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The Ithaca College’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MS-PAS) program considers the health, safety and welfare of its faculty, learner body, staff and the community we serve of utmost importance. Therefore, based on the Centers for Disease Control Recommended Vaccines for Healthcare Workers most recent guidelines; the program has developed the following policy in order to safeguard the wellbeing of all.

Required Drug Screen

  • All learners who have been offered conditional acceptance must successfully pass an initial chain of custody drug screen.
  • All matriculated learners must complete and successfully pass a second chain of custody drug screen upon completion of the didactic phase prior to entering the clinical phase of the program.
  • Additional chain of custody drug screens and "for cause" testing for any learner suspected of being under the influence of unlawful drugs or alcohol during their course of study remains at the discretion of affiliated hospitals or clinics and/or the Ithaca College MS-PAS program.
  • A learner may be prevented from progressing in the program’s didactic phase, being promoted to the clinical phase of the program, or being recommended for graduation if the learner fails a chain of custody drug screen. Therefore, the Ithaca College MS-PAS program reserves the right to withdraw offers of conditional acceptance if the candidate fails the initial chain of custody drug screen.

Required Physical Examination

  • A comprehensive physical examination by a licensed medical provider (DO, MD, PA or NP) must be completed indicating that the conditionally accepted applicant is appropriately screened for TB, current on all immunization requirements, and has been medically cleared for admission. The Learner Health Packet includes instructions and the following forms:
    • Medical History
    • Physical Examination
    • Immunization Verification o Health Attestation Form
    • Chain of Custody Drug screen
    • All learners must have a second physical examination conducted by licensed medical provider (DO, MD, PA, or NP) prior to starting the clinical phase of the program indicating that the conditionally accepted applicant is appropriately screened for TB, current on all immunization requirements, and has been medically cleared for admission.

Immunizations

Immunization requirements based on the most current standards set by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for Health Professionals.

All learners must complete the following requirements prior to matriculation: All learners must complete the following requirements prior to matriculation:

  • Tuberculosis (TB) Screening:
    • The learner must submit documentation of ONE of the following:
      • Results of NEGATIVE “Two-Step” TB Skin Testing (TST/PPD)
        • This screening requires 2 separate TB skin tests administered at least one week apart but within 12 months of each other.
        • The last TST must be within 6 months of your start date. 
      • Lab Copy showing a “NEGATIVE” Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) blood test (QFT or T-Spot) within 6 months of start date (accepted in lieu of the “Two- Step” TST).
      • Individuals with a history of a POSITIVE TB skin test or IGRA blood test must submit both of the following:
        • Verification of a NEGATIVE Chest X-ray within 12 months of start date and
        • A current NEGATIVE Screening Questionnaire
  • Rubella (German Measles):
    • Serologic documentation of a positive Rubella immune titer OR immunization with at least one dose of live Rubella or MMR vaccine after 12 months of age.
  • Measles (Rubeola):
    • Serologic documentation of a positive Rubeola immune titer OR immunization with two doses of live Rubeola or MMR vaccine administered after 12 months of age and separated by 28 days or more.
  • Mumps:
    • Serologic documentation of a positive Mumps immune titer OR immunization with at least two doses of live Mumps or MMR vaccine after 12 month of age.
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox):
    • Serologic documentation of a positive Varicella titer OR two Varicella immunizations (given 4 to 8 weeks apart).
    • This requirement is satisfied only by a positive titer or the vaccine series.
  • Hepatitis B “Positive” Quantitative Surface Antibody Titer (Blood Test):
    • Serologic documentation of a Positive (QUANTITATIVE) Hepatitis B surface antibody titer that verifies IMMUNITY to the Hepatitis B Virus.
    • The TITER is required in addition to completion of the vaccination series.
    • The results should be reported as “POSITIVE” or as a number.
    • “REACTIVE” results will NOT be accepted.
  • Adacel™Or Boostrix® Vaccine Booster:
    • Documentation of an Adult TETANUS/diphtheria/acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine booster is required.
    • Tdap was licensed in June, 2005 for use as a single dose booster vaccination (i.e. not for subsequent booster doses).
  • The current CDC recommendation states “Healthcare personnel, regardless of age, should receive a single dose of Tdap as soon as feasible if they have not previously received Tdap and regardless of the time since last Td dose”.
  • Meningococcal Vaccination:
    • Documentation of immunization with one dose of Meningococcal vaccine after 16th birthday.

All matriculated learners MUST present evidence of the following on an annual basis during their tenure with the program:

  • TB screening
  • Influenza vaccine

Learners are financially responsible for the cost of all health care services they may require while enrolled in the program, including any health care services required as a result of their participation in scheduled program activities (e.g. TB testing, immunizations, treatment of injuries, pathogen exposure evaluation and treatment). Learners are also required to sign a Health Screening and Immunization Information Release Form.

Noncompliance with any component of this policy will result in withholding the learner from progressing in the program, withdrawal from classes without credit and a referral to the Academic and Professionalism Performance Review Committee.

No one from the MS-PAS program has access to the learner’s health record. These are maintained by the university in a secured electronic depository.

The MS-PAS program will maintain the health attestation form confirming that the learner has met institution and program health screening requirements, immunization records, and tuberculosis screening of all matriculated learners through a HIPPA compliant, secure cloud based management system. These records will be reviewed by the Director Clinical Education and the Admissions Coordinator upon acceptance into the program and annually thereafter throughout the learner’s tenure with program. The Director of Clinical Education will also continuously review the Centers for Disease Control Recommended Vaccines for Healthcare Workers guidelines and recommendations for updates.