Heart graduate student Sarah Bailey has recently been awarded a student health policy fellowship through the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) of America.
Bailey is attending Sacred Heart to receive her degree in the Masters Physicians Assistant Studies program.
“I realized I wanted to help people more directly and decided to become a physician assistant,” said Bailey.
Even though Bailey is originally from Colorado, she says Connecticut is now a part of her home.
“This is where I’m meant to be,” said Bailey.
Bailey enjoys the size of the university and her program, as she receives individual attention, attends classes of small size, and values the relationships her professors have with the students.
The PAEA offers this fellowship annually, and Bailey applied for the program this past summer. According to their website, the student fellowships give students the “opportunity to engage at the national level on issues around education and health care policy, allowing them to develop leadership skills and gain experience that they will take with them into their professional careers.”
Those interested in the health policy fellowship are granted the opportunity to visit Washington DC and meet with congressmen and women to learn about making friendly PA policies.
“I think I’m a good fit for the fellowship because I actually used to work in politics,” said Bailey. “I worked for United States Senator Mark Udall of Colorado as a member of his press team, so I have a bit of experience with how bills become law and with how to talk to Senators and congresspeople to get things done.”
Eric Nemec, one of Bailey’s professors, said, “The fusion of her political background, her health care expertise, and the skills taught during this fellowship will hopefully allow her to be a strong advocate for her patients and her profession. She is a real ‘Pioneer’ in our inaugural class and will be an excellent representative of the Department of PA Studies and the University.”
According to the Sacred Heart university website, “The Masters Physicians Assistant Studies program prepares individuals to practice medicine with the supervision of a licensed physician.The program is designed to prepare future professionals to work as generalist PAs. MPAS graduates will be educated to provide compassionate, respectful, high-quality healthcare.”
Bailey hopes she still has some helpful connections in DC that will help her going forward in her career as a PA. “With my history of working on the Hill, I hope to eventually forge some relationships as a PA and open doors that are currently closed.”