As the PA community joins with the nation in recognizing the need for greater awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the PA Foundation Board of Trustees acknowledges the unique role the Foundation has in these endeavors. This five-step plan is designed to bring greater awareness, education, and programmatic opportunities aimed at impacting the PA profession, the healthcare community, and the patients our community serves in the areas of diversity, cultural competency, social responsibility, and inequity.
Call to Action – Step One: Identification
Utilizing the research already in progress through the ASAE Innovation Grant, the PA Foundation will analyze the survey responses and the focus group transcriptions to identify themes and comments by PAs and PA students regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a topic included in this social responsibility research, the PA Foundation can use this data to determine target areas and generate new ideas for programs which will aid in building a more inclusive healthcare community.
Call to Action – Step Two: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Subcommittee
The PA Foundation shall create an internal PAF DE&I Subcommittee as a subset of the Program Committee. The subcommittee shall be led by the Program Committee Chair or Vice Chair. The committee members will be selected from both inside and outside the PA community from various and diverse backgrounds who have a strong interest in topics such as diversifying the PA pipeline, cultural competency, health disparities, and DE&I. The newly appointed AAPA DE&I Manager will be invited to serve on this committee to bring continuity and shared communications on collaborative AAPA/PAF projects.
This committee shall be charged with the following:
- Review data and information gathered in Step One
- Detect opportunities that are uniquely suited to the PA Foundation mission
- Assist the PA Foundation in identifying strategic partners and funding sources
- Develop PA Foundation programming that is complementary based upon our mission, assets, and expertise
- Establish a timeline for bringing programs and projects to fruition
- Ascertain optimal marketing strategies based on target audience
- Conduct a bylaws and policy review to ensure unbiased, inclusive language and fairness in all statements, documents, and communications of the Foundation
Call to Action – Step Three: Engaging the Practicing PA
Based on targeted outcomes, the PA Foundation will leverage its existing programs, platforms, and resources such as the Vital Minds podcast, evidence-based models of care, educational resources, and/or fellowship programs to engage and educate the practicing PA in the areas of healthcare disparities, diversity, cultural competency, and social responsibility.
Drawing from guidance and recommendations of the DE&I Subcommittee, the PA Foundation will pursue new programming and projects to further engage the practicing PA and produce not only an immediate, but a lasting impact on diversity, equity in healthcare, social responsibility, and inclusivity.
Call to Action – Step Four: Diversification of Workforce/Pre-PA Approach
Based on the recommendations of the DE&I Subcommittee, the PA Foundation is committed to connecting with the pre-PA population in an effort to diversify the PA workforce. The PA Foundation will seek opportunities to collaborate with other organizations (i.e. AAPA, PAEA) to enhance existing programs and to develop new programs aimed at connecting diverse populations and communities with the PA profession. The PA Foundation is committed to enhancing opportunities to mentor underrepresented pre-PAs in their pursuit of a PA career.
Call to Action – Step Five: PA Student Scholarships
Led by the Scholarships and Grants Committee, the Foundation will evaluate current offerings and explore expansion of PA student scholarships to increase focus on diverse or underrepresented PA student populations. The PA Foundation will provide opportunities to assist PA students to address healthcare disparities and to help PA students pursue projects related to social responsibility through a healthcare lens.
Currently, the PA Foundation has scholarship offerings which support:
- PA students from academically or economically disadvantaged areas
- PA students from diverse ethnic or underrepresented backgrounds
- PA students committed to working with the underserved
Provided to PA Foundation Board of Trustees 10/30/2020 for adoption by unanimous consent.