Ana Eliza Souza Cunha, MMSc, PA-C

Candidate for Director at Large
Endorsed by the Nomination & Elections Committee


Ana Eliza (she/her/hers) was born in São Paulo, Brazil and raised in Maine. She graduated from the University of Maine with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology focused in pre-medical studies and as salutatorian of her class. During her time at the University of Maine, Ana Eliza volunteered with several philanthropic societies: Operation H.E.A.R.T.S. and Medical Outreach Maine, where she became passionate about expanding medical care through medical teaching opportunities.

She moved to Connecticut to begin her PA education, earning her Master of Medical Science degree from Yale School of Medicine’s Physician Associate Program. As a graduate student, Ana Eliza engaged with her community by volunteering at the student-run HAVEN clinic, which provides care for individuals without insurance and who are ineligible for Medicaid. Additionally, she volunteered for the Neighborhood Health Project (NHP) where she provided glucose and blood pressure screenings for people without housing.

Ana Eliza feels passionately about expanding medical access to those with limited resources and continues to dedicate her efforts through advocacy. As previous Student Academy Representative of Yale’s J. Cole Society and as a two-term AAPA Student House Delegate, she has written, reviewed, and advocated for policy that enhances patient care while promoting inclusivity within the PA profession.

As a PAEA Student Health Policy (SHP) Fellow and as a member on AAPA’s Advocacy and Policy Committee, Ana Eliza developed a strong passion for grassroots advocacy. She believes that the future of the PA profession is dependent on early student engagement. As a result, she led several educational initiatives to promote student involvement in advocacy. Her efforts have been recognized by her alma mater as recipient of Yale Leadership’s Award and by ConnAPA through Connecticut’s PA Student of the Year Award.

When not advocating or practicing medicine, Ana Eliza enjoys exploring local coffee spots, hiking, weightlifting, traveling, and reading.

Platform Statement

It is an honor to run for ConnAPA’s Director-at-Large position. I am asking you to vote for me because I’m a persistent advocate for the PA profession and a champion for healthcare equity. During my PA school education, serving underserved communities in Greater New Haven has instilled in me a deep commitment in addressing healthcare disparities and advocating for the voiceless. Through my leadership roles such as Student House Delegate and Student Academy Representative, along with serving on the AAPA Advocacy & Policy Committee, I have honed the necessary collaboration skills with members, constituent organizations, and students to achieve ConnAPA’s strategic plan for 2024.

If elected, I plan to prioritize three key pillars:
1. Student Empowerment and Engagement: I believe in investing in the next generation of PAs. By providing mentorship, advocacy education, and financial support, we can empower PA students to become proactive leaders who drive positive change within our profession. As Director-at-Large, and as a product of early exposure to PA advocacy during my PA education, I will utilize my experiences to foster student engagement and mentorship. Supporting these ideals will allow us to further promote the PA profession in Connecticut.

2. Brand Development: To elevate visibility and recognition of the PA profession, I will collaborate with others to continue strategic branding initiatives and push forward state policy aimed at showcasing the unique skills and contributions of PAs. We have seen first-hand in local news how lack of awareness of can lead to harmful misinformation about the PA role. By highlighting our responsibilities in patient care and promoting our value to the healthcare system, we will foster trust within our communities and put to rest misconceptions towards our ability to practice medicine. As Director-at-Large, I will leverage my ability to promote PA branding at the national scale and my capability to lobby for advocacy on Capitol Hill in order to rally behind our profession.

3. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: As a Latina and a product of hardworking immigrant parents, I understand the importance of diversity in healthcare. I will advocate for policies and initiatives that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the PA profession, ensuring that all voices are heard and represented.

I am proud of the strides PAs continue to make in Connecticut as we work towards adopting OTP and in title change. Together, we will continue to drive Connecticut PAs forward by advocating for legislative victories, increasing brand recognition, and fostering a culture of inclusivity. I humbly ask for your support and your vote to serve as your Director-at-Large. Let’s shape the future of our profession and continue our journey toward excellence in healthcare.