Marshall University Physician Assistant program receives $1.5 million for rural training

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

Through the five-year grant (#T9DHP45836‐01‐00), program leaders will implement a four-week rural primary care rotation requirement that may be completed at a site affiliated with Lincoln Primary Care Center 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.

“Consistent with our mission within the School of Medicine, our PA program prioritizes training that prepares students to meet the unique health care needs of Appalachia in hopes that they will decide to stay in West Virginia after they complete their training,” said Program Director Ginger R. Boles, M.S., PA-C, who serves as principal investigator on the project. “The number of PAs practicing in rural medicine has decreased over the last several years. The hands-on learning that will happen through this grant ensures a well-rounded PA training program and helps our students hone a love for rural medicine in a real-world environment.”

Lincoln Primary Care Center and Pleasant Valley Hospital will also benefit from access to additional equipment including portable ultrasound scanners and simulators; software; guest 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 the 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 @MUSOMWV, like us on Facebook or visit


Photo: Marshall University’s Physician Assistant Class of 2023 following its white coat ceremony in 2021. The class began clinical training earlier this year. 

Media Contact: Michele McKnight, Schools of Medicine & Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Date Posted: Friday, July 8, 2022