The Wright Center is privileged to serve as a training and educational site for medical school students and physician assistants through a strong partnership with A.T. Still University (ATSU) of Health Sciences, the founding institution of osteopathic health care.

ATSU, which is a leading health sciences university, consists of three campuses (Mesa, Arizona; Santa Maria, California; and Kirksville, Missouri). These learning environments include residential and online health care-related graduate degrees as well as community-based partnerships worldwide. 

A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) operates a unique model of medical education in which aspiring physicians spend their first year on campus in Mesa, Arizona, followed by three years doing clinical rotations at a Community Health Center, such as The Wright Center for Community Health, where they can learn to become selfless healers devoted to community service and equitable health care access.

In August 2020, The Wright Center welcomed its first incoming class of 11 medical school students from Arizona to Scranton, Pennsylvania. Today, The Wright Center has a complement of 28 medical school students (second-year through fourth-year) who are completing their education in our clinical learning environments.

The training received by ATSU-SOMA students is different from other medical schools in that they learn in the classroom while also going into The Wright Center’s clinical settings at least once a week as second-year undergraduate students. These rotations will continue into their third and fourth years, while also layering in rotational experiences in area hospitals.

This shared learning model came about thanks to ATSU-SOMA’s partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and is part of the school’s dedication to preparing service-minded students to meet the health care needs of society by placing them in medically underserved areas for their training. 

Expanding on this exciting collaboration with ATSU and NACHC, The Wright Center has more recently become a learning and training facility for master’s degree-level students enrolled in the university’s Central Coast Physician Assistant Program. The first cohort of eight physician assistant students arrived at The Wright Center in September 2022 to begin their supervised clinical practice experiences. Participants in the 24-month residential program attend ATSU Santa Maria in California for one year during their pre-clinical phase, followed by an approximately 35-week clinical phase at The Wright Center or other Community Health Center.

ATSU-SOMA is committed to training learners in the communities that they are from, as evidenced by its successful Hometown Scholars program – a recruitment initiative that targets future physicians, dentists and physician assistants from areas including Northeast Pennsylvania.

To learn more about the Hometown Scholars program and/or nominate an individual for participation, click here.

The Wright Center is proud to join ATSU in renewing our local and national physician workforce and training inspired, competent doctors and other health care professionals. This effort was solidified when our soon-to-be inaugural graduating class of A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona medical students matched at residency programs across the county, including two students joining The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education. 

Erin McFadden, M.D
Regional Director of Medical Education, ATSU-SOMA

Angelo Brutico
Regional Director of Physician Assistant Education, ATSU-CCPA

Bryan Boyle, MPAS, PA-C
Regional Director of Physician Assistant Education, ATSU-CCPA