PA students use day off classes for community service


Students in the Wichita State physician assistant class of 2020 spent their day off from classes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day by partnering with local organizations for a full day of community service. 

The day began at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center, with students conversing and playing games with veterans. Next, the class partnered with Senior Services of Wichita to deliver meals throughout the city to clients enrolled in the Meals on Wheels program. 

The team then split up, with half of the students volunteering at the Salvation Army assisting families who were receiving two months’ supply of groceries. Other volunteers went to the United Way of the Plains warehouse counting office supplies and household items that are distributed to nonprofit organizations at no charge. The day concluded with all the students at United Methodist Open Door making T-shirt backpacks and snack packs, and organizing hygiene products.   

Physician assistant student and leader of the event Abby Warkentine says the day was an absolute success and students enjoyed using their day off to give back to the community. 

“With the help of our wonderful community partners, we hope to make this day of service an annual event in the future,” she says. 

Kim Darden, physician assistant program director, says the day was entirely student-led, and she is proud of the students for taking the initiative to organize and execute the event. 

“This was a great opportunity for our students to engage in something meaningful and make a positive impact on our local community.”