Touro University PA Leader Helps Thousands Of Homeless And Abused Women Lead Healthier Lives

May 21, 2012, 06:00 ET from American Academy of Physician Assistants

American Academy of Physician Assistants Honors Innovative Clinic Founder with PA Service to the Underserved Award

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Three years ago, Vicki Chan-Padgett, PA-C, of Las Vegas, Nev., stumbled upon a troubling reality within the city's healthcare sector. Thousands of women and their children who were homeless or survivors of domestic abuse could not afford much-needed healthcare. Inspired to take action, Chan-Padgett opened a first-of-its-kind clinic to provide free, high-quality healthcare to Las Vegas women and children who need it most.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants will honor Chan-Padgett with the 2012 PA Service to the Underserved Award for providing accessible, quality healthcare to the underserved in an inner-city setting. She will receive the award on May 28 at AAPA's Annual PA Conference to be held this year in Toronto, Ontario.

"It is the right of every individual to be granted dignity, respect, effective medical care and shelter regardless of socioeconomic status or income," said Chan-Padgett. "I'm incredibly honored that my peers chose to honor this important work—a model way to providing quality healthcare for underserved patients in Las Vegas and communities around the country."

Since opening the Stallman Touro Clinic at The Shade Tree, Chan-Padgett has led efforts to provide healthcare for more than 300 homeless and abused women and children in the Las Vegas area. Most residents at The Shade Tree, a shelter for homeless women and survivors of domestic violence, previously had no access to routine health or preventive care. The clinic, unique in its location inside a shelter, is a model of cost-free preventive care for underserved. It provides adult healthcare, women's medical care, sick call services and pediatric services.

Chan-Padgett built the clinic from the ground up, from identifying the space to establishing partnerships with other healthcare providers that support shelter services. The clinic is staffed almost entirely by faculty and students from the Touro University Nevada Physician Assistant Program – where Chan-Padgett serves as the program director – along with volunteers from the local community.

"Vicki is committed in word, passion and spirit to the disadvantaged and underserviced patient population in Nevada," said Robert Wooten, AAPA President. "Due to her tireless efforts hundreds of women and children receive high-quality healthcare along with the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are safe within the facility."

In addition to her work at the Stallman Touro Clinic, Chan-Padgett also volunteers as an instructor and clinician for Refugee Relief International, Inc., an overseas mission to aid refugee populations. In partnership with Refugee Relief International, she developed and implemented a medical educational program to help the Karen people, a displaced and stateless population on the Thailand-Burma border. This program has improved the health of Karen refugees, and many have assumed positions of leadership in their community.

The PA Service to the Underserved Award is one of five PAragon Awards presented annually by AAPA to recognize members who have demonstrated distinguished service to patients, the community and the profession. Other awards include the Federal Service PA of the Year Award, Humanitarian PA of the Year, Outstanding PA of the Year, Physician-PA Partnership Award and three Publishing Awards.

About the American Academy of Physician Assistants
Founded in 1968, the American Academy of Physician Assistants is the national professional society for physician assistants. It represents a profession of more than 84,000 certified PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories, and within the uniformed services. AAPA advocates and educates on behalf of the profession and the patients PAs serve. It works to ensure the professional growth, personal excellence and recognition of physician assistants and to enhance their ability to improve the quality, accessibility and cost-effectiveness of patient-centered healthcare. Visit to learn more.

SOURCE American Academy of Physician Assistants