Center for PA Studies Wins Smart Growth Award

Physician assistant students in front of JWU's Center for Physician Assistant Studies

JWU was named one of Grow Smart RI’s 2015 Rhode Island Smart Growth Project award winners for the Center for Physician Assistant Studies.

The Center was recognized alongside community leaders, other transformational projects, and two sets of policies designed to encourage downtown development.

The rehabilitated building that now houses the Center, located in the heart of Providence's medical-education corridor, dates back to 1948.

“The Center for PA Studies is going to add tremendous vitality to this part of downtown Providence,” said Michael Viveiros, principal of Durkee Brown Viveiros Werenfels Architects, the firm responsible for the design of the Center. “It's by retaining buildings like this … that we're able to create a varied and complex urban environment.”

A ribbon cutting ceremony formally opening the Center was held in May 2014, to welcome the inaugural class of Rhode Island's first physician assistant program. JWU began collaborating with Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School and has signed an articulation agreement with Providence College, which will provide preferred admission for up to 6 qualified PC graduates for each admissions cycle in JWU's master's degree program.

The university's bachelor of science in biology (starting in Fall 2015) will also prepare current and incoming JWU students to apply to the PA program immediately following successful completion of their undergraduate work. Construction on the new building that will house the biology program began in April, and is slated for completion by July 2016.

Grow Smart RI promotes sustainable and equitable economic growth throughout the state of Rhode Island by advocating for development in revitalized urban, town, and village centers through historic rehabilitation and complementary new construction.

“Smart Growth is all about maximizing existing resources and using them … as efficiently and effectively as possible,” said Lucie Searle, real estate developer at AS220. “And that is exactly what Johnson & Wales has done in the Center.”