Published 02/02/14

Bryant, Care New England announce strategic partnership for Physician Assistant Studies

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant University and the Care New England Health System have signed an agreement to collaborate in the delivery of Bryant’s new Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies graduate program (MSPAS). Recently announced by the University and expected to launch in January 2015, the MSPAS will be the premier program of a new School of Health Sciences at Bryant.

CNE is among the partners providing clinical rotations in students' second year.

The University plans to break ground on a new home for the physician assistant program in May, creating an addition to the landmark Unistructure building on its award-winning 428-acre campus. Students will complete the majority of their first year of the program in the new facility and study the foundational Human Anatomy course at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence. In their second year, the Bryant PA students will take part in 15 months of hands-on training through specialty rotations provided by Bryant’s preeminent clinical partners including the Care New England Health System, as well as the Southcoast Health System, the Lifespan health system, and distinguished independent clinical providers throughout southern New England.

Based in Providence, Care New England Health System (CNE) serves the southeastern New England community. CNE was formed in 1996 by founding members Butler Hospital, Kent Hospital, and Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island; Memorial Hospital joined CNE in 2013. CNE is dedicated to the advancement of medical education and research: Butler Hospital serves as the principal teaching affiliate for psychiatry and human behavior for Brown Medical School; Women & Infants is Brown's primary affiliate in obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics; and Kent is affiliated with the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“For more than 150 years, Bryant has been at the forefront of delivering exceptional education that anticipates the future needs of our dynamic economy,” said Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley. “With this strategic partnership with the Care New England Health System, Bryant is boldly moving into this critical sector and is proud to become part of our region’s academic medical center.”        

“We know health care is changing. We’re the ones blazing the path,” said Dennis Keefe, Care New England president and chief executive officer.

“As the new model of health care evolves, we’ve kept an eye on patient needs—developing ways to provide care where it’s needed most. Care New England's strengths are based on complementary programs and distinctive competencies of our partner hospitals and agencies. This partnership with Bryant University allows us to extend our network even further,” said Keefe.

"To excel in health care today, you must have the skills to not only succeed but to maintain a competitive advantage. To do that, you must develop depth of knowledge and critical thinking skills,” said Sandra Coletta, chief operating officer, Care New England, and CEO, Kent Hospital. “That’s why I got my MBA, and got it at Bryant University. Bryant knows business. Their competitive advantage helped me gain mine – and it will help PA students too.” 

The physician assistant program, currently in the process of accreditation, will begin accepting applications in April 2014. The inaugural class of 32 students will begin the 27-month program in January 2015.            


Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I., is a leading private university offering an innovative and uniquely integrated business and liberal arts education. Founded in 1863, Bryant University has approximately 3,500 graduate and undergraduate students from 35 states and 85 countries. Bryant University is recognized as a leader in international education and regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and Barron’s


Bryant University has applied for provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The University anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2015, pending provisional accreditation in September 2014. Provisional accreditation is an accreditation status for a new PA program that has not yet enrolled students, but at the time of its comprehensive accreditation review, has demonstrated its preparedness to initiate a program in accordance with the accreditation standards. The program will not commence in the event that this provisional accreditation is not received.