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### Revolutionizing PA Healthcare Education at Keck Graduate Institute

Transforming the Landscape of Healthcare Education through Collaboration and Community Engagement: KGI’s Innovative Approach to Program Renaming

The Chan Family-Keck Graduate School Master of Science in PA Studies Naming Ceremony

In a symbolic gesture, the Chan Family and KGI leaders joined forces to inaugurate the new Chan Family MSPA Studies program.

Claremont, CA, April 16, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A significant milestone was reached on March 20, 2024, as Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) unveiled the renaming of its Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPA) program to the Chan Family Master of Science in Physician Associate Studies (MSPA). This change honors Dr. Tony Chan, Dr. Virginia Chan, and their family for their generous contributions.

A special naming ceremony was conducted by KGI on March 20 to commemorate this pivotal moment. The event was attended by various members of the KGI community, including students and faculty from the MSPA program, residents of Claremont, and representatives from the Claremont City Council. The City of Claremont presented the Chan family with a certificate of recognition, while KGI gifted them a framed lab coat featuring the program’s new name and a family portrait as a token of appreciation for their support.

Dr. Tony Chan, the proprietor and CEO of ABC Pharmacies and a longstanding Claremont resident, expressed, “The decision to name the program after my family is rooted in the values imparted by my late mother, emphasizing the significance of community service and educational support.”

Chan highlighted that the program’s endowment is geared towards “nurturing the next generation of empathetic and proficient healthcare professionals who will significantly impact patient care.”

Sheldon Schuster, the president of Keck Graduate Institute, lauded the Chan family’s extraordinary generosity, reaffirming KGI’s dedication to innovative healthcare education and community service. He emphasized that this support not only propels the PA Studies program towards excellence in adapting to the evolving healthcare landscape but also embodies the spirit of philanthropy exemplified by the Chan family.

Since its inception, the program has exceeded expectations significantly.

Christy Eskes, the Program Director for KGI’s Master of Science in Physician Associate Studies, reported, “Our inaugural cohort of 40 students commenced their educational journey with us in Fall 2022 and have recently transitioned into clinical rotations. The initial feedback from their preceptors has been exceptionally positive, with some noting that our PA students exhibit advanced skills compared to MD residents. Job offers during the first clinical rotation are uncommon but have already been extended to our students.”

Reflecting on his personal experiences of receiving scholarships and mentorship, Chan emphasized the transformative power of educational support, motivating him to assist students in achieving their healthcare aspirations. He expressed gratitude towards his mentors for believing in his potential and providing the necessary resources for his success, inspiring him to pay it forward by supporting future generations of students.

Eskes, who has been part of the program since 2020, expressed her enthusiasm about the program’s launch and its potential to equip the next generation of PA leaders with the skills to drive positive change in healthcare and promote health equity.

Embracing a New Perspective on PA

The renaming of the program not only honors the Chan Family but also signifies a shift from “physician assistant” to “physician associate.” This change aligns with the evolving healthcare landscape and the role of PAs within it, reflecting the program’s ethos and vision.

The upcoming third cohort of 40 students, selected from a pool of over 1,300 applicants, is set to commence in August. The support from the Chan family will provide this group with additional advantages and opportunities for success.

Eskes remarked, “With the Chan family’s generous contribution, we are poised to further align our mission as an institution focused on innovation and future-oriented education.”


Established in 1997, Keck Graduate Institute is a nonprofit graduate school dedicated to shaping the future leaders in biotechnology, life sciences, and healthcare. As a member of the Claremont Colleges consortium, KGI offers students hands-on learning experiences that address real-world challenges, empowering them with the knowledge and skills to revolutionize the healthcare industry.



CONTACT: Nick Simonton
Keck Graduate Institute
(909) 607-2308
[email protected]