Giving Back Matters: PA Giving Day

Donate on Sunday, October 6

October 1, 2019

By Lynette Sappe-Watkins, CFRE, Executive Director of the PA Foundation

Lynette Sappe-Watkins
Lynette Sappe-Watkins

Quick fixes. Life hacks, DIY hacks, beauty hacks, health hacks. We’re inundated with shortcuts these days, often promising an ideal outcome in no time at all. Do you find your patients coming to you looking for the same thing? A magic exercise to melt pounds? An herbal supplement to take away pain? It’s no surprise given our cultural messaging – ‘Reach your goal with no effort at all!’

[PA Giving Day]

But, as healthcare providers, you know that real change isn’t that easy. Real change takes effort: making better decisions, getting uncomfortable sometimes, reprioritizing your schedule, giving something up permanently. It takes dedication, it takes time, and it’s a commitment. The things that mean the most require conscious effort, from all of us.

Next week, the PA community will celebrate PA Week, which recognizes the PA profession and its contributions to the nation’s health. For more than 50 years, the number of PAs has been growing. And increasingly, the country’s healthcare systems and patient communities are relying on PAs – their knowledge, skills, and clinical experience that benefit patient care and solve critical workforce shortages. But this didn’t happen overnight; it’s been an ongoing process for over five decades.

The same is true for the work of the PA Foundation. We, too, have been working each year to earn the trust and support of PAs. PAs who have a passion for improving health, not just for patients in their own practices, but also in the communities around the country, across the world, and for generations to come. Gifts to the PA Foundation often start small and grow over time. Our loyal supporters donate to the PA Foundation because they know our work depends upon their support and that of their peers. We’re thankful for the meaningful contributions of thousands of PAs just like you.

[PA Foundation: Our Programs]

What are your contributions supporting? The bedrock of the PA Foundation is our scholarship program. More than $2.3 million in scholarship funding has gone to PA students since the PA Foundation’s scholarship program began. The number of PA programs grows each year, and so does the number of PA students seeking scholarship assistance. In 2019, more than 650 students applied for scholarships through the PA Foundation. We were able to award $36,000 to 27 students from 25 different PA programs in 18 states! Short of winning the lottery, there are no financial hacks when struggling to manage tuition and living expenses. Scholarships help students focus on their studies not their financial concerns.

People look for health hacks because health is complicated, and it matters. That’s why the PA Foundation is constantly looking for opportunities to provide PAs with additional resources, whether that’s an award for PAs working with populations in need, or programs like our Mental Health Outreach Fellowship, which trains PAs in Mental Health First Aid and then encourages PAs to educate their communities on all they’ve learned.

[PA Student Juggles Academics and Mental Health Outreach]

The PA Foundation does not cut corners. We seek proposals that use evidence-based treatment protocols and training with demonstrated outcomes because we know that being good stewards of our donor dollars means investing in programming that works.

The PA Foundation relies on PAs like you to invest in our mission, to invest in other PAs who are focused on bettering health and wellness around the world. Our efforts are purposefully focused on empowering PAs – both today’s PAs and tomorrow’s PAs. We believe PAs can use their clinical expertise and compassion to improve health. We need you, your peers, and future PAs to support the PA Foundation’s efforts with your time, your talents, and your donations.

This Sunday, October 6, join me, our PA Foundation leaders, and your fellow PAs in making a contribution on our first PA Giving Day. We encourage every single PA to make a donation, no matter the size – $5 makes a difference. Make a choice this PA Week to support the philanthropy that supports your peers. They are changing lives and improving health around the world.

Additional Resources
PA Giving Day
PA Foundation Programs
PA Foundation

Lynette Sappe-Watkins is the executive director of the PA Foundation. She can be reached at [email protected].