PA AHEC Scholars Program

The PA AHEC Scholars Program seeks students in Pennsylvania health profession degree programs who are interested in working in rural and underserved communities to apply for a competitive, interprofessional two-year, hands-on supplementary course of study focused on providing care in communities with limited resources. Applicants from disadvantaged and/or rural backgrounds and underrepresented minorities are encouraged to apply.
Each year includes the following:
40 hours community-based, experiential, or clinical training in rural and/or underserved area
40 hours didactic education (online and in-person training focused on six Core Topic Areas)

Core Topic Areas:
Interprofessional Education
Behavioral Health Integration
Social Determinants of Health
Cultural Competency
Practice Transformation
Current and Emerging Health Issues

PA AHEC Scholars will be trained and mentored by faculty and health professionals working in rural and underserved communities.

PA AHEC Scholars will learn in collaboration with students in various health care disciplines. Students will learn how other health professionals think about patient care, what various team members bring to the table in caring for patients, and how to be part of an interprofessional team.

Eligibility Criteria:
Students should have a current interest in rural or underserved healthcare and be currently enrolled in a health professions degree or certificate program and be two years from program or degree completion. This includes but is not limited to students in medical, dental, pharmacy, nurse practitioner, nursing, physician assistant, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and public/population health programs.

AHEC Scholars is a program for health professions students interested in supplementing their education by gaining additional knowledge and experience in rural and/or underserved urban settings. PA AHEC Scholars will be awarded a certificate upon completion of the two-year PA AHEC Scholars Program, distinguishing them from their peers. Scholars will also have the chance to meet leaders in health care and make connections with other participants, creating an invaluable network for their future careers in health care.

Area Health Education Centers work to improve the supply, distribution, retention, quality, utilization, and efficiency of a health care workforce committed to underserved populations. We help bring the resources of academic medicine to address local community health needs. The strength of the AHEC Network is our ability to creatively adapt national initiatives to help address local and regional healthcare issues.
Our partnering medical schools are Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in the Eastcentral Region and Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in the Northeast Region.

To enhance access to high quality health care through partnerships to ultimately improve the distribution, diversity and supply of health professionals, and to facilitate educational opportunities for health professionals and the community

Communities with a sustainable healthcare workforce to meet their healthcare needs

For more information, please contact:
Leslie Petroff, MPH
Health Educator

Debra Youngfelt, BS, MCHES, CTTS
Executive Director

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA):

Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH):

Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center:

Home Search Phone

Eastcentral and Northeast Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center, 5662 Interchange Road Lehighton, PA 18235
Phone: 610.379.2001 | Fax: 610.379.2005