Health for All
This World Health Day is particularly special as it is the 75th anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization! For a timeline of some of the major milestones of the organization, please click here to be taken to their website.
The theme of this year’s World Health Day is Health for All. According to the WHO website, one of the messages for Health for All is: To make health for all a reality, we need: individuals and communities who have access to high quality health services so that they can take care of their own health and that of their families; skilled health workers providing quality, people-centered care; and policy-makers committed to investing in universal health coverage.
The valuable work that PAs do everyday helps the communities that they serve be one step closer to attaining Health for ALL. From its founding, the PA profession has sought to bridge health gaps in communities and strive to bring the best quality health care to their patients and to lessen health disparities.
Below are some stories to watch or read about PAs for you to be inspired to make an impact in healthcare, be it either on the global level or local.
Karen Bass – Bass is the first PA to be elected as a US Representative. Health policy has always been important to her. Now as the first female mayor of Los Angeles, California, and the second African American to hold the office, healthcare for all is still a guiding principle for her.
Josef Burwell – Burwell is passionate about providing healthcare to the most underserved populations. He leads Peacework Medical, a volunteer nonprofit that directs itself to the regions of the world where other helper groups might shy away due to logistics and local conditions.
Libby Coyte and Ed Friedmann – In 1988, the PA couple reopen a closed medical clinic in Redfield, Iowa – the only clinic in the town. They reopened the clinic after agreeing to serve as its owners and converting it into a federally certified Rural Health Clinic (RHC). They have been the sole healthcare providers for their town for 38 years.
Earl Echard – Since graduating in 1973, Echard has worked with disadvantaged patients in homeless shelters, housing projects and prisons. He established the Lincoln Community Health Center for the homeless in Durham, NC
Epi Elizondo – Before he retired, Rear Admiral Epifanio (Epi) Elizondo was a U.S. Assistant Surgeon General in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. He oversaw four regional programs related to Women’s Health, Minority Health, Family Planning and HIV/AIDS.
Krishna Gurung – Gurung was a Nepalese, US-trained PA who made invaluable contributions to advancing medicine in Nepal. After graduating from MEDEX, he spent 30 years working with impoverished children with disabilities at the Hospital for Rehabilitation of Disabled Children (HRDC) in Banepa, Nepal. [Photograph to right]
Lillie Hudson – Hudson worked in public health and wellness at the AIDS Health Foundation (2016-2020) in Hollywood/Los Angeles, CA. She has participated in several international medical mission service trips and has traveled to Ghana, West Africa and the Dominican Republic.
Robin Hunter-Buskey – Hunter-Buskey holds the rank of Captain in the United States Public Health Service, and was deployed to Liberia to work in the US Public Health’s Monrovia Medical Unit/Ebola Treatment Unit in 2015.
Grace Landel – Landel worked for HIV Intervention Project at the King County Public Health Department in Seattle, Washington and was a medical provider and preceptor for an interdisciplinary team providing care to unhoused youth through a Mobile Health Van and when that ended, at a transition house for six years.
Saibatu Mansaray – After retiring as a PA from the US Army, Mansaray moved back to Sierra Leone to open up her non-profit, The Mansaray Foundation. The Foundation’s goal is to prevent maternal deaths in the country.
Mike Milner – Milner was commissioned in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) in 1989, rising to become one of the highest ranking PAs in any uniformed service. He retired as a Rear Admiral, responsible for public health programs in the six states of the New England Region. These programs included the Offices of Women’s Health, Minority Health, Family Planning (Title X), the HIV/AIDS Regional Resource Network and the Medical Reserve Corps initiative sponsored by the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG). [Photograph to Right: Michael Milner performing a muscle biopsy on a research volunteer at the NIH Clinical Diabetes Research Unit at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center. At the time, Milner was the first PA on that unit and served as the first Chief PA for the Indian Health Service, 1995]
Benjamin Olmedo – Olmedo serves with the US Public Health Service as a Lieutenant providing health care with the Indian Health Service in California.
Don and Kathy Pedersen – The Pedersen’s have always been focused on expanding healthcare globally. They have pioneered the Utah PA Program’s international clinical activity in Papua New Guinea and Thailand.
Oren Berkowitz – Berkowitz talks about the fledgling PA profession in Israel and also the first Israeli PA conference.
Diane Bruessow – Bruessow shares how she helped her local community in one of her first outreach activities as a PA.
Katherine GeeBah Footracer – Footracer talks about her experience volunteering at a Native American Reservation during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
IFPACS Student Group – The founder, officers, and members of the international student group IFPACS explain what the organization is, how it came about, and how you can join!
Arnold Ketchum and Nicolette McDermott-Ketchum – PA couple Arnold and Nicolette share how wanting to help their community drew them to the PA profession and their work with the Indian Health Service.
Don and Kathy Pedersen – PA couple Don and Kathy Pedersen share their international charity experiences as well as what drew them to the PA profession.