For 12 years, Raquelle Akavan has been serving as Physician Associate (PA), embodying a strong commitment to giving back to the community and demonstrating genuine care for others. She serves as an Assistant Professor and a founding faculty member at a new PA program in Austin, Texas. Raquelle’s resilience and dedication extend beyond her professional life. After surviving a catastrophic stroke, she emerged as an inspiring figure and leader, particularly as a mother of two young children. Her tenacity led her to grow an organization called PA Moms into the largest American Academy of PAs (AAPA) Special Interest Group, providing a supportive space for PA mothers. Raquelle’s leadership in various initiatives, coupled with her unwavering commitment to her family and profession, reflects her devotion and unique ability to empower others. Her story stands as an embodiment of strength, adaptability, and an unbreakable spirit, inspiring many.
My parenting philosophy is a blend of fostering inclusivity, love, and kindness within my children. For me, these values are more than mere words; they form the foundation of my family’s daily interactions and growth. Guided by the principle that empathy and understanding must shape relationships, I emphasize teaching my children to celebrate diversity, accept differences, and treat others with unyielding respect and compassion. My approach to parenting is intentional and thoughtful, focusing on open communication and leading by example. I strive to model these principles, showing my children how to interact with the world around them with grace, empathy, and a genuine desire to uplift others. I create an environment where questions are welcomed, feelings are validated, and the unique qualities of each child are celebrated. By creating opportunities for my children to engage with various perspectives and backgrounds, I aim to instill a broader worldview and a deep sense of social consciousness. Moreover, my commitment to community involvement and service is integral to my parenting philosophy. I actively involve my children in giving back to the community, whether through volunteering or other acts of kindness. I believe that these experiences not only enrich the lives of others but also shape my children’s character, teaching them the importance of responsibility, generosity, and a shared humanity. It’s a philosophy not merely about parenting but about shaping future citizens, leaders, and change-makers, who are aware of their potential to make positive impacts in their relationships, communities, and the world at large.
Motherhood and Community
- Fundraising for PA Moms’ Children in Need: A deeply impactful activity that has resonated with both my family and community is fundraising for children in need within the PA Moms community. Recognizing the financial burdens that some families face, I have initiated various fundraising campaigns to provide support. These efforts have not only provided essential resources to those who need them most but also fostered a sense of solidarity and compassion within the community. Involved in these campaigns, my children have learned valuable lessons about empathy, generosity, and the real difference that collective action can make. It has united my family around a shared purpose and reinforced our commitment to helping others.
- Providing a Supportive Space for Mothers through PA Moms: PA Moms started as a small group and rapidly expanded into a global community of almost 20,000 members. By providing a supportive environment where PA mothers could discuss the unique challenges of balancing demanding careers in healthcare with motherhood, I have enabled the creation of strong connections, shared experiences, and valuable support. This community has not only had a positive impact on countless mothers but also greatly influenced my own parenting philosophy, emphasizing inclusivity, love, and kindness. The sense of belonging and understanding has had ripple effects, reaching families and communities far beyond our immediate circle.
- Co-founding PAs for Women Empowerment: In addition to the aforementioned initiatives, I have also co-founded PAs for Women Empowerment, an organization that specifically advocates for women in healthcare. We aim to cultivate and mentor new female leaders in the PA profession, providing educational opportunities, mentorship, and advocacy. This initiative has extended our reach and impact, advocating for gender equity and the unique needs of women in healthcare. It reflects a broader commitment to societal betterment and has become a model for my children in understanding the importance of standing up for what you believe in and actively seeking to create positive change.
These three activities have shaped my life and family in profound ways. They encapsulate a dedication to serving others, fostering community, and empowering women.