Diversity

Preparing for the New ARC-PA Diversity and Inclusion Standard

By Kendall Mealy, MPAJuly 15, 2020

medical students talking to professor

Credit: iStock.

New resources will help programs set the stage to meet the new Standard A1.11.

PAEA is pleased to release two diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) resources for our members. The two resources comprise a tool that was conceptualized as part of the PAEA Board of Director’s 2019 strategic goal to help programs meet the new ARC-PA Standard on diversity and inclusion (A1.11).

The release of these resources comes at a time of heightened awareness of the racial inequities in higher education and in society at large. It is PAEA’s hope that these resources provide a practical starting point for PA programs as they work to meet Standard A1.11 and strive to create and provide a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. We hope these new resources will spark dialogue, bolster commitment, and encourage meaningful engagement as programs work to meet this new accreditation standard.

“I am grateful to all who contributed to the DEI toolkit; it is the culmination of years of work by PAEA volunteer leaders, members, and staff to support programs and create a more diverse and competent PA workforce,” said PAEA CEO Mary Jo Bondy, DHEd, MHS, PA-C. “PAEA will continue to develop DEI resources and support our programs, faculty, and students to foster excellence in education to advance health for all.”

This tool is organized into two parts, a process tool and a best practices document, both of which contain resources and recommendations. These components are complementary to one another and are designed to work in tandem to enrich efforts in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space. PAEA recognizes this tool as a living document, and as member programs share feedback and best practices, these resources will be updated and enhanced.

“The DEI toolkit is a dynamic resource for success surrounding making a measurable, sustainable impact in PA education and beyond to the realm of health outcomes,” said Daytheon Sturges, MPAS, PA-C, assistant professor and diversity co-chair at the University of Washington MEDEX Northwest PA program and chair of PAEA’s Diversity Inclusion Mission Advancement Commission (DIMAC). “I am excited and thankful for the work of those who have contributed to the composition of this tool in helping programs in their diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts, while supporting ARC-PA standard A1.11. Onward and upward!”

This tool was created in partnership with the DIMAC and a cross-functional team of PAEA staff. We are grateful to the many contributors and stakeholders who provided feedback and collaborated on this tool. As we look toward a new set of accreditation standards, we encourage programs to use PAEA’s Professional Learning Communities to share how they are integrating and using the DEI tool.

Kendall Mealy, MPA

Kendall is PAEA's senior director of leadership and organizational development.