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Case Study: St. Catherine University

We're launching a new collection of case studies meant to showcase the many ways American Heart is used for education and outreach. The first case study revolves around our invitation to present American Heart to a group of Physicians Assistant Masters students at St. Catherine University. If you are involved in training anyone in the field of health care, or you know someone who is, check out this case study and see if it strikes a chord with you...

St. Catherine's

For decades, St. Catherine University has proudly helped launch thousands of health care careers, so it was no surprise when it was announced St. Catherine would be offering a new Masters Degree in Physician Assistant Studies beginning in 2012. While developing a course on special populations, Curriculum Director Donna DeGracia heard a story about American Heart playing on public radio, and thought the film would be a great fit as part of the curriculum. She reached out to the filmmakers, and found a willing participant in the film’s director, Chris Newberry.

Chris agreed to show American Heart to the group of twenty-four graduate students, and brought along a special guest. One of the stars of the film is Robert Carlson, PA-C, a Physician’s Assistant at the Center for International Health. Rob’s sometimes-challenging interactions with his patient Alex Gliptis serve as a main storyline, and it highlights how important Physician’s Assistants (and Nurse Practitioners) can be to a primary care clinic, and to the health care industry has a whole. As the film shows, Rob’s compassion and unique set of skills allow him to guide Alex through a complex set of health problems and an even more complex set of treatments.

During their visit to St. Catherine, Rob and Chris led a lively discussion centering on Rob’s work and what these PAs-in-training could expect as they start their own careers. After a screening of American Heart, there is always a litany of questions about the making of the film, and Chris was only happy to field nearly an hour’s worth of such inquiries as well. As always, American Heart seemed to touch the hearts of this very specialized audience, and the filmmakers would like to think the film did its small part in cultivating the next generation of thoughtful, caring providers.

So, how do I fit in?

I am a provider or a provider-in-training, and now you’ve got me curious about American Heart.

If you’d like to purchase a DVD of American Heart, please visit our
DVD Store. (There is discounted pricing for personal use and tiered pricing for professional use.) Or if you’d like to see American Heart used by your employer or institution, we can offer some suggestions (such as hosting a screening, or adding it to a educational curriculum or library collection). Simply drop us a line.

I help to coordinate a PA, NP or RN training program. How do I incorporate American Heart into a curriculum?

As evidenced by our St. Catherine case study American Heart is perfect for PA programs, but it is also well-suited for any health careers program. Moreover, it fits well in the curriculum of diversity or ethics related courses, training for careers in social work, or as general interest programming. We do provide downloadable discussion guides free of charge. If you’d like to learn more about hosting a screening or incorporating the DVD into a curriculum, please send us
a message. We'd love to hear from you and look forward to sharing the insights we've gained!


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"American Heart"
feature-length documentary
copyright Free Country Media