Marshall University’s Physician Assistant Program Receives $1.5 Million for Rural Training

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine’s Physician Assistant (PA) program received a $1.46 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to enhance the training experience in rural settings of every medical assistant student at Marshall University. .

Through the five-year grant (#T9DHP45836-01-00), program officials will implement a four-week rural primary care rotation requirement that can be performed at a Lincoln Primary Care Center-affiliated site in Southern West Virginia or Pleasant Valley Hospital in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, with the option of an additional four-week rotation at the other site.

“In keeping with our mission in the School of Medicine, our PA program prioritizes education that prepares students to meet the unique health care needs of Appalachia in the hope that they will decide to stay in West Virginia after they complete their training,” program director Ginger said. R. Boles, MS, PA-C, who serves as the principal investigator on the project. “The number of PAs practicing rural medicine has decreased in recent years. The hands-on learning that will occur with this grant ensures a comprehensive PA training program and helps our students develop their love for rural medicine in a real-world environment.

Lincoln Primary Care Center and Pleasant Valley Hospital will also receive access to additional equipment, including portable ultrasound machines and simulators; Software; invited lectures; and other supplies through the grant.

The Marshall University Physician Assistant Program was established in 2018 and is provisionally accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA). Its first class began the program in January 2021 and will complete the 28-month program in May 2023. The program requires students to complete at least one rural rotation as part of their training.

To learn more about the Physician Assistant Program at Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, visit or call 304-696-6035. For news and information about the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, follow us on Twitter@MUSOMWVlike us on Facebook or visit

Ryan H. Bowman