Kathy Pedersen Grant

           Be the change you want to see            in your community



Kathy J. Pedersen Grant to Promote Equitable Care:

2020 Funding Cycle Closed! Check back for updates on the 2021 cycle.


Kathy Pedersen, MPAS, PA-C, has dedicated her career to promoting equitable health care for all. This annual, competitive grant 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 underserved, or creatively develop resources for those in need.

Certified PAs, PA organizations (accredited educational programs and constituent organizations), and PA students may apply. View this year's RFP to begin gathering and organizing your ideas for next year's funding cycle.

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. Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare and Radford University Carilion PA student Hwal Lee (principal investigator) were chosen as the 2019 grant recipient to provide 250 community members in Roanoke, VA with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training. MHFA is and eight-hour course that teaches individuals how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. The training sessions include RUC’s incoming PA cohort, several for those working with adults and youths, and one 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. The Health 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.

Group photos from MHFA trainings with the Radford University PA cohort (top left), nursing students (bottom left), and two community trainings (right).

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 grant recipient 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 were expanded through interprofessional partnerships with local dentists. Together, Mayanza and its partners ensure a sustainable, culturally-competent, health initiative intended to improve overall health and quality of life in the community. 

Check out more about the impact of Mayanza's efforts in the video below.

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 grant 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, AAPA additional events, and in Metropolitan University Journal.

Texting for Mental Health: A Case Management Approach

2016 Grant Recipient

Cynthia Bunde, MPAS, PA-C, of the Pocatello Free Clinic received the inaugural grant. Her unique Cynthia Bunde Photopilot program used texting as the foundation for case management for uninsured patients with mental health diagnoses. The PA-led program also utilized interdisciplinary partnerships including PA, 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.