Two years ago, the SDPA celebrated its’ 20th anniversary; our organization’s humble beginnings started in 1994 when a group of dermatology PAs met and shared a pizza during the AAD’s annual conference in New Orleans. We have come a long way in these last twenty-two years, but as you and I know, our profession continues to face an uphill battle for recognition from some of our physician colleagues, payers, and even other professional organizations. Just as those PA pioneers helped to start the SDPA, a new opportunity for a new opportunity is presenting itself to our generation.
The SDPA has established a role for dermatology PAs in philanthropic endeavors since 2012 through our partnership with the Melanoma Research Foundation and annual Miles for Melanoma events. Recently, the SDPA’s leadership recognized the need for a separate foundation to serve as a supporting organization of the SDPA in order to address some of the unmet needs of our profession and the patients we serve. As a result, the Dermatology PA Foundation (DPAF) was incorporated in May of 2015. The DPAF held its very first Board of Trustees meeting in November 2015 during the SDPA’s 13th Annual Fall Dermatology Conference in Orlando. This past March, the DPAF was granted tax-exempt status under section 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and was classified as a public charity.
The mission statement of the DPAF reads as follows: ‘The Dermatology PA Foundation seeks to fund and promote education, research, and philanthropy to advance the field of dermatology.’ It is my belief that the mission of this new charity complements the PA profession’s best attributes.
- Education is at the heart of what we do as PAs whether we are educating the patients for whom we care or engaging in our commitment to lifelong learning.
- Research is one of the last frontiers of the PA profession as the potential of our profession here has yet to be actualized. It also correlates well to PAs commitment to practice evidence-based medicine. One of the DPAF’s early goals will be to provide funding for publishable research on how dermatology PAs change access to care and affect patient outcomes.
- Philanthropy is defined as the practice of giving time, talent, and treasure to improve the lives of other people. The SDPA recognizes the intrinsic desire of dermatology PAs to better the lives of the patients for whom we care.
Rarely in a lifetime does an opportunity present itself to an individual to be a part of history in the making. Just as those early pioneers of dermatology PAs met in New Orleans in 1994, the dermatology PAs of the future will one day look back on 2016 as a turning point in the dermatology PA profession.
As the SDPA launches the DPAF, we are excited to announce the establishment of a Chairman’s Founder Circle of giving. We are asking for our dermatology PA colleagues, corporate partners, and friends of SDPA to consider making a tax-deductible donation to the DPAF. We know everyone has different life circumstances that will allow giving at different levels and we have designed a donor program that will allow individuals to give monthly or in annual payments. All first year donors who contribute to the DPAF at a Chairman’s Circle level will be recognized in the DPAF’s Founder’s Circle and will continue to be recognized as such in DPAF events and publications as long as they give on an annual basis at a Chairman’s Circle level. We are excited to announce our website is now active so you can learn more about DPAF, read about our Chairman’s Circle, and make a commitment as a donor, www.dermPAfoundation.org.
It is my sincere hope you will take the time today to explore our new website and make a commitment to be a part of this exciting new foundation that will benefit the lives of dermatology patients and expand the reach of the dermatology PA profession. History is ready to be made!
A. Matthew Brunner MHS, PA-C