Stephens College celebrated the opening of its Center for Health Sciences in downtown Columbia on Wednesday. The facility will house a new Master of Physician Assistant Studies program — the only graduate physician assistant studies program in mid-Missouri.
Twenty students are enrolled in the program, which trains medical practitioners licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a physician. Classes for the program started Aug. 1.
Eric Johnson, the director of the new program, said he hopes it remedies what he called a “health care desert” in mid-Missouri. The area lacks sufficient medical practitioners, Johnson said, and physician assistants from the program can help fill those roles.
Read more: Columbia Missourian