Making the 2023 Education Forum a Safe and Welcoming Event

We look forward to seeing our PA faculty and staff down in the Big Easy soon for our 2023 PAEA Education Forum as we lean into days full of interactive sessions focused on advancing education, promoting equity, and accelerating change.

As an organization with a vision of “Health for All,” we seek to live out our values in all areas, and the 2023 Forum will be no exception. We are committed to hosting an event that welcomes all attendees and celebrates the diverse group of educators that comprise our membership. I hope you will join us in this commitment by attending one or more of our programs focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) at this year’s Forum.

Education Sessions

We are offering an “Inclusive Excellence” programming track that offers sessions on a variety of topics through the lens of EDI. These sessions focus broadly on creating safe learning environments for students, faculty, and staff. Topics include academic accommodations, LGBTQAI+ curricular gaps, holistic admissions, discrimination and harassment, veteran students and faculty, and the current state of EDI. Additionally, there is an opportunity for members to attend the final session of the DIMAC Book Club.

There are also opportunities to connect with other PAEA members during the EDI Meet and Greet or the EDI Lunch and Learn Focus Group session. The meet and greet is an opportunity for members whose work focuses on EDI to connect and network in an informal setting. There will also be a time to meet the staff of PAEA’s EDI team and members of PAEA’s Diversity and Inclusion Mission Advancement Commission (DIMAC.)

During the lunch and learn, attendees are invited to grab their lunch and join us for open discussion on a variety of EDI topics. We will discuss topics from the “Inclusive Excellence” sessions and brainstorm ways to implement these ideas in your programs.

After a stimulating few days of programming, we will wrap up the event with a closing keynote session on the Magic of Belonging. Our guest speaker, Denise Soler Cox, will share the impact of diversity and inclusion on everything from market differentiation to employee retention, as well as strategies to create communities of belonging at work.

Sharing the PA Profession

We also have an opportunity to positively impact the community through our Project Access program. Project Access is a recruitment program with outreach to community colleges, high schools, and now all the way into elementary schools. The primary goal is to increase the number of PAs who are from underrepresented in medicine populations, provide more accessible primary care, and eliminate health disparities. Each year during the Eduation Forum, the Admissions Team arranges opportunities for PAEA members to visit the local schools and community colleges to share their experiences leading up to becoming a PA student and after. 

If you plan to join us at the Education Forum, we hope you will sign up here to volunteer to attend these local school visits. 

Project Access School Visits

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Exploring the Community

While much of the EDI impact of the Forum is planned through our sessions, programs, and outreach, each member has an opportunity to live out our values in the local community. We encourage each member to shop and eat at local small businesses, being mindful of ways to support businesses owned by minoritized populations.

Our impact as educators goes beyond the walls of our classroom, and our impact as forum attendees can go beyond the borders of our conference. There is so much to see and do during your downtime in the historic city and we can positively impact the lives of others through our patronage. Also, be sure to ask some of our colleagues their favorite places to eat in the city of New Orleans. You can find local businesses here:

We hope that everyone feels welcome at the Education Forum and that through our programs and sessions, attendees leave with a better understanding and concrete ideas on advancing EDI. We look forward to seeing everyone in just a few weeks for what is sure to be an impactful conference!