Gardner-Webb Prepares to Launch Physician Assistant Program

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Boiling Springs, N.C.—University officials have announced that Gardner-Webb will launch a physician assistant program beginning January 2014.  The program will help fill the healthcare industry’s need for primary care providers by training medical professionals for the primary care field.  Dr. Gregory Davenport, a physician assistant with a doctorate in health science, is the newly hired dean and program director.

The program will last 27 months and will be broken into two parts.  During the first 15 months, students will take classes five days a week, for approximately eight hours a day.  The second half of the program will feature hands-on learning experiences in local hospitals and doctors’ offices.

Davenport is an internationally known author, speaker and wilderness survival expert.  He has served in the United States Air Force as a survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialist (SERE), been an emergency medicine physician assistant in extremely remote locations, and has even hosted his own show on the History Channel.  Although Davenport has lived a highly adventurous and successful life in the limelight, he calls this opportunity a “higher calling.”

“Right now I’m focused on creating a faith-based physician assistant program here at Gardner-Webb,” he said.

Davenport said the physician assistant program at Gardner-Webb will return to the fundamentals of the PA profession—diagnosing and treating common medical conditions under physician supervision. “Our goal is to get PAs back into that primary care arena, and help close that gap between access to care and patient demand.  To make this happen, Gardner-Webb’s PA program aims to expand the healing gifts that Gardner-Webb students already possess.”

For more information about the program, contact Program Coordinator Pat Graham at 704-406-2369 or

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University blends a liberal arts core curriculum with more than 55 major and minor professional programs of study, a comprehensive academic experience that flows from our Christian commitment to intellectual freedom, service and leadership.


Written by communications intern Jeanie Groh.