ROANOKE, VA (August 21, 2017) — The Virginia Academy of Physician Assistants (VAPA) has named Jefferson College of Health Sciences Physician Assistant (PA) student Naid Allassan the 2017 PA Student of the Year. This is the second consecutive year a Jefferson College PA student has earned the title. Allassan follows Jefferson PA student Mia McDonald, PA-S, who was named the VAPA Student of the Year in 2016.

Since starting the Master’s level PA program at Jefferson College in August 2016, Allassan has taken on many leadership roles within PA professional organizations. She represents Jefferson College in the Assembly of Representatives of the Student Academy of the American Association of Physician Assistants (AAPA). In this role, she participates in monthly conference calls with representatives from PA programs throughout the nation.

She planned and executed a fundraiser to help mitigate the costs of attending the national AAPA conference. This helped to limit the financial barrier that 12 of her classmates faced when deciding whether to participate in the national conference.

Allassan is involved with several AAPA caucuses including the African Heritage Caucus of AAPA, the Fellowship of Christian PAs, and Physician Assistants in Research. She volunteered on the floor of the House of Delegates, and was presented two awards from the AAPA for outstanding student leadership and for overcoming adversity.

One of Naid’s passions is advocacy, and in the past year, she has participated in VAPA’s and the Medical Society of Virginia’s White Coats on Call event and traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with members of the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Health. She has created her own committee within our PA Student society and organizes monthly events to help boost student morale. Naid is very involved in her community and since starting at Jefferson PA program, she has volunteered over 100 hours with various organizations in the Roanoke Valley including the Bradley Free Clinic, the Rescue Mission Free Clinic, Healing Strides of Virginia and the Roanoke Homeless Assistance Team.

In August 2017, she participated in a medical mission trip to Lome, Togo for two weeks for a vaccination clinic at Canaan Children’s Village orphanage. Naid is fluent in four languages, and she has spent several months studying medical terminology in the Togolese native language of Ewe to provide more meaningful healthcare.