PAEA Leads Spring Advocacy Trip in Washington, DC

In March, PA students and faculty from around the country joined PAEA’s Government Relations team in Washington, DC for the 2024 Spring Advocacy Trip. In addition to providing greater insight into how federal advocacy is conducted, this event allows attendees the opportunity to actively participate in the policy process through engagement with the offices of their congressional representatives. 

The Spring Advocacy Trip began on March 11 with advocacy training sessions led by PAEA’s advocacy partners at Polsinelli, LLC as well as PAEA’s Government Relations staff. The team at Polsinelli kicked off the day by discussing the most prevalent issues for Congress in 2024 and outlined best practices when meeting with congressional staff to request support for legislative initiatives.  

Afterwards, PAEA’s Government Relations team highlighted the Association’s legislative priorities and took a deeper dive into the policies that attendees would be proposing in their congressional meetings the next day. The day concluded with a tour of the Capitol complex, which allowed participants a chance to familiarize themselves with the Hill and enjoy an enriching cultural and historical experience. 

On March 12, during scheduled meetings, students and faculty advocated for crucial federal funding priorities for PA education as the fiscal year 2025 budget and appropriations process begins following the release of the President’s budget. These priorities, which directly support PA programs, faculty, and students, include primary care training and enhancement grants, scholarships for disadvantaged students, and area health education centers. Increased funding for these programs will support more resources for curriculum development, increase clinical rotation availability, and enhance student diversity  in alignment with PAEA’s advocacy agenda. 

During meetings in the House, participants also took advantage of their face time with congressional staff to promote H.R. 6077 – the POST GRAD Act. The bill, introduced by Rep. Judy Chu in October, would restore access to subsidized Stafford loans to graduate students, which is excpected to result in thousands of dollars of interest savings for the typical PA student borrower. 

PAEA expresses gratitude to the students and faculty from University of Colorado, MGH Institute of Health Professions, and University of Southern California for their participation in this year’s Spring Advocacy Trip.