Since 2012, the University of Rwanda has graduated over 150 clinical officers ("PA analogs") however they struggle to gain acceptance and have yet to be integrated into the country's health care system. To date, no regulatory framework or scope of practice guidelines have been agreed upon despite the hard work of the Rwandan Clinical Officer Association. At the request of the clinical officers, Lisa Mustone Alexander and Aaron Henry, have agreed to travel to Rwanda in early September to participate in meetings with local officals to advocate for full utilization of this new cadre of health care providers. While in Rwanda, they will also jointly sponsor a one day "stakeholder summit" to elevate the profession from a concept to reality.
Both Lisa and Aaron are experienced PA educators and clinicians. Aaron is a Navy veteran and currently has an adjunct appointment at GW while maintaining a full time clinical practice. Lisa has previously served as the President of the PA Foundation and currently serves on the Board of the PA Education Association. They have extensive experience in advocacy and PA scope of practice issues; they are passionate about global health equity. Their service to the profession is highly regarded by anyone familiar with their careers.
After only 1 short week of promoting the Stakeholder Summit in Rwanda, 65 local leaders in the field of health care, education, policy, and government have already agreed to attend. In addition, local representatives from the CDC and USAID have agreed to participate. Funding is needed to cover the expenses related to the stakeholder summit, in-country travel to rural clinics, and financial support to the Rwandan Clinical Officers to further their advocacy efforts. Your support will help to broaden the global reach of PAs and improve access to quality health care for the citizens of this remarkable country. As our PA profession celebrates its 50th anniversary, please consider supporting this project as a celebration of how far we have come as a profession! We sincerely thank everyone who contributes to our efforts!