Allied Health honors its graduates

The School of Allied Health Sciences held its 2017 Commencement Ceremony in early December, awarding 16 Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees, 20 Master of Science in Orthotics and Prosthetics degrees and 40 Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degrees.

Dr. Alicia Monroe, provost and senior vice president of academic and faculty affairs, asked the students to stand during the ceremony and turn around to thank those who supported them through their journey to commencement day.

“The future before you is filled with unlimited possibilities for making a difference, for providing hope and for doing things that make you proud. You have my very best wishes as you begin your careers,” Monroe said.

The class president from each of the programs’ graduating class had the opportunity to say a few words.

“You are in the position to change people’s lives, and you may impact them for generations to come,” said Tyler DeLeo, class president of the Orthotics and Prosthetics Program.

Each class president reminded their classmates of the hard work, dedication and sacrifices that brought them to commencement day.

Dr. Rebecca Patton, the Lucy Jo Atkinson Scholar in Perioperative Nursing at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, gave the commencement address.

“We are fortunate to have one of the most influential people in healthcare with us today,” said Dr. James Walker, director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, as he introduced Patton.

A nurse, scholar and lecturer, Patton has testified before Congress and met with major policymakers, including Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton, when she lobbied on healthcare issues. She served on the U.S. delegation to the World Health Assembly twice after being selected by the State Department. Patton was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare magazine in 2009 and 2010.

Patton reminded the graduates that they were problem solvers, leaders, innovators and scholars. She also reminded them of the strong academic training they received at Baylor.

“Baylor College of Medicine graduates have a proud history in making a difference in patients’ lives,” she said.

She encouraged students to see how far they could go and to not look back at the past.

“Your future isn’t defined by your past, but your past has prepared you for your future,” she said.

Patton emphasized the vital role the graduates would play in their patients’ lives.

“Our work is about the patients. You’ll have the ability to transform lives,” she said.

However, she reminded the graduates to take the time to take care of themselves and to never stop learning.

“Be kind to yourself, not just your patients,” Patton said.

-by Dipali Pathak