Posted: Fullerton, CA, June 18, 2012
Teresa Thetford, PA-C, RNP, MS, has been selected as the Founding Director of a newly planned Physician Assistant Program at the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO). In this new role, Thetford will be working with SCCO's executive leadership to develop the vision, structure, systems, and processes that support the strategic goals for this Master's level academic program.
"I'm proud to announce the selection of, Teresa Thetford, as the Founding Director of our pending Physician Assistant Program," said SCCO President Kevin L. Alexander, O.D., Ph.D. "Her education and professional experiences will ensure our program's success and that of our PA students."
In August 2011, SCCO announced it was planning to launch a Physician Assistant (PA) program in Orange County targeted to accept its first class in the Fall of 2014 pending provisional accreditation.
"The changing health-care landscape has created a high demand for PAs who provide frontline medical care and SCCO is pleased to work toward establishing a quality educational program in Orange County," said Dr. Alexander.
|Teresa Thetford, PA-C, RNP, MS, has been selected as the Founding Director of the newly planned Physician Assistant Program at the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO).|
"Offering a physician assistant program is a great fit for SCCO thanks to our 108 years of experience in health-care education. The SCCO Family is excited to take on the challenge to fill the increasing need for well-educated physician assistants and, we are most pleased that, Teresa Thetford has accepted the position as the program's founding director."
Thetford has more than 15 years of experience as a PA and 10 years in PA education. She holds a Master of Science in Education and Leadership from A.T. Still University, and a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Southern California. Currently, she's working toward a Doctor of Health Science at A.T. Still University. Her research interests include Teaching and Assessing Professionalism in PA Education; Attitudes in Treating the Medically Underserved; and Using Curriculum to Promote Clinician Interest in Primary Care.
Recently, she was an assistant professor and academic coordinator, Yale University, School of Medicine, Physician Associate Program where she was involved in all aspects of academic planning. Prior to that position, Thetford was an associate professor in an ARC–PA accredited Physician Assistant Program at Riverside County Regional Medical Center / Riverside Community College, July 2002 – April 2011. Thetford, a certified Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner, holds a number of related licenses and certifications. She is a member of the Physician Assistant Education Association, National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, and the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
About the Southern California College of Optometry
Established in 1904, SCCO is a private, non-profit, educational institution dedicated to educating today's minds to provide tomorrow's eye, vision and health care. SCCO grants a four-year, professional degree, Doctor of Optometry (OD) and a Master of Science in Vision Science (MS). In August 2011, the College announced plans to start a Physician Assistant program via a two-year graduate degree.
The College's superior clinical education program provides patient care experiences in community optometric clinics; exposure to the delivery of optometric care in multi-disciplinary settings; and experiences in practices serving a wide variety of ethnic and socio-economic patient groups. SCCO owns and operates two premier eye and vision care centers¬ – the Eye Care Center located on its campus in Fullerton, CA, and the Optometric Center of Los Angeles located in south-central LA.
A special component of SCCO's educational program is community service. Annually, SCCO faculty and optometric interns provide eye and vision care to thousands of uninsured or underinsured children and adults in our local communities through collaborations with other nonprofit organizations.