Get Involved: Health Professions Week 2017

Last week, we announced our participation in the second annual Health Professions Week (HPW), which will take place November 6–10. Last year more than 4,000 students registered to attend, and this year we are planning for even more!

What is HPW?

HPW is an exciting week-long event for high school and college students interested in learning more about careers in the health professions, with interactive opportunities to explore health-related education programs and careers. HPW will include a keynote address, online treasure hunt, on-campus events, video interviews with health professionals (that’s you!), and a virtual fair.

Who will be invited?

High school and college students, teachers, school counselors/advisors, and parents are invited to register for free. Students will learn about 20 health professions, interact directly with current health care practitioners and students, and discover information about educational requirements for each career. Participating health professions are listed on the Explore Health Careers website.

How can your school participate?

We need your assistance in coordinating and hosting a Community Connect Day at your institution. Danielle Di Silvestro, PAEA’s director of member & community engagement, is currently working with staff from the other health professions organizations to coordinate and plan the week’s activities. The goal of these events is to connect health professions colleges with local area high school and college students in their community. While colleges can be creative and host any event they like, here are some options:

  • Offer a tour or open house during the week. If you can’t do it during HPW week, please let us know when you plan to offer a tour, and we can add it to our master calendar of events for registrants to access.
  • Host an interprofessional panel. Bring together several health professionals (perhaps a team of specialists?) and share how the professions work together. If you aren’t able to make it an interprofessional panel, that’s fine, too! Host it virtually or make it part of your tour or open house.
  • Coordinate a Project Access visit to a local high school, community college, or undergraduate university. Offer to bring current students or practitioners to give a presentation about the PA profession, or about all the health professions represented at your institution. Student organizations are a great resource for this activity! PAEA has plenty of resources available to help your students coordinate an event like this — and it’s a great way to connect with students in your community.

You are encouraged to reach out to students and pipeline programs in your area to let them know you will be participating, and provide details about how they can connect with you.

Once you’ve decided on an activity, please let us know so we can help you promote it. Your participation in Community Connect Day will be supported by a series of email promotions from HPW to registered attendees. Your event will also be added to the master list of Community Connect Day activities on the HPW website.

In addition, you can:

  • Participate in the virtual fair. PAEA will have a chat room open on Wednesday, November 8, to answer questions about the educational process, admissions, applying, practice, and more. We welcome admissions officers, students, faculty, and local practitioners to participate in the virtual chat with PAEA to help field questions from prospective profession applicants. If you are interested in serving as a chat moderator, please email Danielle directly (her contact information is below).
  • Provide a short video interview with a health professional. These video snippets will be shared online so that students can hear directly from those working in each profession. We have developed a list of suggested questions that can be answered in a one- to three-minute video and recorded on a smartphone, tablet, or video camera. If you are interested in creating a short video with a health professional or health professions student, please email Danielle for more information.

HPW is a great opportunity to bring in the next generation of PAs. If you have any questions or would like to get involved, please email Danielle at