GVSU’s Traverse City Campus Encourages Students to Stay in Northern Michigan

Four years ago, Grand Valley State University expanded its Physician Assistant Studies program to Traverse City.

The goal is to encourage students to practice in Northern Michigan after they graduate.

Alex Hogarth grew up Northern Michigan. He said it was nice to be home after graduating from GVSU in Grand Rapids.

“Having the ability to come back here for my masters as well as my clinical rotations was huge,” Hogarth says.

He’s pursuing a master’s degree in Traverse City to become a physician’s assistant.

“It’s a medically under-served area and there’s actual grants by the government for physician assistants to come up and work and medically under-served area,” Hogarth says.

Nicholus Kopacki, GVSU’s assistant program director for the Traverse City campus, says 75% of graduates are staying in Northern Michigan to work.

“The Northern Michigan region is in desperate need of providers, everything from Ludington (and) north is a pretty undeserved area,” said Kopacki.

Students video conference with teachers and classes in Grand Rapids for many of their lessons, while getting hands on training at the state of the art lab on the Traverse City campus.

“We’re able to do everything from our anatomy to our palatinate models, they’re learning the physical exam, and the physical education here just like they do in Grand Rapids,” Kopacki says.

Having this program in Northern Michigan is encouraging students like Hogarth to share his skills with the communities he grew up in.

The community did so much for me,” Hogarth says. “So I definitely wanted to come back and eventually work up here and give back to the community.”

The highly competitive master’s level program only accepts twelve students a year to the Traverse City satellite campus.

Categories: Michigan This Morning