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SMU Physician Assistant Students Mentor Youth from FACES Program

FACES Hayward Scholars at St. Rose Hospital recently had an opportunity to meet their mentors from Samuel Merritt University (SMU) Master Physician Assistant department (PA).

The FACES for the Future Coalition is a collaborative of statewide programs, working to address health equity for all communities through the training and empowerment of young people. Dr. Tomás A. Magaña, Assistant Professor/Medical Director in the Master Physician Assistant Program at Samuel Merritt University, is the co-founder and director of FACES, a program that provides healthcare internships, academic support and wellness training to underserved high school students.

The 2013 Summer Medical Academy, a partnership between FACES and SMU, took place at SMU on July 8-19, and was aimed at high school students 15 years or older who are interested in a career in medicine.

The most recent event was the first interactive mentoring workshop to launch the new mentorship program between FACES Hayward students and SMU PA students.

"This is an important step for SMU in terms of our community engagement and in terms of the development of health workforce pipeline models within our local community," said Chair of the Samuel Merritt University Physician Assistant (PA) Department, Dr. Mike De Rosa, "The high school students we are mentoring have the interest and potential to become SMU students and alumni and return to their communities as health care providers if adequate supports are in place."

The FACES students had an opportunity to have fun, participate in some challenging activities and get to know each other.