Students in Arcadia University’s Physician Assistant program helped the 2022 PA (Physician Assistant) program raise $24,179 for the charity METAvivor, a nonprofit organization that supports women and men with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) by providing support, raising awareness, and funding research to transition MBC from a terminal illness to a controlled, chronic condition.
Annually since 2003, PA programs in the greater Delaware Valley region go head-to-head to raise money during three months for a selected organization and unite students from each program.
The competition culminated this year on April 9 with “The Great Race,” where each program competed in a scavenger hunt throughout Philadelphia. Out of the 14 participating teams, the Glenside team won the race with a time of 2 hours and 2 minutes and received a $250 gift certificate to Lucky Strike. Temple University won the trophy for the most fundraising per student, with Arcadia coming in a close second place.
The PA programs that participated this year were Arcadia University, DeSales University, Drexel University, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Salus University, Temple University, Thomas Jefferson University (Center City, East Falls, and Voorhees, NJ campuses), University of the Sciences, and West Chester University.
Michael Huber, Associate Professor and Arcadia’s Director of Clinical Education / Director of Outreach and Associate, was the founding creator for this annual fundraising event in 2003. The PA Olympics has become a renowned cross-cultural event for PA students, faculty, alumni, and guests of local Delaware Valley Physician Assistant Programs. The event brings participants together to work collectively and raise awareness about a community-based organization. PA Olympics has grown now to include nine PA programs, with over 650 PA students participating in this event each year.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of this fundraising event that has raised $220,377 to date for local charities. Recent past recipients include: The Krueger Hat Trick Foundation (2021), For Pete’s Sake (2020), IM ABLE Foundation (2019), Miracle League (2018), VAST—Valley Against Sex Trafficking (2017), and the Mazzoni Center (2016).
“I wanted to congratulate Ruby Steuart and Nhi Nguyen ’23 for the leadership awards they both received for the 2022 PA Olympics,” said Huber. “The success of this 2022 PA Olympics was largely due to the leadership and dedicated hard work that these two women put into planning and executing the many components of this large event over the last three months.”
Huber also thanked both of the Arcadia teams that ran in the Great Race, all of the students and faculty who supported the multiple fundraising events, and Lisa Murphy and Gina Montefusco for serving as faculty advisors to the Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (SAAAPA), who were part of the PA Olympics planning committee. We also want to thank the student volunteers who showed up to support the teams and work Arcadia’s challenge station at the Bellevue Hotel.
METAvivor was selected to receive fundraising efforts this year in memory of Dana Cafaro, PA-C. Dana was an emergency medicine PA and the Associate Program Director of the Thomas Jefferson University EF/NJ PA Program. A huge supporter of the PA Olympics and competing students, Dana passed away from MBC in June 2021. This year’s PA Olympics are dedicated to her memory.