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SLU PA Program Hosts Virtual Trivia Night

The Saint Louis University (SLU) Physician Assistant (PA) program recently hosted its annual trivia night to raise money for the university’s Health Resource Center and for students to attend the 2021 American Academy of Physician Assistants National Conference. In addition to these two causes, the PA students also select one local charity each year to which they will donate a portion of the proceeds; this year, the students selected Better Family Life, which works to stabilize inner-city neighborhoods by providing comprehensive services and meaningful opportunities. This year, the PA Trivia Night raised nearly $7,500.

PA Trivia Night 2020
SLU's PA program had to pivot and host its annual Trivia Night fundraiser virtually in the fall of 2020.

Traditionally, the PA Trivia Night is held in SLU’s Allied Health Professions Building. This year, however, the student organizers had to rethink the format in order to host the event virtually. This was a possibility for which PA student and one of the event organizers Cassandra Claro was preparing.

“When restrictions caused by the pandemic first started, we were planning both in-person and virtual options so we were prepared either way,” Claro said. “Once we found out the event had to be virtual, we spent time researching other virtual trivia events, attending virtual trivia events and talking with others who had hosted virtual events to then come up with a plan to host our own.”

Claro went on to explain how, especially when it came to the day of the event, executing the trivia night took multiple teams of PA students across various platforms to make sure everything ran smoothly.

“This year, we determined we’d use Zoom for the presentation of the trivia, Google Forms for the scoring and Facebook for the auction and raffle items,” Claro said. We also had to coordinate multiple teams to cover different aspects of the fundraiser: reaching out for donations, scoring, running auction and raffle items, etc.”

The student organizers decided to lower the entry fee due to the digital format this year, but found that going virtual allowed for more participants with no room size restrictions and the format allowed for people not interested in trivia to still participate in auctions and raffles.

PA Assistant Professor Chezna Warner, PA-C, MHS, MSW, was the faculty advisor for the event. She was very impressed with the students’ ability to carry out such a successful event in a virtual format.

“The PA Class of 2021 was able to re-tool its annual trivia night to a completely virtual format and the 100-question, general knowledge format event went off without a hitch,” Warner said. “Attendance turned out to be about the same as the usual in-person event and the online auction was very successful.”

SLU’s Health Resource Center (HRC), one of the recipients of money raised by the PA Trivia Night, has been providing free primary healthcare services in an academic setting to patients in the St. Louis area since 1994. PA students, as well as medical school students and students from other healthcare disciplines, volunteer at the HRC and provide care to those in need.

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of more than 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.