PAEA Board Members Advocate for Clinical Site Investments with HRSA 

As PAEA’s Government Relations Team works to address challenges that member programs face in their day-to-day work, a core component of the Association’s advocacy strategy is leveraging the voices of faculty in support of key policy priorities. Recently, several members of PAEA’s Board of Directors participated in advocacy opportunities with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to educate agency officials on the ongoing issue of clinical site shortages and PAEA-supported solutions. 

On February 23, PAEA President Linda Sekhon, DHSc, PA-C, provided a presentation to HRSA’s Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry, a group of external stakeholders which provides policy recommendations to Congress and the executive branch on the Primary Care Training and Enhancement grant program. The session, entitled, “The Impact of COVID-19 on PA Education and Key Considerations for Health Workforce Policy,” focused on the data gathered from PAEA’s four Rapid Response Reports administered in 2020 and 2021 and specifically the impact of the pandemic on clinical site availability. In addition to this data, Sekhon shared several policy recommendations with the committee including continued support for direct preceptor compensation in future grant competitions and increased flexibility for grantees to meet the on-the-ground needs of their programs. 

Earlier in February, Immediate Past President Kara Caruthers, MSPAS, PA-C, contributed to the Association’s advocacy efforts by participating in a roundtable discussion with HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson on the future of primary care. During the conversation, Caruthers highlighted ongoing challenges PA programs face in arranging clinical rotations at federally qualified health centers and urged HRSA to focus on this issue through its efforts to address health workforce shortages. Beyond federally qualified health center access, Caruthers praised several of HRSA’s recent actions including the creation of the PCTE-PA Rural Training program and the expansion of the National Health Service Corps Students to Service program to include PA students. 

The Government Relations team would like to thank President Sekhon and Immediate Past President Caruthers for their continued advocacy on behalf of programs. Members with questions about grassroots advocacy opportunities are invited to contact Tyler Smith at