Amy Gouley, PA-C
Amy Gouley, PA-C has made a name for herself in the dermatology field. She founded the non-profit 501c3 Project Happy Face in Los Angeles in 2009, which provides dermatologic treatments and products to disadvantaged junior and senior high school students. To receive her services students must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, be on track to attend a four-year college or university, display community involvement, and complete three essay questions. Project Happy Face beneficiaries also pay it forward; all recipients of these free dermatology services sign a contract stating they will smile at strangers and, once they have embarked on their own career, they must give back to their community.
Gouley's charitable contributions extend beyond Project Happy Face. She has volunteered for many years at the Los Angeles Care Harbor— an annual 3-day health care event when people who have little or no access to regular health care can be examined and treated at no cost. Gouley no longer lives in Los Angeles but flies back each year to be a part of this event.
Gouley also has traveled to the jungles of Haiti to provide dermatological services, seeing approximately 60-70 patients a day for 10 days, some of whom had walked over-night to see her. After handling the dermatology patients, she would then volunteer in the dental clinic addressing oral health issues. She also an active volunteer with the American Academy of Dermatology, doing melanoma screenings at least twice a year. She has done screenings at a fire station, the top of a ski mountain and in the San Juan Islands. She was named a Cosmopolitan Fun and Fearless Female in 2014.
Severe cases of acne chip away at the self-esteem and confidence of young teens and can cause permanent scars both inside and out. Project Happy Face has helped numerous young men and women by giving them access to care they would not otherwise be able to afford. She holds fundraisers to raise money to provide these services and many local boutiques host events where proceeds are donated to Project Happy Face. Gouley has also developed her own acne skin care line, and all the proceeds go to Project Happy Face.
Gouley’s dream is to grow her organization on a national level so that teens in every city will have access to the excellent care Gouley and her organization provide. “My hope is that by getting recognition for her hard work, Amy will continue to grow her wonderful organization,” says her friend, peer and previous classmate, Adam Mogil, PA-C. Gouley is currently in the process of opening two new chapters of the organization in Portland and Seattle later this year and is exploring opening one in Houston.
Gouley says: “I feel it’s extremely important to give back to your community in any way you can. I was raised in a small town that fostered and celebrated good community citizenship. During my first year as a PA, I was fortunate enough to quickly discover a passion for treating teenage acne. In addition to treating their acne, I develop a trusting relationship that mentors and excites teenagers for their college pathway. I also ignite their passion for community involvement, reminding them at each visit to be a kind person. And today more than ever, we all can benefit from an extra scoop of kindness.”
Gouley wants to give a shout out to other Certified PAs who are making a difference in their community. While we are spotlighting 50 PAs, she says “there are so many more incredible PAs out there making a difference.”