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Wednesday, April 22, 2020 - 12:45pm

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A renewed sense of community among members of Mercy’s Physician Assistant (PA) program is turning out to be an unexpected benefit emerging from the COVID-19 crisis. During the peak of the pandemic, Lorraine Cashin, M.S. ’01, assistant professor and program director for Mercy’s Physician Assistant Program, was interviewed by BronxNet after she and Associate Program Director Brian Baker delivered personal protective equipment (PPE) to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York. Mercy College donated masks, gowns and gloves to help the over-taxed hospital, which was running low on the PPE needed to keep medical workers safe as they treated a surge of COVID-19 patients.

Cashin told the BronxNet reporter, “As a Mercy community we continue to put ourselves on the front line and do everything we can to flatten this curve.”

“Everything we can” is no exaggeration. Throughout April, PA program faculty members and alumni worked long shifts treating COVID-19 patients, while Mercy students donated blood, which has been in short supply since the start of the pandemic. Several students who had recovered from the virus donated their plasma for research and potential treatments.

Yet throughout those busy days, Cashin never lost sight of her goals as an educator. That included restructuring the curriculum, switching to an online teaching platform and keeping students informed during an ever-changing situation. “Students about to start clinical rotations are in a holding pattern but we have been able to move courses they normally take after the completion of their rotations to the beginning of the clinical year to provide a buffer of time,” Cashin explained.

“They’ve been working so hard, and they desperately want to help in the crisis. These are future physician assistants who are going to be saving lives. I don’t want their education to suffer.”

Cashin and her colleagues continue to find creative ways to keep students focused and motivated. “It’s not just the medical community that looks out for each other. The academic community does the same,” she said. “At Mercy, everyone is ready to drop everything to support our students, whether it’s reorganizing a cohort, working with breakout groups or stepping up mentoring activities.”

To view BronxNet's coverage of Mercy College's donation, please click on the image below: 

Lorraine

Mercy is a strong community and by working together we will make our community even stronger. If you are a Maverick making a difference, or you know of one, let us know at PR@mercy.edu.

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