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For Immediate Release June 10, 2013 Contact Name: Mark A.

. Torres, Chair Phone: (917) 289-0964 Email: 2011peoplepower@gmail.com; Facebook.com/2011PeoplePower People Power Movement-Movimiento Poder Popular Aims to Prevent the City College of New York (CCNY) from Gentrifying its Physician Assistant (PA) Program The Physician Assistant program of the City College of New York/Harlem Hospital Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education in Upper Manhattan is in need of a new director. The decision has come down to two candidates, bringing everyone to a fork road that has ignited racially charged disagreements between the school administration on one side and students, alumni, PA program staff and the Harlem community on the other side. The Sophie Davis PA program is special because it specifically prepares and graduates working class students of color. Nationally, students of color only account for 18.9% of all physician assistants. And yet, this wonderful program has consistently had a graduating class that is over 90% people of color, a group that has attained a 100% passing rate in multiple years for the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE). This is a tremendous achievement given Corporate Americas drive to gentrify our schools. CCNY has already closed its nursing program, which graduated students who were over 90% African-American and Latino. Additionally, a BS/MD medical program at the CUNY Sophie Davis School, which originally started as a program to train youth from underserved communities to be doctors, has only been able to graduate African Americans and Latinos at a low rate of 25% and 8% respectively, from 1973 to 2004. CUNY has done horrible things to gentrify our public colleges, including raising tuition over and over again, getting rid of Open Admissions, opening dorms at City College to recruit white students, and removing Black and Latino administrators, affirms Mark Torres, an alumnus of CCNY who was a student organizer against tuition hikes and budget cuts in the late 1980s. Current CCNY students share similar sentiments. The face of gentrification is too cowardly to reveal itself, and nowhere is that clearer than the provost and the Administration deciding the future of the PA program behind closed doors, claimed Alvaro Franco, a senior student at CCNY who recently conveyed his concerns directly to the Presidents office. Francos peer, Stephanie Martinez, also a senior at CCNY, remains optimistic: Theres a way to save the [PA] program; candidate Pablo Foster, with firsthand experience of working with people of color and being a graduate of [CUNY] City College, is best in representing the program, and [in] keeping the program from falling into such a trap [of being gentrified]. These attempts to gentrify CUNY have preceded current efforts made by the Provost of City College to undermine the search committees recommendation of Pablo Foster, an African descended Cuban, by insisting on the other candidate, of European descent, Therese Horvath, to be the new director. This process is in its final stages and requires active popular participation. Most students, staff, and community people who are aware of what is happening already support Pablo Foster as the new director. Please review the chart below and join us to ensure that this Physician Assistant program does not become gentrified!
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Please contact Lisa Staiano-Coico, President of CUNY City College, at (212) 650-5310 or email president@ccny.cuny.edu, and Provost Maurizio Trevisan at (212) 650-6638 or email provost@ccny.cuny.edu, and let them know that the Sophie Davis Physician Assistant Program must not be gentrified and that we want Pablo Foster to be the new director!

Photo:

The Peoples Choice For Director Name: Strengths:


Pablo Foster Current faculty member of the PA program at Harlem Hospital/City College for over 7 years Graduate of the PA Program at Harlem Hospital/City College Previously Director of the PA program at Bronx Lebanon Hospital in the Bronx Has spent over 20 years providing medical care in poor and working class African American and Latino communities Theresa Horvath Director of Physician Assistant program at Hofstra University Graduate of the PA Program at Harlem Hospital/City College Has been involved in transitioning the Hofstra PA program into an BS/MS program

Weaknesses:

Has only served as a Physician Assistant program director for 2 years

Has never spoken or written anything promoting the recruitment of African Americans or Latinos to the Physician Assistant profession Has been director of 2 programs which were and remain primarily white Has had limited experience providing medical care in African American and Latino communities