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Exhibition: Respond to Community Needs

Many PAs, and the organizations for which they work, promote patients’ general well-being. They try to meet people’s basic human needs by providing food, shelter, education, and emotional support. Some PAs work for systematic change in health through activism and political reforms. As an elected official from California, Karen Bass was the first PA elected to Congress in 2010. Congresswoman Bass works to improve health policy through her service on related committees and caucuses.

By listening and responding to people’s broader needs, PAs promote an approach to health care that values and respects patients as individuals. This respect fosters trust among individuals, families, and communities.

  • Winne Barron, PA-C spends time with children at the Makindu Children’s Program, Makindu, Kenya, 2009

    Courtesy Makindu Children’s Program

    In 1998, Barron opened the Makindu Children’s Program to provide children orphaned by AIDS with medical care, food, education, and emotional support.

  • During the weekly elder’s lunch above the C’eyiits’ Hwnax Life House Community Health Center, Ben Olmedo, PA-C (center) speaks with community members Cecilia Smith (left) and Alma Blume (right), Sutton, AK, 2015

    Courtesy Alaska Dispatch News

    Sutton’s Community is located in the Chickaloon Village Traditional Council building, and it serves the rural area’s Alaska Natives. Olmedo sees the weekly lunches as an opportunity to check in with patients on a regular basis and as a way to build relationships.

  • PA students from Clarkson University collect over 1,500 food items for the charity Helping Hands, Potsdam, NY, 2014

    Courtesy Clarkson University

    Community service is a large part of many PA studies programs, due to the profession’s original emphasis on helping underserved patients. Students are encouraged to assist people in need in different ways, such as by providing free flu shots, holding food and clothing drives, and volunteering to build housing with organizations like Habitat for Humanity.

  • Boston Health Care for the Homeless staff, Jill Roncarati, PA-C (right) and Dr. Jim O’Connell (left) check in with a homeless patient (center), Boston, MA, 2014

    Courtesy Joshua Touster Photography ©2016

    PAs working for organizations like Boston Health Care for the Homeless often provide more than just health care services. To improve underserved patients’ lives, PAs try to meet their needs for emotional support, housing, and other basic necessities.

  • U.S. Army Capt James McGinnis, PA-C (right) and medic Spc Anthony Vinas, provide medical care to a donkey during a veterinary program, Ali Sabieh, Djibouti, 2003

    Courtesy Department of Defense

    As part of a humanitarian trip to Djibouti, McGinnis helped treat 550 human patients in two days. He then assisted in providing veterinary services to herds that were essential to the local people’s survival.

  • During a Girl Scout meeting at Forward Operating Base Finley Shields, U.S. Army Capt Alison Salerno, PA develops community relationships by making friendship bracelets with Afghan children, Jalalabad, Afghanistan, 2010

    Courtesy U.S. Army

  • Congresswoman Karen Bass, PA accepts a “Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health” grant from the Center for Disease Control for a Community Coalition health project, Los Angeles, 2014

    Courtesy Taylor Haney and USC/Annenberg Intersections South LA

    In 1989, Bass founded Community Coalition in response to the health epidemic in Los Angeles’ caused by crack-cocaine. The organization has since expanded its mission, and today, it empowers people in South LA to challenge the root causes of poverty, crime, and violence through numerous community programs.

  • Winne Barron, PA-C spends time with children at the Makindu Children’s Program, Makindu, Kenya, 2009

    Courtesy Makindu Children’s Program

    In 1998, Barron opened the Makindu Children’s Program to provide children orphaned by AIDS with medical care, food, education, and emotional support.

  • During the weekly elder’s lunch above the C’eyiits’ Hwnax Life House Community Health Center, Ben Olmedo, PA-C (center) speaks with community members Cecilia Smith (left) and Alma Blume (right), Sutton, AK, 2015

    Courtesy Alaska Dispatch News

    Sutton’s Community is located in the Chickaloon Village Traditional Council building, and it serves the rural area’s Alaska Natives. Olmedo sees the weekly lunches as an opportunity to check in with patients on a regular basis and as a way to build relationships.

  • PA students from Clarkson University collect over 1,500 food items for the charity Helping Hands, Potsdam, NY, 2014

    Courtesy Clarkson University

    Community service is a large part of many PA studies programs, due to the profession’s original emphasis on helping underserved patients. Students are encouraged to assist people in need in different ways, such as by providing free flu shots, holding food and clothing drives, and volunteering to build housing with organizations like Habitat for Humanity.

  • Boston Health Care for the Homeless staff, Jill Roncarati, PA-C (right) and Dr. Jim O’Connell (left) check in with a homeless patient (center), Boston, MA, 2014

    Courtesy Joshua Touster Photography ©2016

    PAs working for organizations like Boston Health Care for the Homeless often provide more than just health care services. To improve underserved patients’ lives, PAs try to meet their needs for emotional support, housing, and other basic necessities.

  • U.S. Army Capt James McGinnis, PA-C (right) and medic Spc Anthony Vinas, provide medical care to a donkey during a veterinary program, Ali Sabieh, Djibouti, 2003

    Courtesy Department of Defense

    As part of a humanitarian trip to Djibouti, McGinnis helped treat 550 human patients in two days. He then assisted in providing veterinary services to herds that were essential to the local people’s survival.

  • During a Girl Scout meeting at Forward Operating Base Finley Shields, U.S. Army Capt Alison Salerno, PA develops community relationships by making friendship bracelets with Afghan children, Jalalabad, Afghanistan, 2010

    Courtesy U.S. Army

  • Congresswoman Karen Bass, PA accepts a “Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health” grant from the Center for Disease Control for a Community Coalition health project, Los Angeles, 2014

    Courtesy Taylor Haney and USC/Annenberg Intersections South LA

    In 1989, Bass founded Community Coalition in response to the health epidemic in Los Angeles’ caused by crack-cocaine. The organization has since expanded its mission, and today, it empowers people in South LA to challenge the root causes of poverty, crime, and violence through numerous community programs.

Many PAs, and the organizations for which they work, promote patients’ general well-being. They try to meet people’s basic human needs by providing food, shelter, education, and emotional support. Some PAs work for systematic change in health through activism and political reforms. As an elected official from California, Karen Bass was the first PA elected to Congress in 2010. Congresswoman Bass works to improve health policy through her service on related committees and caucuses.

By listening and responding to people’s broader needs, PAs promote an approach to health care that values and respects patients as individuals. This respect fosters trust among individuals, families, and communities.