Graduating PA student inspires service among classmates

Hollie Rudolph, MPAS '16, took her role as community service chair seriously, commits to serve others

By Karen Dooley

Hollie Rudolph, MPAS ’16, took her role as community service chair for the UF physician assistant class of 2016 very seriously. Her commitment to serving others inspired her classmates to action and helped earn the class national recognition.

The UF College of Medicine School of Physician Assistant Studies class of 2016 received the Outstanding Student Society Award from the American Academy of Physician Assistants during its annual meeting in May. The UF PA class was one of three schools out of 227 physician assistant programs nationwide honored for its exceptional service to the PA profession.

“This honor is a testament to the students’ commitment to community service — most notably Hollie Rudolph’s,” said Ralph Rice, DHSc, PA-C, director of the UF School of Physician Assistant Studies. “Hollie found ways in which her classmates could serve the Gainesville and Alachua County communities. She also located opportunities in the cities where they were training during their clinical rotation year — sending each student a list of organizations at which they could volunteer.”

The Student Academy Board of Directors evaluated nominees in several areas, including public education and advocacy, public service and outreach, promotion of diversity and professional involvement.

The 60 PA students from the class, who graduated June 18, provided nearly 1,700 community service hours since July 2014.

PA students volunteering to cook meals

PA students volunteering to cook meals

Each student in the UF PA program serves at least 12 hours at the UF College of Medicine’s student-run free community health care clinic, the Equal Access Clinic Network. Students from the graduating class also participated in international health outreach trips to Ecuador and the Dominican Republic, raised awareness and funds for various medical charities, provided medical care to migrant farmworkers, collected more than 150 pounds of food for area food banks, provided homemade food to veterans and their families, and served hot meals to more than 600 homeless and working poor.

Shalon Buchs, MHS, PA-C, associate director of UF’s PA school, said Rudolph was also instrumental in her class receiving the E.T. York Work of Heart Award in 2015, which recognized the students’ volunteerism in Alachua County.

“Hollie has been relentless in her efforts and dedication to service, her profession and the PA school,” Buchs said.