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Care for America

Mount St. Mary's University's Care for America program exemplifies our unwavering commitment to healthcare equity. Through scholarships, curriculum and partnerships, the Mount is actively working to break down barriers to graduate healthcare education, nurture students' passion for service and create pathways for practicing in high-need settings.

At Care for America health equity training and experiential learning are integrated into the core curriculum for all students. Additionally, a scholarship opportunity is available for select students who are highly dedicated to serving in areas of great need following graduation.

For more information on Care for America please call 301-447-5121 or email

Care for America’s Mission

Care for America graduates healthcare professionals who will faithfully serve the underserved, champion diversity in the field, and advance equity in healthcare and beyond.

Care for America Approach

pa program director with students

Care for America Scholarship Program

Care for America offers a full-tuition scholarship to select Physician Assistant (PA) students dedicated to serving in underserved areas. Recipients of this scholarship are required to commit to practicing as a PA for two years at a high-need partner institution after graduation and certification (details provided below).

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Health Equity Coursework to Serve Compassionately

Care for America is part of the core curriculum. Through health equity courses students develop the necessary mindsets and skills to compassionately serve historically underserved populations and advance equity in healthcare and beyond.

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Experiential Learning and Rotations

To enhance the health equity coursework, all students engage in experiential learning, such as visiting a free health clinic and shadowing healthcare professionals caring for people experiencing homelessness. Each student has experience in healthcare settings serving historically underserved patient populations.

Care for America Scholarship

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Scholarship Amount

The Care for America Scholarship is a full-tuition scholarship that is valued at approximately $88,000. The scholarship does not cover room, board and other fees. Two scholarships will be awarded for the Mount’s inaugural class of PA students.

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Service Requirement

Recipients of Care for America scholarships must work full-time for two years at a high-need partner institution after graduation. During this period, students can select their desired practice location from partner institutions that offer them employment.

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Service Partner Institutions

Partner institutions are classified as "high-need" based on the population they serve and their clinician staffing challenges. PAs receive a full salary during their two years of service. It's important to note that compensation at high-need institutions is often below the industry average.

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Selection Criteria

The Care for America Scholarship Program is highly competitive. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on service, equity and excellence criteria. At present, the Care for America Scholarship is only available for PA students. Priority consideration will be given to students who are from low-income families, first generation college students, and those from designated rural areas.

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Application Process

Students can apply to Care for America as a supplemental application after completing the CASPA application. The application window for Care for America will open April 25 and close August 1. Access the application through the link below to get started.

Apply to the Care for America Scholarship

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The COVID-19 pandemic further exposed health care inequities that have long existed across the United States. The Mount is committed to finding innovative ways to get providers working in the communities where they are most needed.

Gracelyn McDermott Board Chair, Mount St. Mary’s University / Vice President, Marketing, Sales & Business Development at Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States

Meet Our Faculty

Mary Jackson, MMS, PA-C, CAQ-EM

Mary Jackson, MMS, PA-C, CAQ-EM

Program Director, PA Program

Leanne Hedges, MMS, PA-C

Leanne Hedges, MMS, PA-C

Associate Program Director, Physician Assistant Program

Ndidi Nwokorie, MD

Ndidi Nwokorie, MD

Medical Director - PA Program

Tara Jernejcic, PA-C

Tara Jernejcic, PA-C

Clinical Director - PA Program

Megan Putman, PA-C

Megan Putman, PA-C

Academic Director - PA Program

Kevin Richardson, PA-C

Kevin Richardson, PA-C

Director of Assessments - PA Program

Marie Lalor

Marie Lalor

Dean’s Assistant, School of Health Professions

Griffin W. Rooker, BCBA, Ph.D.

Griffin W. Rooker, BCBA, Ph.D.

Director of the Applied Behavior Analysis Program / Assistant Professor

Kwadwo Britwum, Ph.D.

Kwadwo Britwum, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Rebecca Correll, Ph.D.

Rebecca Correll, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


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