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Caring for Communities Award

The Caring for Communities award recognizes and supports the work of PAs and PA students making a difference in the lives of people struggling with a variety of healthcare and social issues. Each year, a charity is selected to receive the Caring for Communities Award and an accompanying grant to support its work. The recipient must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides needed services to disadvantaged individuals and offers an important educational opportunity and impactful experience to PA students, PAs and other volunteers.

The Caring for Communities Award is supported by contributions from PAs, PA program student societies and other partnering organizations.

Caring for Communities Award Recipients

2015 — Our World Outreach, Rochester, New York

Our World Outreach_LogoOur World Outreach is committed to improving the health, education, living conditions and self-sufficiency of disadvantaged individuals locally, across the United States, and in developing countries. Our World Outreach is raising funds to ensure that healthcare workers in Liberia have ongoing access to the personal protective equipment they require to protect themselves and others from Ebola virus disease (EVD), help contain the current West Africa EVD outbreak, and minimize the risk and severity of future outbreaks of EVD and related diseases in Liberia. PA students in Liberia are being held back from clinical rotations due to Ebola, so their education is on hold indefinitely.


2014 — Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, Boston, Massachusetts

logobhchp-stackBoston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) provides or assures access to the highest quality healthcare for all homeless men, women and children in the greater Boston area. BHCHP’s integrated care model unites physicians, PAs, nurse practitioners, nurses, case managers and behavioral health professionals in a close collaboration. They follow patients together and separately in a variety of settings: on the street, in medical respite care, in outpatient clinics and in shelters and housing. BHCHP’s senior staff members include Melinda Thomas, PA-C, associate medical director, and Carole Hohl, PA-C, director of HIV services. In 2013, BHCHP served more than 12,000 patients in more than 90,000 outpatient medical, oral health and behavioral health encounters.

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2013 — Bread for the City, Washington, DC

Bread for the City provides comprehensive services to vulnerable residents of the District of Columbia, including food, clothing, medical care, and legal and social services, in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. The nonprofit’s medical clinic has provided free primary care to uninsured and low-income children and adults since 1974. Its four fulltime healthcare providers include Jennifer Vaupel, PA-C, whose relationship with the clinic began in 2007 with two rotations while pursuing her master’s in physician assistant studies and public health at George Washington University. Vaupel and the clinic’s director have implemented a patient-centered medical home model at the clinic. Its more than 2,600 clients include patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities who reside in group homes.

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2012 — Second Harvest, Toronto, Ontario

Second Harvest

Second Harvest is the largest food rescue program in Canada. Its mission is to help feed hungry people by picking up and preparing excess fresh food from restaurants, growers, wholesalers, and grocery stores that would otherwise go to waste and delivering it to social service agencies in Toronto. Second Harvest provides fresh and frozen foods for more than 18,000 meals every day to community centers, homeless and domestic violence shelters, breakfast programs and other community organizations. The clients served include at-risk children, seniors on fixed incomes, women fleeing domestic abuse, homeless persons, psychiatric patients and thousands of others who have fallen on hard times. Through its partners, Second Harvest’s clients also receive healthcare and social services that they might not have sought on their own.

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2011 — Stallman Touro Health Clinic at The Shade Tree, Las Vegas, Nevada

Second Harvest

The Stallman Touro Clinic provides basic healthcare services for residents at The Shade Tree, a shelter for homeless and abused women and children in crisis in Las Vegas. The free clinic opened in June 2009 and is the first of its kind in Nevada to be located inside a homeless shelter. The Shade Tree, the largest facility of its kind in southern Nevada, provides emergency shelter and transitional housing to approximately 327 women and children nightly and 3,500 annually. The clinic is staffed almost entirely by volunteers — faculty and students at the Touro University Nevada PA program and members of the local medical community. The clinic provides adult healthcare, preventive and sick call; women’s healthcare; and pediatric well checks and sick call. Volunteering at the clinic provides a great opportunity for PA students to hone their history-taking and physical examination skills, exposes them to administering to the medically underserved, and reinforces why they decided to become a PA.

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2010 — South Georgia Farmworker Health Project

Second Harvest

Each year, the South Georgia Farmworker Health Project provides free outpatient care to as many as 1,700 migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families during the summer agricultural season. Working under the direction of physicians from the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the Emory School of Medicine and PA faculty from the Emory PA program, PA students set up mobile clinics right in the fields and migrant camps. Students and faculty are joined on the project by local volunteers, interpreters, nurses, physical therapy and medical students, pediatricians and family practice physicians. The project seeks to not only provide care to a medically underserved and economically important population, but to also increase awareness and competency of healthcare providers and students in working with this population.

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“There is nothing better than to look on a person’s face when you help them or a child who just wants to be hugged” LoriAnn Givanniello, Global Outreach Grant Recipient, Dominican Republic

Corporate Council
Ex-officio Trustee - Lisa Gables


Ex-officio Trustee
Lisa Gables
Chief Financial Officer and Chief Development Officer, AAPA
Alexandria, Virginia

Ex-officio Trustee - Jenna Dorn

Ex-officio Trustee
Jenna Dorn
Chief Executive Officer, AAPA
Alexandria, Virginia

Ex-officio Trustee - David I. Jackson, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA

Ex-officio Trustee
David I. Jackson, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA
AAPA BOD Designee
Huntington Station, New York

Emeritus Trustee - Kenneth P. Moritsugu, MD

Emeritus Trustee
Kenneth P. Moritsugu, MD
Great Falls, Virginia

Trustee - Suzanne Reich, PA-C, MPAS

Suzanne Reich, PA-C, MPAS
Winston-Salem, NC

Suzanne “Sue” Reich, PA-C, MPAS, DFAAPA, serves as a trustee of the Physician Assistant Foundation Board of Trustees. A former AAPA vice president and speaker of the House of Delegates (HOD), she has served as a director-at-large on the AAPA Board of Directors, and on various committees and task forces that advise the Academy’s Board. She is currently the parliamentarian of the HOD. She has been an active member of AAPA since 1980.

A national, regional and state PA leader, she has been secretary, president, and an endowment trustee with the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (NCAPA), and she is a charter/founding board member of the Piedmont Association of Physician Assistants. She is currently chair of the NCAPA Scholarship/Endowment Committee. She has served on the board and on multiple committees for the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. She has served on numerous North Carolina Medical Society and the North Carolina Medical Board committees. She is the recipient of the AAPA HOD’s Outstanding Service Award, NCAPA President’s Recognition Award, AAPA Publications Award and teaching excellence awards from Wake Forest.

Reich has been with the Wake Forest PA Program since 2002. She is currently the associate program director and an associate professor at the program. Prior to that, she has served as the director of clinical education and distance campus coordinator. She serves on several PA program committees. Currently, she is the supervising provider and faculty advisor on the Advisory Board of the Delivering Equal Access to Care Clinic.

In practice since 1981, she has spent most of her career at Wake Forest School of Medicine (WFSM), where she has worked clinically in both the cardiology and family medicine departments for more than 30 years. She has practiced clinically in anesthesia, cardiology, and family medicine. She has served on the WFSM Practice Council and CME Committee.

A member of the editorial board and peer reviewer for the North Carolina Medical Journal (NCMJ), Reich has authored and co-authored articles in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. She has lectured at national, regional state conferences.

She received her PA education at Hahnemann (now Drexel) University in Philadelphia and earned a subsequent master’s degree from the University of Nebraska School of Medicine. More recent involvement has included international opportunities for professional networking in Ireland and for medical service in Haiti. Never quite happy sitting still, she also pursues multiple athletic and recreational activities.

Trustee - Gerald A. Erickson, MMSc, PA-C

Gerald A. Erickson, MMSc, PA-C
Cumming, GA

Trustee - Roslyn Fleischer Schneider, MD, FACP, FCCP

Roslyn Fleischer Schneider, MD, FACP, FCCP
New York, New York

Rosyln Fleischer Schneider, MD, FACP, FCCP, serves as a trustee on the Physician Assistant Foundation Board of Trustees. Roz is the Global Patient Affairs Lead in Pfizer’s Chief Medical Office and her previous Pfizer roles include positions in Medical Affairs and Medicine Development. A graduate from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Roz is an Internist, Pulmonologist, Intensivist, and practiced at Beth Israel Medical Center NY for 20 years.

Roz’s focus was on HIV infection, medical ethics and education, in practice, teaching and administration and was a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Active in several professional organizations, she is Past-Chair of the Clinical Research Network of the American College of Chest Physicians and the Co-Chair of the American College of Physicians Healthcare Roundtable.

Roz enjoys all types of music and dance, lives with her husband of 31 years in New York, and her inspiration is her daughter who is a University sophomore.

Trustee - Janet B. Bray, CAE

Janet B. Bray, CAE
Arlington, Virginia

Janet B. Bray, CAE, serves as a trustee on the Physician Assistant Foundation Board of Trustees.  She is the Chief Strategist and founder of Bray Strategies and brings a unique perspective and vision to best practices for connecting education and industry for a relevant, skilled workforce.  For more than eleven years, Janet served as the Executive Director of the Association for Career and Technical Education, a not-for-profit association representing over 30,000 professionals across the United States.  As Executive Director, Janet managed the staff and oversaw the development of program services for the members of the association and the CTE profession.  She provided leadership on a broad spectrum of education and workforce issues and directed the strategic public policy and public awareness efforts of the association.

Janet currently provides her expertise and knowledge with the Industry Workforce Needs Council, the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation, The Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Career Readiness Institute, Pathways to Prosperity project, Global Pathways Institute, Ideagen, Innovate-Educate, the National Association of Workforce Boards, Department of Labor work on career pathways, ed2go/Cengage and The Hope Street Group.

Janet represents the career and technical education and workforce profession on a number of Boards and advisory groups including the Home Builders Institute Board of Trustees, Manufacturing Skills Standards Council, National Coalition of Certification Centers, Physicians Assistants Foundation, HVACR Education Foundation, ANSI Certificate Program Accreditation Committee, Workforce Solutions Group and the Board of the U.S. Partnership for Education for Environmental Sustainability. She recently completed her Board service on the Department of Labor Apprenticeship Advisory Committee, Friends of the National High School Center, Principles for Learning Coalition and America’s Promise Alliance Board of Trustees.  During her 40-year tenure in the association management profession, she has provided leadership to a variety of associations in strategic planning, education program development, outreach to related professions and publics and creation of innovative programs and services.  She was instrumental in the development of a Youth Apprenticeship Program for the graphic arts industry in the State of Wisconsin and initiated the industry’s effort to develop national skill standards.  Janet has authored or co-authored several articles including “Developing Human Capital:  Meeting the Growing Global Need for a Skilled and Educated Workforce,” 2012, McGraw Hill Foundation and the “Trends in National Policy,” chapter in Career Pathways, Education with a Purpose, 2012

Janet has been an active participant in the association community serving on the American Society of Association Executives Education Foundation Board of Directors, Greater Washington Society of Association Executives Board of Directors, and numerous association-related committees and councils. Janet holds a Bachelors Degree in History and Government from the University of Maryland and a Masters Degree in Adult Education from the George Washington University.  Janet earned her Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential in 1991 and is a member of the distinguished ASAE Fellows Group.

Secretary - Stephanie L. McGilvray, PA-C

stephanie McGilvray

Stephanie L. McGilvray, PA-C
Pelham, Alabama

Stephanie McGilvray, MMSc, PA-C, serves as secretary on the Physician Assistant Foundation Board of Trustees. Her previous service to the AAPA includes serving as a member of the Academy’s Reimbursement Work Group and the State Advocates for Reimbursement (STAR) group. She has also served on the Board of the Alabama Society of Physician Assistants since 2012. This year she became the only PA named to the Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force, created by Gov. Robert to recommend ways to provide Alabamians “more accessible and more affordable health care.”

Since 2012, McGilvray has been an assistant professor and clinical coordinator on the faculty of the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) PA program. Her clinical experience prior to entering academia includes working in the UAB Trauma and Burn Intensive Care Unit and working in orthopedics for Alabama Sports Medicine. She continues to work part time in emergency medicine.

Prior to becoming a PA, McGilvray worked as an athletic trainer for HealthSouth, developing their outreach program in the Auburn area and coordinating sports medicine care and rehabilitation for athletes at 12 local high schools.

She holds a master of medical science in PA studies from Emory University, a Master of Education in exercise technology from the University of South Alabama, and Bachelor of Science in athletic training from Troy University.

Treasurer - Deborah A. Gerbert, MS, PA-C

Deborah A. Gerbert, MS, PA-C
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Deborah Gerbert, MS, PA-C, serves as the treasurer on the Physician Assistant Foundation Board of Trustees. She has a long history of service to the Academy and to the PA profession, including serving as AAPA president in 1994-1995 and as Speaker of the House from 1991-1993. She has chaired or served on many AAPA committees and councils and was the Academy’s representative to the American Medical Association from 1996-2004. She believes she caught the bug to get involved in PA organizations while a PA student at the University of Oklahoma in the late 1970s, when four former AAPA presidents were on the faculty.

Other areas of service for Gerbert include a two-year term on the Finance Committee of the Physician Assistant Education Association, three years of service on the PA Foundation Board of Trustees, and, beginning in 2015, and a position on the PA History Society’s Board of Trustees. She was the 1998 recipient of the AAPA House of Delegates Outstanding Service Award, the 2002 recipient of the Florida Academy of PAs Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2013 recipient of the Faculty of the Year Award at Nova SE University Jacksonville PA program.

After graduating from the Oklahoma PA program, Gerbert moved to Florida, where she immediately got involved with the state PA academy. She was elected secretary of the Florida Academy of PAs in 1982 and president in 1984. She has represented Florida in the AAPA House of Delegates since 1980 and has served on numerous committees, her favorite being the Legislative and Governmental Affairs Committee. She was appointed to the PA Council of the Board of Medicine in 2003 and chaired the council from 2006 to 2010.

Gerbert has spent her entire clinical career in pediatrics, in Jacksonville, Florida. She has worked in an outpatient clinic in the University of Florida teaching hospital and in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in Wolfson Children’s Hospital, where she is currently a hospitalist PA for the general pediatric service. In all of these settings she has enjoyed working with PA students and pediatric residents. More recently, Gerbert took a five-year hiatus from clinical practice to become the founding program director at Nova Southeastern University’s PA Program in Jacksonville.

Gerbert completed her undergraduate degree in biology at Emory University in Atlanta in 1976 and graduated from the University of Oklahoma PA program in 1980. She has been married to her husband, Jeff for 24 years and they have a teenage daughter, Kim.

Vice President - James F. Cawley, MPH, PA-C

Vice President
James F. Cawley, MPH, PA-C
Washington, DC

James F. Cawley, PA-C, MPH, DHL (Hon.), DFAAPA, serves as vice president of the Physician Assistant Foundation Board of Trustees. Prior to serving as vice president, he served as a Foundation trustee. He is a past president of the Foundation as well as the Physician Assistant Education Association. In 2013, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

He was a primary care health policy fellow in the Health Resources and Services Administration and a fellow at the Robert Graham Center. He has served as the chair of the U.S. Bureau of Health Professions’ Advisory Group on Physician Assistants and the Work Force, and was principal author of its seminal report to the Council on Graduate Medical Education. He also served as a member of the U.S. Public Health Service National Coordinating Committee on Clinical Prevention Service, and did a stint with the storied Epidemic Intelligence Service of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he was a fellow of the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine. Recently, he was named a senior research fellow at the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA).

A renowned healthcare workforce researcher, Cawley’s groundbreaking research on PAs has advanced the profession and helped increase access to primary care through the use of PAs. His research interests focus on the PA profession, primary care and health workforce policy. The studies and books he co-authored two decades ago continue to be the baseline measurement for the profession’s impact on healthcare. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles published in such journals as Journal of Health Services and Research Policy, Health Affairs, Annals of Internal Medicine, the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Academic Medicine, British Medical Journal as well as the Loyola University Chicago’s Annals of Health Law. As an editor and columnist, he has authored more than 250 columns over the past 25 years and his commentaries have been timely, informative and challenging.

Currently a professor at The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences and GW’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, Cawley has been at the forefront of educating future PAs, having established a unique joint PA and Master of Public Health program at GW, which was the first of its kind at the time. He serves as director of the joint program.

A 1974 graduate of the Touro College PA program, he practiced as a PA in primary care at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, earned his MPH in infectious disease epidemiology from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and has held faculty appointments in the PA programs at Johns Hopkins, SUNY@ Stony Brook, and Yale University School of Medicine.

In 2011, he was the first PA recipient of AAPA’s Eugene A. Stead Jr. Award of Achievement.

Immediate Past President - Lisa Alexander, EdD, MPH, PA-C

Lisa Mustone Alexander, EdD, MPH, PA-C
Washington, DC

Lisa Alexander, EdD, MPH, PA-C, serves as the immediate past president of the Physician Assistant Foundation Board of Trustees.  Prior to serving as immediate past president, she served on the Foundation Board as president.  She is a veteran PA educator and currently holds the positions of Professor, Program Director and Interim Chair of Physician Assistant Studies at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) in Washington, DC.   Alexander has served in many leadership roles within the school and PA program since joining GWU in 1982. Her dedication to SMHS and to the field has had a major influence on the evolution of GWU’s PA program and the innovation of its curriculum.

In addition to her current role at SMHS, Alexander is the Assistant Dean for Community-Based Partnerships and oversees the school’s clinical outreach activities and serves as the principal investigator on numerous federal and city funded contracts. She also is a supervising clinician in the HEALing Clinic, a volunteer activity staffed by MD and PA students providing primary care and social services to underserved communities in Washington.  Previously, she served as a consultant for the International Relief and Development, Inc., and was a Fulbright Senior Specialist for the U.S. Department of State.

Alexander is a former member of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) Board of Directors, and she served on the joint AAPA/PAEA PA Workforce Task Force in 2010. She was the faculty recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award in 2009, and she received the Margaret B. and Cyril A. Schulman Distinguished Service Award in 2011. A graduate of the George Washington University PA Program, Alexander also received her master’s in public health and doctorate in education from the university.

She received her doctorate in education from George Washington University in 2003. Her research focused on the identity of a profession, with a special focus on physician assistants. In 2001 she received the PA Foundation’s Breitman-Dorn Research Fellowship award, and in 2002 she was the recipient of the Ralph Stone award for outstanding scholarship and leadership among doctoral students. Her research interests included inter-professional education, non-physician clinicians in developing countries and primary care service delivery for individuals with disabilities.

President - Richard Rohrs, PA-C

rick's photo

Richard Rohrs, PA-C
Parkton, Maryland

Richard Rohrs, PA-C, DFAAPA, serves as president of the Physician Assistant Foundation Board of Trustees. Prior to serving as president, he served on the Foundation Board as vice president. He is a past president and chair of the Board of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants, and the Maryland Academy of Physician Assistants. He is a longtime member of the AAPA House of Delegates.  He has served on numerous AAPA advisory groups, including as chair of the AAPA Commission on Advocacy and Government Affairs. He currently serves on the American Medical Association’s National Uniform Coding Committee. In 2000, he was named the AAPA Outstanding PA of the Year, and received the Maryland Academy’s Outstanding PA of the Year award in 1987.

Rohrs is the administrative director of LifeBridge Medicine at the Northwest Hospital Center in Randallstown, Md. He is the administrator over the division consisting of hospitalist, intensivist, surgicalist, and post-acute departments. He oversees more than 80 physicians, PAs, and APRNs along with support personnel providing services at three hospitals and post-acute facilities.  He participates in all aspects of governance at the executive level with multiple hospital and system-wide committee assignments.

A Practicing PA for nearly 40 years, he is a national thought leader on the development and utilization of PAs and team-based medicine. An expert on healthcare regulations and compliance, he has extensive experience in hospital operations and management, organizational leadership and strategic planning. He specializes in hospital-based internal medicine.

A 1977 graduate of the Johns Hopkins PA program, Rohrs currently holds multiple faculty appointments including George Washington and Towson Universities.  He chairs the Program Advisory Committee at the latter. He also oversees an extensive training program for PAs at Northwest Hospital. He is a preceptor for and guest lecturer at several PA programs.

For many years, he has been at the forefront of international development of the PA profession. He served as the first chair of the AAPA International Affairs Committee and worked as a consultant to many countries throughout the world.  He has led PA delegations to the Netherlands, Taiwan, Great Britain, China, Brazil, and Cuba among others. He has also done a humanitarian mission to Africa.