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News & Press: SDPA News

AAPA Leadership and Advocacy Summit Recap & the Importance of Donating to the PA PAC

Monday, April 23, 2018  
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Recently, several SDPA leaders attended the 2018 AAPA Leadership and Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C. The event began with a full day dedicated to federal advocacy, as well as afternoon visits on Capitol Hill. The remainder of the event included sessions that were focused on advancing Optimal Team Practice, advocacy skill-building, and best practices for constituent organization leaders. I found this meeting to be very enlightening. It was one of my first experiences with advocacy and opened my eyes to how important it is to not only be members of our national society, AAPA, but also the importance of donating to the PA Political Action Committee that so diligently represents our profession on Capitol Hill.

A Political Action Committee (PAC) is an organization that privately raises campaign contributions from members and then donates those monies to positively impact elections, or in our case legislation, especially at the federal level.

The PA PAC is a bipartisan political action committee of the AAPA. It is the only federal PAC that is dedicated to advancing the PA profession. The mission of the PA PAC is to allow individual PAs to share in the opportunity to support federal candidates for Congress who have demonstrated their belief and understanding of the principles to which the PA profession is dedicated.

There has never been a more important time in our profession’s history than now to donate to our national PA PAC. We need to take action to support legislation and remove the barriers to PA practice. Optimal Team Practice is needed for the future of the PA profession. Every PA has the responsibility to directly impact our profession and help its forward progress. Other professions are positioning themselves to be more attractive to employers and in turn threaten the future of the PA profession. PAs have both the education and clinical experience to be recognized as collaborative team members in our medical practices, but we need to be proactive in ensuring the long-term viability of the profession.

The PA PAC raised $108,105 from the 1,798 members and employee donors this past year. While less than 4% of AAPA members contributed in 2017, this contribution to the PA PAC is a significant increase over previous years, but is only a fraction of what is needed to achieve our professional goals. This number must continue to grow in order to have an effect on advocacy. It is important for each of us to be active members of the societies that advocate for our profession and to contribute to our PAC.

According to Open Secrets (, which is an organization that is dedicated to transparency in politics, the PA PAC ranked 46th amongst 122 health provider group PACs. The PA PAC contributions lag considerably amongst our peers (see chart below). The American Academy of Dermatology Skin PAC raised $1 million last year. The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Medical Association all raise significantly more money per member than the PA PAC (see table).

The SDPA looked into making a significant contribution on behalf of its members but found that it would be unlawful to do so since there are legal restrictions on allocation of member funds to a PAC. It is illegal for a 501(c)6 non profit professional organization to donate to a PAC, therefore it is crucial that our members consider individual donations to the PA PAC. Regulations limit the amount any one individual can donate to a PAC to less than $5000 per year.

The AAPA has over 56,000 members. If each member contributed just $35 (only 9 cents per day) this would put PA PAC ranked #1. The SDPA currently has 3,300 members. If we could each commit to donate $20 we could raise $66,000 just in SDPA member contributions alone to help legislate, advance and protect the future of our PA profession.



Joleen Volz, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA

President Elect



16th Annual Fall Dermatology Conference 2018 - Registration OPEN!
November 1-4, 2018 – Loews Portofino –Orlando, FL
Pre-Conference October 31

SDPA Annual Summer Dermatology Conference 2019
June 5-9, 2019 – Marriot Marquis – Washington D.C.
Pre-Conference June 4

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