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.
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
Although the profession began as uniquely American, PAs’ proven success and their work abroad have influenced the global community. American PAs support efforts to expand the field internationally by teaching important medical skills and by aiding programs abroad. Other countries, such as Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Ghana, and India have begun PA programs and are educating the next generation of health professionals.