The purpose of the fund is to financially assist students of the UNM PA program. The main criteria for the award are:


  • financial need

  • the student's expressed interest in working in a rural or underserved area upon graduation

  • the students participation in activities during their time in school to support the PA Program, the School of Medicine, and NMAPA activities.


Up to two awards of $500 are given per year to a senior PA student. The amount disbursed depends on the total amount in the fund and how its investments have done that year. Senior students are solicited to apply for the award in the spring of their senior year. The recepients are chosen by an independent panel of scholarship donor PAs. The recipient's name is announced at the graduation ceremony in August. For more information about this scholarship, contact Lindsay Fox, PA-C, Scholarship Fund Chair at lefox@salud.unm.edu.


The New Mexico Academy of Physician Assistants Scholarship Fund was established in 1998 by NMAPA in conjunction with the UNM's Office of Development at a time when the UNM PA Program was in its early years. UNM holds and oversees investment of the fund, takes in contributions, and releases money for scholarships. UNM's management of the fund is quite beneficial to NMAPA because it provides charitable organization status so that contributors can get a tax deduction for their donation. There is no charge to NMAPA for UNM's management. The main qualification to make the fund permanent (i.e. to endow it) was that NMAPA had to raise $10,000. When the fund was established, it was solely dedicated to the UNM PA Program and its students because there were no other PA programs in existence in NM at that time. The fund can make awards to UNM PA Program students only.


Soliciting donations to the fund began in earnest in 1999. In addition to the amount donated by NMAPA, many PAs in the state made individual contributions of $25 to $500. There is a list of charter donors on the plaques in the hallway of the PA program. Ernie Gonzales, PA-C made the single largest individual donation in 2000 when he was honored by AAPA with the Rural PA of the Year award. He donated $2500 of his award to the scholarship. Several heathcare institutions also donated to the fund including Lovelace and Presbyterian Healthcare Systems. Thanks to all of the contributions, the fund reached the permanent $10,000 endowment level in late 1999. One of the UNM Foundation officers said that it was the fastest endowment of any fund at UNM he had ever seen. There is currently approximately $20,000 in the fund.

For more information about this scholarship, contact Lindsay Fox, MSPAS, PA-C, Scholarship Fund Chair at lefox@salud.unm.edu.