CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Students delivered some much-needed items to Roark Sullivan Lifeway Center in Charleston today as a way to give back for National Physician Assistant Week.

“How it feels for us to become PAs and to give back to the PA profession, we felt like this was the most suitable way, especially to help veterans and especially with Roark Sullivan,” said Clinton Liang, a student at the University of Charleston’s Physician Assistant program.

The physician assistant profession stems from a shortage of nurses and doctors during the World War ll era. “So one of the ways they circumvented that was creating the PA profession and so with that, they streamlined the general schooling and they came out as general practitioners rather than a specialty,” added Liang.

The students say that’s why they chose to give back to Roark Sullivan, which works closely with veterans.

“They get them back on their feet, help them with resumes, get them a job, get them reallocated and back in. So rather than a temporary fix like a band-aid, they’re fixing the underlying issue and that’s one of the things we really want to target,” says Liang.

Adding that it’s important for students to get involved in the communities they study in, another student, Eric Uderman says, “I think community outreach is something that should be incorporated in any career, especially one in the health care field just because we need to know what people are dealing with on a day to day basis rather than who they are when they come to see us in the clinic.”

CEO of Roark Sullivan, Jessica McGuire says she is grateful for the donation, “It is incredible just to see this positive ripple in the Kanawha Valley, just continuing to impact the lives of others and we’re honored to have their help.”