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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Oct 5, 2015.
Grow Our Own Directive: Physician Assistant Employment and Education Act of 2015
This bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to carry out the Grow Our Own Directive or G.O.O.D. pilot program to provide educational assistance to certain former members of the Armed Forces for education and training as VA physician assistants.
An individual is eligible to participate in the program if the individual:
has medical or military health experience gained while serving in the Armed Forces; has received a certificate, associate degree, baccalaureate degree, master's degree, or postbaccalaureate training in a science relating to health care; has participated in the delivery of health care services or related medical services; and does not have a degree of doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, or doctor of dentistry. The VA shall:
provide educational assistance to program participants for the costs of obtaining a master's degree in physician assistant studies or a similar master's degree, ensure that mentors are available for program participants at each VA facility at which a participant is employed, and seek to partner with specified government programs and with appropriate educational institutions that offer degrees in physician assistant studies. The VA shall:
establish specified standards to improve the education and and hiring of VA physician assistants, and implement a national plan for the retention and recruitment of VA physician assistants that includes the adoption of competitive pay standards. VA physician assistant pay grades are established.