Advocacy Agenda


2015 Advocacy Agenda

PAEA’s mission is to pursue excellence, foster faculty development, advance the body of knowledge that defines quality education and patient-centered care, and promote diversity in all aspects of PA education.

Our advocacy agenda is driven by the following core values:

  • Primary care
  • Diverse workforce
  • Generalist model of education
  • Patient access
  • Quality care and patient safety
  • Interprofessional education
  • Team-based practice

The PAEA advocacy agenda includes five areas, which are explained in more detail below. They are: clinical training support, program support, student support, faculty support, and support of the profession.

Clinical Training Support

Clinical training experiences in primary care must be developed and enhanced in sufficient numbers to meet the needs of the nation and growth of the profession.

PAEA will seek funding opportunities that will incentivize clinical preceptors, to include tax incentives and loan forgiveness. We will also support Teaching Health Center Physician Assistant Training (THCPAT). PAEA will support increasing/restarting funding for Area Helth Education Centers (AHECs) to support clinical experiences in local communities. PAEA will explore innovative models for clinical education to include: financing and delivery of education, as well as investigating and replicating successful models from other health professions.

Program Support

Sound public policy encompasses strengthening the U.S. health care workforce by providing government support for PA education.  Government funding for PA training is necessary to maintain and expand PA education to ensure that health care delivery in the United States is not compromised by an inadequate supply of medical providers.

PAEA will seek to attain Title VII funding at the level of $12 million. Our priorities/areas of interest include: clinical training opportunities, faculty/leadership development, use of technology, diversity, and interprofessional education.  We will advocate for an equipment grant competition (i.e., for high tech simulation) to provide simulated hands-on experiences that prepare students for clinical training involving patient care, and a federal funding that promotes interprofessional education and team-based care. PAEA will seek opportunities for inclusion of PA education candidates in Heath Careers Opportunity Programs (HCOP) funding. Additionally, support for the Veterans to PA Initiative will be sought, to include bridge/transition/pre-application and support throughout PA school.

Student Support

Broaden access to the PA profession for diverse and/or disadvantaged applicants and students and increase the primary care workforce, particularly in practices that provide access to underserved communities.

PAEA will seek funding from the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) Bureau of Health Workforce for PA students from disadvantaged backgrounds. PAEA will seek to expand PA scholarship opportunities with the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) including the Student to Service project. PAEA will encourage scholarship support for students from economically or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds and seek to increase aggregate unsubsidized student loan limits under the Stafford loan program.

Faculty Support

Faculty must be prepared across the career continuum to educate students for the rapidly changing health needs of our nation. Program directors must be effectively trained to be leaders in the personal and professional development of their faculty team.

PAEA will seek to enhance faculty development funding for curriculum development, integration of technology, and teaching skills. Creating a separate Title VII funding stream for leadership development of PA program directors is important for preparing faculty across the career continuum and retaining the knowledge and skills within the profession. PAEA will also work to develop legislation creating a separate Title VII faculty development grant. Further, PAEA will seek financial support for PA faculty to obtain academic credentials such as doctoral degrees in research, public health, policy, or education to expand opportunities for tenure and administrative and leadership roles.

Support of the Profession

Support of AAPA’s advocacy agenda and strengthening our partnership in the national policy arena is critical to advance the PA profession and impact patient care.

PAEA will conduct periodic meetings with AAPA staff to synchronize and strategize about intersecting/overlapping issues that advance quality patient-centered care through education and legislative/regulatory efforts that allow PAs to work within the full scope of practice.

Contact Director of Government Relations Athena Abdullah, for additional information about PAEA’s government relations activities.