Event marks the third major construction project underway at Marquette
Marquette’s efforts to expand its nationally ranked Physician Assistant Studies program are officially underway, as university officials Wednesday broke ground for a new 44,000-square-foot, $18.5 million building. The university first announced the new facility in March, saying it will help address the provider gap in primary care and facilitate program growth to position it as one of the largest such programs in the region and nation.
Nearly 200 members of the Marquette community, PA program supporters and clinical partners attended the groundbreaking ceremony at the facility’s future location on the northwest corner of West Clybourn Street and North 17th Street.
Board Chairman Owen Sullivan emceed the groundbreaking event, which featured remarks by President Michael R. Lovell; Dr. Bill Cullinan, dean of the College of Health Sciences; MaryJo Wiemiller, PA-C, M.S., clinical associate professor, program director and chair of Physician Assistant Studies; and Kristina Sit, PA student. Rev. Nicky Santos, S.J., provided a blessing.
“Marquette’s PA program is an outstanding health care program filling a great community need,” President Lovell said. “With today’s groundbreaking, we embrace a Jesuit ideal: Magis, a Latin word that means ‘more” or ‘greater.’ Through this project, we will do more for others — a hallmark of all Jesuit educators.”
Demand for enrollment in Marquette’s PA program has grown, putting it in a unique position to address provider shortages. The program received nearly 1,400 applications for the available seats in the current cycle, and interest continues to grow by approximately 10 percent per year.
The program, which is ranked No. 40 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, has since its inception in the 1990s grown into a highly recognized destination program, Wiemiller said. The PA program boasts a 100-percent pass rate on national board exams for the past nine consecutive years, as well as a 100-percent job placement rate for graduates within six months of completion.
Marquette made an initial investment to begin construction on the PA facility, and the university invites additional support from partners and donors who see an opportunity to ensure a strong Jesuit-trained pipeline of physician assistants.
Construction on the building is underway, and the facility is expected to open in summer 2019 and welcome its first class that fall. The PA facility is the third major construction project underway at Marquette. Rev. Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons, the university’s new residence hall facility, will be completed this summer; the Athletic and Human Performance Research Center is in the first few months of construction and will open in spring 2019.
Follow Marquette Today for updates on the PA facility and other building projects as they develop.