In Focus: Maria Strangie
What drew you to Hofstra?
Applying to colleges as a high school senior is an extremely overwhelming process. When I was selecting which college I wanted to attend, Hofstra University really stood out to me. Upon visiting the beautiful campus, I realized that Hofstra would be the best fit for my academic and personal needs. I was particularly drawn to the extensive healthcare education being offered, especially after seeing the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. Hofstra confirmed my beliefs that it would be my best choice when I was accepted and given a presidential scholarship. As Hofstra is located right outside of New York City, I understood that this school would provide me with the greatest opportunities for successes in life.
What inspired your interest in Health Science? And in your minor, Community Health?
Originally, I came to Hofstra in pursuit of a degree in biology. However, I soon switched my major to health science upon realizing I wanted a more specific foundation in the field of healthcare. I also declared a minor in community health to support my ideals regarding the roles that healthcare professionals must contribute to their communities. A degree in health science will provide me with the best education necessary to prepare me for a career as a physician assistant.
Have you done any internships?
I am currently a Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) intern at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY. HELP interns are volunteers that provide companionship, stimulation, and therapeutic recreation interventions to elderly patients aged 65 years and older. These techniques are implemented to prevent the onset of delirium in elder patients during hospitalizations.
Throughout my time at Hofstra, I’ve also shadowed numerous physician assistants in various fields to obtain a better understanding of the career and the healthcare field.
How have your professors and classes, and Hofstra in general, helped to prepare you for your internships and life after graduation?
My professors have greatly contributed to the preparation I’ve needed for internships and life after graduation. Kirby Veevers, a professor of the Palliative Care & Hospice course offered at Hofstra, is a coordinator and founder of the HELP program at North Shore University Hospital. She recommended that I apply for their internship program, and I was able to obtain academic credits for it too. Aside from Professor Veevers’ guidance, my other professors have assisted me in countless ways, so that I may become the best student and person possible. The education I have received from amazing professors has really prepared me for a future career in health care.
What do you do as a volunteer at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset?
As a Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) volunteer, I provide companionship to hospitalized elderly patients. Often, hospitalized elderly patients become confused or lonely in the hospital. My role includes visiting these patients and offering a friendly conversation or activity to brighten up their day. I am also trained as a “MealTime Mate” to personally assist and feed patients that are incapable of feeding themselves.
What do you do as a rehabilitation aide for STARS physical therapy? How long have you worked with the Northwell Health network?
I also work part-time as a rehabilitation aide for Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Services (STARS) of the Northwell Health network. As a rehabilitation aide, I assist therapists and the professional staff in the rehabilitation programs of patients. I directly support and work with patients in their treatment plans. My job includes things like making ice/hot packs, helping patients as they perform various therapy exercises, and maintaining a sanitary healthcare environment.
How long have you been in the PA club at Hofstra? What is your role there? What events/activities do you do with the club?
I have been in the Physician Assistant club (Student Association of the American Academy of Physician Assistants) at Hofstra for three years. The PA club is an organization that educates students about a career as a PA, while also providing volunteer services to the community and Hofstra’s campus. The club was created as a support mechanism for students with similar goals and career aspirations. As a member, I participate in numerous volunteer activities, such as charity walks, blood-drives, and fundraisers.
Are you part of any other clubs/honor societies at Hofstra?
I joined the American Medical Women’s Association, a new club on campus. It’s an organization that promotes the advancement of women in medicine and improvement of women’s health. It also promotes development in leadership, advocacy, education, expertise, mentoring, and strategic alliances.
Which PA graduate programs do you plan to apply to?
I am still in the process of narrowing down the schools where I’ll be applying. The list of schools I’m interested in includes Hofstra University, Boston University, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Stony Brook University, and Long Island University, to name a few.