Prescription for Success: Armstrong Day at the Capitol showcases College of Health Professions


For respiratory therapy junior Amber Dixon, the chance to share her knowledge and skills with state legislators at Armstrong Day at the Capitol in Atlanta on Jan. 29 was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“It’s exciting to show legislators what I’m learning at Armstrong,” she said. “They have a genuine interest and want to listen to what we have to say. I’m thankful to have this opportunity to showcase our skills.”

Dixon was one of a dozen College of Health Professions students who traveled to Atlanta – along with various deans, department heads and administrators – to showcase Armstrong’s interprofessional approach to healthcare education. The South Rotunda was filled with Pirate pride as students and faculty dressed in maroon for the second annual showcase.

“Armstrong students are our very best ambassadors,” said Armstrong President Linda M. Bleicken. “We are proud of their achievements and appreciate their impact on the region’s healthcare system. Their contribution to high-quality healthcare in Georgia is significant.”

The contingent also emphasized the university’s need for a new state-of-the-art College of Health Professions building. Armstrong graduates more undergrad healthcare professionals than any University System of Georgia institution, yet the university turns away more than 300 qualified applicants each year due to capacity issues. The university is currently appealing to state legislators to approve $1.8 million in design funding for the proposed new building, which will emphasize interprofessional education and collaborative learning.

“Students at Armstrong learn to work in a team setting, which is critical to patient safety,” explained David Ward, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “It’s important for all Georgians to understand the quality of work going on at the college.”

Armstrong representatives mingled with legislators as teams of students took turns working on “Chuck,” a healthcare mannequin who played the role of a 68-year-old man injured in a car accident. Health professions students donned blue gloves and demonstrated hands-on techniques as part of a coordinated simulation of medical treatment.

Chuck moved through various stage of treatment, from diagnostic assessment to physical therapy, with Armstrong students demonstrating their knowledge and skills throughout the process.

“I love how everyone’s coming up and asking questions,” raved Jerris Sensabaugh, a respiratory therapy junior at Armstrong. “Armstrong Day at the Capitol is a major success.”