MSHA CEO Levine serves as guest speaker for Milligan event: Discusses college’s programs, health care reform

Published 9:12 pm Thursday, March 23, 2017

In an ever-changing world of health care, Milligan College looks to continue its growth within the region and at a national level.
Milligan took the opportunity to host a special event Tuesday evening at the Bristol Train Station to address the health care needs of the region and discuss the growth of the program’s medical fields for learning. Mountain States Health Alliance, which holds several partnerships with the college, was represented with President and CEO Alan Levine serving as the featured speaker for the occasion.”
“I’m always excited to be here with such great leaders in the region,” Levine said. “The fact (Milligan) does these types of events is very important. They are providing people the opportunity to learn more about the issues of the day, and I think it’s a great thing to do. It’s beyond the walls of Milligan, they’re out in the community, which is fantastic.”
One of the recently noted partnerships between the entities is the upcoming Physician Assistant (PA) program at Milligan – tentatively set to start in 2018.
My daughter is actually in the inaugural class,” Levine said with a laugh. “Milligan has put a lot of effort into getting this program started. We’ve been able to have a great partnership with Milligan. It’s such a great initiation. The commitment we’ve been able to make to fund the (PA) program is something we’re very proud of, and we know it’s moving rapidly to be accredited. (Milligan President) Dr. Bill Greer serves on our workforce and finance committees, so we have a lot of close ties to Milligan, and it is great to work alongside them in the healthcare field.”
Milligan Vice President for Marketing and Enrollment Management Lee Harrison, who spoke before Levine, added the excitement for the program is hard to contain on campus.
“We’re excited about our PA program,” Harrison said. “We have been working on that program now for several years.When we started dreaming about it … it was really all about connecting with local healthcare providers and listening to the needs and knowing how we could meet those needs. We’ve been able to make a lot of clinical partnerships within the region, and we know there are a lot of healthcare providers that are excited about the program.”
The feeling of the program soon coming to fruition is also exciting for Andrew Hull, a Milligan alumnus and the new director of the PA program.
“It’s a great feeling,” Hull said. “I am a Milligan alumnus myself so to be part of this program as a PA, as someone that’s been a PA for 12 years now, I’m excited about getting this program going.”
Having events like Thursday also helps spread the world about the growth at Milligan while promoting the current climate of health needs in the region, according to the director.
“We want to generate as much support as we can for this program and Milligan College,” Hull said. “The reason we want to do that is to make sure we can serve the healthcare needs of the region through providing additional health care providers.”
Staying on track of the growth has been busy, according to Harrison, who added that the school is always keeping their eyes and ears open to service the needs of their region. Milligan’s nursing program got under in the 90s, and the Occupational Therapy (OT) program is just over 10 years old.
“As those needs come up, we’ll continue to look at doing what we can at the school and help provide the needs that go along with our mission at Milligan,” Harrison added.
Along with programs at Milligan, the hot topic issue of the decision of the U.S. House of Representatives to delay the vote for the Republican Party’s change to the current Affordable Care Act.
“I hope people understand what the benefits and consequences are of the bill that gets passed,” Levine said. “They’re trying to move at a rapid pace, and obviously that concerns some people because there are a lot of unintended consequences if you do that. This is an issue that will affect every American. It’s not something that will eventually affect you; it’s going to affect you fairly quickly whether it’s in terms of how much your premium will cost or whether you even have access to coverage. I respect the goals that the Republican Party has, and I believe in those goals, but I’m concerned about the bridge from here to where they want to take us.”
From the school’s side, Hull added the instructors of health fields at schools are still going to work to enhance their students’ performance and have them ready for their professions.
“Unfortunately, that’s basically all you can do,” Hull said. “It’s very unpredictable, but it is also one of those things that you can’t let it get you frustrated. You just continue to work hard, provide care for patients and hope the government will be able to work this out in this best way.”

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