Jun 23, 2024  
Catalog/Bulletin 2018-2019 
Catalog/Bulletin 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Interdisciplinary Human Studies

J.M. Cairo, PhD
Acting Head of the Department

Physician Assistant Studies Program

Rachel Chappell, MHS, PA-C
Interim Program Director

LOCATION: 411 S. Prieur Street
PHONE: (504) 556-3420
FAX: (504) 556-3421   
WEB: http://alliedhealth.lsuhsc.edu/pa/

The Department of Interdisciplinary Human Studies offers a Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program, which is accredited by Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), 12000 Findley Road, Suite 150, Johns Creek, GA 30097, phone # (770) 476-1224, www.arc-pa.org.  Graduates of the Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program are eligible to become certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) by passing the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).  Once certified, each Physician Assistant (PA) must successfully complete100 hours of continuing medical education every two years, and pass a recertification examination every ten years.

Physician Assistants are highly qualified healthcare providers who are prepared through a rigorous academic and clinical curriculum to provide healthcare services under physician supervision.  PAs can be found practicing in primary health care and many medical and surgical subspecialties, such as oncology, endocrinology, rheumatology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, dermatology, interventional radiology and radiotherapy.  As part of their wide-ranging responsibilities, PAs conduct interviews and physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel patients on preventative health care, and assist in surgery.  Physician Assistants also may be employed in higher education and clinical research.

The Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program is a 29-month, full time, professional degree program.  The program does not offer part-time option.  The program spans a total of seven semesters.  The curriculum includes107 credit hours of didactic, laboratory, and clinical courses.  The didactic and laboratory portion of the curriculum includes foundational courses in the basic and clinical sciences, which are designed to introduce students to evidence-based medical practice and foster the development of critical thinking skills.  The clinical curriculum involves educational experiences in a variety of health care settings that prepare graduates to work as part of a physician-led team committed to providing comprehensive healthcare.


The Mission of the LSUHSC-New Orleans Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program is to recruit and educate individuals of the highest quality from diverse backgrounds to provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care with compassion to the people of Louisiana.

Human Development Center

Philip Wilson, PhD
Program Director

LOCATION: 411 S. Prieur Street
PHONE: (504) 556-7573
FAX: (504) 556-7574
WEB: http://hdc.lsuhsc.edu/

The mission of the Human Development Center (HDC) is to promote knowledge and practices related to enhancing the realization of human potential. HDC is a statewide resource emphasizing interdisciplinary and interagency approaches to systems change and program development in topics of health, inclusive child care, education, employment, and community participation. Each year faculty, staff, and students associated with HDC accomplish activities of personnel preparation, technical assistance, research, service demonstration, and dissemination of information to sites throughout Louisiana and beyond. A special emphasis of the Center is on developing and sharing information about effective services and supports for people with disabilities. HDC provides the infrastructure for operation of the Department of Interdisciplinary Human Studies and conducts specialized projects. Under the Department, other centers and programs related to the mission of HDC are operated.

 The Department of Interdisciplinary Human Studies is the academic home for most faculty assigned to HDC and is responsible for teaching selected interdisciplinary courses.

 The Louisiana University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) is a member of the national network of 67 such centers. Federal law directs these centers to accomplish (1) interdisciplinary training; (2) outreach, model demonstration, training, and technical assistance, (3) research, and (4) dissemination of information related to developmental disabilities (see P.L. 106-402 for details).  HDC employs about 40 faculty and staff, representing a variety of disciplines who carry out the center’s projects and activities.

For more detailed information on the programs offered by the Human Development Center go to our homepage at http://www.hdc.lsuhsc.edu or email HDC at: hdcinfo@hdc.lsuhsc.edu.

Background of the Human Development Center

The Louisiana University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) was established as a University Affiliated Program (UAP) in 1972 when the LSU Medical Center received a federal grant offered under provisions of what is now the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act. At that time, federal law mandated UCEDDs to accomplish systems change through activities of interdisciplinary personnel preparation, outreach, research, and dissemination of information related to meeting needs of people with disabilities. The Louisiana UCEDD was placed within the Human Development Center (HDC) with approval of the Board of Regents in 1984. In accordance with expectations for UCEDDs, our center has been active across the life span and has striven to demonstrate, teach, and disseminate effective practices for building on opportunities and meeting challenges of people with disabilities so they benefit from increased independence, productivity, and inclusion in their communities.

Particular programmatic strengths of our Center that have brought national recognition to Louisiana include (a) demonstration models of infant services, (b) interdisciplinary training (c) research in early intervention, community participation of adults with severe disabilities, supported employment, and early intervention (d) training and technical assistance in community-based models of adult services, (e) pre-doctoral internship experiences for school psychologists, (f) statewide transition systems-change, (g) training and providing technical assistance to supported employment and other direct support personnel, and (h) national leadership in developing special education monitoring procedures.

Interagency and Collaborative Arrangements of the Human Development Center

Faculty and leadership of the Center work closely with other state and national resources related to the development of human potential. As the University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities for Louisiana, HDC is actively engaged with the national network of 67 such Centers. Network members frequently share expertise or information and often collaborate in developing grant-funded projects to benefit our States. These collaborative efforts provide opportunities for meeting objectives of HDC and provide benefits for Louisiana and collaborating states.

HDC maintains close and productive relationships with state and local agencies including the Department of Health and Hospitals, Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, Louisiana Rehabilitation Services, Office of Public Health, Children’s Special Health Services, State Department of Education, many Local Education Agencies, Department of Social Services, and related offices. We also are proud of our collaborative relationships with the President’s Committee on Mental Retardation - Louisiana Team, Arc of Louisiana, local Arcs, Head Start agencies, childcare agencies, public and private schools, and adult service agencies throughout our State.

We are pleased to collaborate extensively with our fellow Developmental Disabilities programs authorized by the federal Developmental Disabilities legislation. That is, we engage in strategic planning and a wide range of program development activities with the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council and the Advocacy Center. Together we work to promote systems development and implement programs to increase services, supports, and quality of life for individuals with disabilities in the communities of their choice.

HDC maintains formal and informal arrangements with numerous units of higher education in Louisiana and across

the United States. Students and faculty in various disciplines participate in instructional offerings and supervised practices offered within clinical and other programs of HDC. We collaborate with Delgado Community College in instructional programs including early intervention, Direct Support Personnel preparation, and post-secondary education options for persons with intellectual disabilities. Other collaborative activities are developed as opportunities allow.

Requirements for Participation in Activities of the Human Development Center

Most of the programs of HDC present opportunities for students and faculty to learn, practice, or investigate topics of human development, particularly as it relates to practices of health, education, and human services and systems change. In the United States, the predominate models of health and human services involve multi- or interdisciplinary activities of screening, diagnosing, planning, and delivering services. To be fully prepared for success, personnel preparing for careers in health, education, and human services need to learn vocabularies, skills, and practices that include working in interdisciplinary teams and collaborating with clients and their families. The instructional and clinical programs of HDC provide faculty and students with opportunities for developing skills related to working effectively in various interdisciplinary settings.

Learning experiences at HDC are designed to allow students to acquire new skills and directly apply what they have learned in various professional settings. We provide courses for credit, supervised practice, internships, sabbatical, and involvement in research, independent study, continuing education, in-service training, and brief instructional sessions. There are opportunities for “hands on” training experiences for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled with the LSU Health Sciences Center and other units of higher education. Usually, experiences of students at HDC are guided by an individualized training plan developed cooperatively among the student, faculty of the sending department, and Center faculty. This plan will specify the activities, supervision, and evaluation criteria that apply to the student while enrolled with HDC.

We encourage interested students to contact their faculty advisor, the HDC Director, or the HDC Training Coordinator for more information, or visit the HDC web site for information.

Research Opportunities for Students and Faculty

HDC Faculty engage in a wide range of studies related to human development. Ongoing research by HDC faculty includes studies of physical and behavioral development, intervention methods, and training strategies. Recent research activities include early intervention practices; policies and practices in transition from school-to-work; methods of positive behavioral support; issues in supervision and management of community-based services; benefits education and management, supported employment instructional methods for in-service and pre-service teaching; intervention practices for individuals with Autism; and, manpower needs in public schools. Students interested in these or other areas are invited to participate in research or initiate their own studies under supervision of faculty at HDC. Student involvement with HDC researchers and collaboration with faculty outside of HDC in studies conducted at HDC is strongly encouraged. Contact your faculty advisor or the Human Development Center for more information.

* This statement was developed and adopted by the Consumer Advisory Council for the Louisiana UCEDD. An advisory committee is required for UCEDDERSs by federal law (P.L. 106-402).

Early Intervention Institute

The Early Intervention Institute is housed administratively in the School of Allied Health Professions and was approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents in January 1999. This interdisciplinary Institute builds on the expertise and strengths in early intervention demonstrated by personnel of the School and Health Sciences Center over the past 30 years. The Institute is a focal point for organizing and directing early intervention initiatives to enhance research, training, services, and supports related to young children at risk for or with disabilities and their families on local, state, and national levels.

The mission of the Early Intervention Institute is to expand the understanding of early intervention, increase use of effective practices, and improve outcomes for children, birth through age 5, and their families. Through the Institute’s dedication to supporting and enhancing early intervention services and systems, we seek greater participation and inclusion of young children with special needs and their families in natural, community-based environments. The Institute is organized as a resource for those interested in developing, carrying out, and evaluating programs for young children at risk for or with disabilities, their families, and the personnel who serve them in health, education, and human service settings.

Those who collaborate with the Institute include the following

  • Parents and parent organizations
  • Advocacy organizations
  • Legislators interested in policy matters related to early childhood and early intervention
  • Early education and care programs interested in offering or enhancing inclusive child care services
  • Faculty preparing for careers related to early intervention
  • Health and developmental service programs for pediatric populations
  • Researchers in early intervention
  • Developers of model early intervention services and systems

Several research, training, and direct clinical service programs operate under the direction of the Early Intervention Institute at sites in New Orleans, Lafayette, and throughout the State. Students and faculty interested in learning more about Institute programs or participating in research or clinical affiliations with Institute faculty should contact the Director of the Early Intervention Institute. Additional information about the Early Intervention Institute can be found on the School of Allied Health Professions home page on the LSU Health Sciences website.