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Generous Gift from Chan Family Elevates Keck Graduate Institute’s Physician Assistant Program

KGI’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree to be renamed in acknowledgment. 


In a generous act of philanthropy, Tony and Virginia Chan, with their children, Megan and Jonathan, have made a significant gift to support the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPA) program at Keck Graduate Institute (KGI).  

KGI’s MSPA program plays a crucial role in addressing the growing demand for healthcare providers by preparing students to become skilled and compassionate PAs through a rigorous, comprehensive curriculum that combines classroom instruction, simulation-based training, and clinical rotations. The Chan family’s gift elevates the program, ensuring that students receive the best possible education essential for healthcare quality and patient care. 

Tony and Virginia—the owners of ABC Pharmacies and Claremont residents—are dedicated supporters of KGI. In 2021, the Chan family made their first major gift to KGI’s School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (SPHS). In honor of this gift, KGI renamed its café and patio The Chan Family Café and Patio. 

The entire Chan family are trained pharmacists who first connected with KGI through the launch of the PharmD program in 2014.  

Expanding healthcare access is a cause close to Tony Chan’s heart. As a young boy living in Myanmar (formerly Burma), his father died because their family could not afford access to medicine and healthcare, leaving behind a wife and seven children. 

“I never want another family to suffer the tragedy of losing a family member because they have no access to healthcare,” Tony said. “Despite a life of abject poverty in Burma, my family was given opportunities in America for which I feel immense gratitude. We have been blessed in this country to be educated as pharmacists and healthcare providers,”

Tony continued. “Our family is deeply honored to support KGI, its students, and our community to ensure that those needing care receive quality care. Investing in the health of our community is our way of thanking those who have sacrificed so much so that we can prosper.”

In recent years, the Chans have become aware of the importance of the PA profession, which addresses the growing demand for skilled healthcare providers, particularly in underserved areas. They helped foster the development of the PA program at their alma mater, the University of the Pacific (UOP).  

“When we shared that we were starting a PA program at KGI a couple of years ago, the Chan Family expressed their desire to support the program as it progressed,” said Sharlene Risdon-Jackson, Vice President of Institutional Development and Partnerships at KGI.

The Chan family’s gift and renaming marks KGI’s program as the second-named Physician Assistant program in California. 

The gift will greatly benefit KGI’s MSPA program by enabling program leaders to develop new clinical partnerships, enhance simulation facilities, and additional technology, giving students more diverse and comprehensive clinical experience and preparing them for real-world clinical experiences.  

“Tony and his family’s exceptional generosity and commitment once again help further excellence and opportunity at KGI,” said Sheldon Schuster, president of Keck Graduate Institute. “Their continued support shows the impact Physician Assistant education has on our community and the world around us. I am deeply appreciative of the confidence they have placed in us – and our mission.”

This transformative contribution is poised to have a profound and lasting impact on healthcare education, underscoring the importance of this gift and inspiring others to care about the future of healthcare education and access. 

KGI will hold a special dedication ceremony—and reveal the program’s new name—on February 7, 2024, to honor the Chan family and celebrate the future of the degree program.