Kathy Pedersen Grant

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Kathy J. Pedersen Grant to Promote Equitable Care:

2019 Funding Cycle is closed. Check back in the Spring for the 2020 Cycle!


Kathy Pedersen, MPAS, PA-C, has dedicated her career to promoting equitable health care for all. This annual grant program equips PAs with up to $5,000 for projects that strive to follow in those footsteps. The grant supports innovative, actionable strategies that directly and sustainably impact public health needs. Grant applicants are challenged to design programs that bridge system gaps, advocate for the under served, or creatively develop resources for those in need. Certified PAs, PA organizations (accredited educational programs and constituent organizations), and PA students may apply. The funding cycle for this grant is now closed. Check back in the spring for the 2020 cycle! In the meantime, you can view this year’s RFP to gather ideas for next year!

The Kathy J. Pedersen Grant to Promote Equitable Care is administered and supported by the nccPA Health Foundation through a generous donation from Don and Kathy Pedersen.




Roanoke 250: Training 250 Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aiders in Roanoke, VA

2019 Grant Recipient

Mental health is equally as important as physical health, which is why Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare and Radford University Carilion PA student Hwal Lee (principal investigator) were chosen as the 2019 recipient of the Kathy J. Pedersen Grant to Promote Equitable Care. Mr. The project will provide 250 community members in Roanoke, VA with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training. The eight training sessions include one earmarked for RUC’s incoming PA cohort, several for those working with adults and youths, and one earmarked for those living in rural areas. In addition, the project will collect data about participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding the training, which will document its impact and enhance subsequent trainings. MHFA is an eight-hour course that teaches individuals how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. The Foundation is pleased to support efforts to improve mental health in the community as well as foster models where PA-led community education can positively impact health.

Oral Health Treatment for the Children of Santiago

2018 Grant Recipient

Poor oral health can have a profound impact on general health and the quality of a person's life. Mayanza, Inc, the 2018 recipient of the Kathy J. Pedersen Grant to Promote Equitable Care, is a PA-led non-profit organization devoted to caring for underserved Mayan populations in Guatemala. Since 2016, Mayanza has engaged PAs, students, a local community health educator, and others to provide oral health training and education to the community. With this grant, Mayanza’s efforts will be expanded through an interprofessional partnership with a local dentist. Together, Mayanza and its partners will ensure a sustainable, culturally-competent, health initiative intended to improve overall health and quality of life in the community. In addition to directly impact patients, the grantees will collect clinical and attitudinal data to inform future efforts to address dental disease trends in the community. We can’t wait to see how they make a difference!

Healing Health Literacy at Two Urban Low-Income Clinics

2017 Grant Recipient

Limited health literacy is a modifiable barrier to high quality care. Marquette University PA Program, the 2017 Kathy J. Pedersen Grant to Promote Equitable Care recipient, implemented and evaluated the health literacy curriculum “HEAL” at two urban clinics serving low-income adults in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. PA faculty provided instruction and counseling on how to communicate about symptoms, diagnoses and treatment; how to interpret medical terminology and forms; and when to seek care at an emergency room. Forty course participants demonstrated gains in confidence of topic knowledge, although results were not statistically significant. However, all participants reported a high degree of satisfaction; and changes in health behaviors were observed. The project also impacted Marquette PA students and the medical staff at both clinics, more than 150 individuals, by increasing their awareness and providing training on how to address low health literacy among their patients. The grantees presented this initiative at the Wisconsin Academy of PAs conference, several additional events, and the Metropolitan University Journal.

Read more about their efforts here and check out their dissemination efforts here.

Texting for Mental Health: A Case Management Approach

2016 Grant Recipient

Cynthia Bunde, MPAS, PA-C, of the Pocatello Free Clinic was the inaugural grantee. Her unique Cynthia Bunde Photopilot program, Texting for Mental Health: A Case Management Approach, used texting as the foundation of case management for uninsured patients with mental health diagnoses. The PA-led program also utilized interdisciplinary partnerships including physician assistant, pharmacy, and social work students to deliver services in an underserved setting. Participants completed questionnaires regarding mood rating and perceived ability to manage their condition prior to and after completing a 12-week intervention. No-show rate was also evaluated. For all three indicators, participants showed a statistically significant improvement in factors related to mental health.


Read more about her efforts here.