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U-M physician assistants to help Habitat for Humanity build affordable housing

Physician assistants celebrate PA week with community service work

Photo Date: October 3, 2011

University of Michigan Health System physician assistants renovated a home in Washtenaw County for Habitat for Humanity in 2010.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - University of Michigan Health System physician assistants, who are among the most in-demand health care professionals in the U.S, will reach beyond the hospital to help people live better lives.

Physician assistants from the U-M will work with Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley Oct. 8-9 to renovate a home in Washtenaw County.

The service project celebrates National Physician Assistant Week which is Oct. 6-12, and it's the second consecutive year the group has worked and raised money for Habitat.

"The profession has always focused on service and patient advocacy and with this project we can advocate for patients beyond health care," says UMHS Chief Physician Assistant Marc J. Moote.

The PA profession is recognized as the fourth-fastest growing field in the nation, with more than 75,000 PAs practicing in every medical and surgical specialty. With a projected growth rate of 39 percent, the profession is predicted to quickly become the second-fastest growing profession in a decade.

The Health System employs 200 PAs in over half of its clinical services, meeting the needs of patients and improving the quality of care throughout the Health System.

The role of each PA varies with training and experience, as well as by department or service, from surgical assisting in orthopedic surgery and other surgical specialties to inpatient and outpatient roles in general medicine or emergency medicine.

“This year in keeping with the hospital’s mission of taking care of our own, we are partnering with Habitat for Humanity, hoping to take on a home renovation project for a University of Michigan employee,” says Karen Cummings, certified physician assistant at U-M Health System.

“We were given a recipient early in the year who enthusiastically completed her work so quickly that she has already been placed into her home. Nonetheless, there are others like her coming up.”

The families who obtain Habitat housing are generally those whose income is 30 percent to 50 percent of the area’s median income. Families must provide a down payment, participate in money management and house maintenance classes and give back with "sweat equity" by working on their home or other Habitat properties.


To learn more about Habitat for Humanity and contribute to the PA fundraiser to support Habitat go to, click on “donate,” and select UM Physician Assistants from the pull down tab.

To learn more about the PA profession go to



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