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Physician Assistant Students Embark on COVID-19 Relief Fundraising Efforts  

Fundraiser headbands on SHU FlagWhen catching up with some of the Department of Physician Assistant faculty who are currently providing patient care in the ER and COVID-19 units at local hospitals, third-year student and Physician Assistant Student Society of Seton Hall (PASSSHU) president, Kristen Rinaldi, learned about some of the difficulties healthcare workers on the front lines face. Physician Assistant (PA) faculty members, Jurga Marshall, DMS, PA-C and Mirela Bruza, MS, PA-C, both expressed how proud they were to be on the front lines of the pandemic as Physician Assistants. Both mentioned that while they were extremely thankful to have been supplied the proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to continue providing patient care, they recognized how painful their ears have become over the last few weeks from their lengthy wear of the elastic on the N95 masks. It became apparent that small things really become a larger issue day to day for essential healthcare workers.

Following this conversation, the PA student-run organization, PASSSHU, began to organize a program-wide COVID-19 Relief Basket fundraiser. Many student organizations across the country are finding ways to be flexible during this unprecedented time and contribute to volunteer efforts white continuing their education remotely. Seton Hall's Physician Assistant students are proud to do their part for their future colleagues.

Fundraising Basket full of ItemsRinaldi states, "The best part about this project is seeing our program come together. We have had student, faculty, and even alumni involvement in the project and collectively, in 10 days, we have raised $13,000 for COVID-19 relief baskets."

The baskets each contain a button headband or tension release clip to assist in ear pain, a $25 gift card for either gas or groceries, a pack of Life Savers®, and a thank you note written by PA students. With their generous donations, the organization is on track to donate 650 baskets to local hospitals.

These baskets have been and will be going to St. Mary's General Hospital in Passaic, NJ and Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ. The intentions for these COVID-19 relief baskets are for distribution to a variety of personnel, including healthcare practitioners, custodial and maintenance staff, as well as the Security teams.

"We are very thankful to have such a supportive community to come together during this time. We feel that donations are one of the safest ways to get involved during the pandemic," says Rinaldi. "While we may not be able to assist in the clinical setting as students, we have found a way to assist our future colleagues without leaving our homes. There is a need for relief, and we were able to find a way to fill some of this void."

Contact Information:
Kristen Rinaldi, PASSSHU President:
Dr. Jurga Marshall, PASSSHU Faculty Advisor:
Professor Christopher Hanifin, Physician Assistant Department Chair:

Categories: Health and Medicine

For more information, please contact:

  • Niyala Shaw
  • (973) 313-6092
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