Glenn L. Means III, a University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences Physician Assistant Studies student, was one of three graduate students selected for an eight-week fellowship with Health for America in the summer of 2013. The fellowship, which was a pilot-program, recently garnered the attention of Forbes online magazine.
“I was very fortunate to be selected for this amazing fellowship opportunity,” Means said. “This fellowship gave me the opportunity to leave a lasting impact on the health care delivery system. Being featured in this prestigious publication is still surreal to me. It’s nice to see organizations taking notice of what we are doing and showing people how they can make their lives easier through the use of technology in the health care system.”
Means, along with two other fellows, worked on finding innovative, technology-based approaches to dealing with childhood asthma, which affects which affects 7 million U.S. children. Their work produced tangible results, including: A white paper, outlining potential solutions to the problem, which has been accepted for presentation at the International Conference on Health, Wellness and Society; a prototype of a device to improve the delivery of asthma medicines; and a challenge to design a game that could help children with asthma manage their condition. Health for America is currently working to further develop and commercialize the prototype created by the fellows.
“We are so very proud of Glenn and his work with Health for America,” said Kevin Schuer, assistant professor, UK College of Health Sciences Division of Physician Assistant Studies. “Glenn represents the type of student that the UKPAS program has been seeking of recent years, a student who is curious, innovative, diligent and willing to put in the effort and energy required to serve people and improve health. Students like Glenn are great ambassadors of our profession and program, and we are very much looking forward to his and his peers’ future contribution as physician assistant leaders.”
Health for America plans to launch a yearlong fellowship program this year. The expectation is that, given more time, the fellows will be able to make a bigger impact on health care. Although Means’ experience was brief, he predicts the impact will be long-lasting.
“Having this opportunity really encouraged me to explore many other areas of the health care delivery system and understand the importance of how they all work together to make the patient experience the best interaction possible,” Means said. “All I have ever wanted to do is make an impact on people. The network I have created through the Health for America Fellows program and in my current master’s degree program, I will carry with me for the rest of my life. These experiences have definitely opened the doors for me to know that I can change the face of health care and through innovative methods, find easier ways for people to not only access health care but provide a clearer understanding of what they need to live a long, healthy life.