Pennsylvania AHEC Scholars Program

Pennsylvania AHEC Scholars Program Photo1

PREPARING FUTURE HEALTH PROFESSIONALS FOR RURAL AND UNDERSERVED CARE

The Pennsylvania 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

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

Pennsylvania 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.

"I think that the PA AHEC Scholars Program has taught me a lot about public health and underserved populations. I have learned to be more open minded and consider more factors when working with patients. One of the biggest influences from this program was when I participated in a poverty stimulation. The experience had a lot of value and opened my mind."
Antonia Gobo – Cohort 1

"I would tell other students to know how beneficial it is to complete this program. There is so much to experience from participating in the simulations, meeting other healthcare professionals, attending the clinical observations for the hands-on training, being able to attend public health community meetings, and so much more. Being a part of this program is awesome because unlike sitting in a classroom, you have someone who is there for you step by step in the program to help you become a success. I was fortunate to have Leslie and Debra in this two-year process in addition to my professors."
Tiffany Elston – Cohort 1

"The PA AHEC Scholars Program has allowed me to learn about areas of public health I was not previously exposed to. While most of the program is remote, it has certainly opened my eyes to the struggles those with health disparities face. The more I participate in the program, the more I seek to find methods to remedy the situation many face with health disparities. I hope to apply these methods in the community I someday live in. The program has also granted me the opportunity to reflect on the privileges I have. This has given me a new appreciation for what I have and what I can give back to aid others. Some of the activities really made me embrace parts of myself. For example, the mask making activity made me pour both my professional and personal strengths into the mask. It made me feel proud of where I came from and where I am now."
Harrison Ferro – Cohort 2

"Serving rural and underserved populations is the main reason I am studying to be a physician. It was also a major impetus to studying a Master of Public Health. All too often these communities are left underrepresented, lacking adequate recourses and healthcare professionals. My interest in rural and underserved populations stems from my experiences working as an EMT in rural Vermont and Alaska. On a daily basis, I was shocked by the poor quality of living, inadequate nutrition, and overall dearth of access to mental health and medical providers. To contrast locations, while spending my first two years of medical school in Philadelphia, I gained a strong sense of the disparities impacting underserved urban populations. Through these experiences, it has become clear that the problems faced by rural and underserved populations are systemic, and albeit a difficult task, change for the better can be made on a national level. I believe AHEC will provide me with the extra skills and experiences to help me become a better healthcare provider in not just my surrounding communities, but rather throughout the entire United States."
Daniel Doynow – Cohort 3

The Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center and its Scholars Program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $721,000 annually with no percentage of the work being financed with nongovernmental sources. The contents are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

AHEC Scholars is a 2-year program and students must commit to be in the program for 2 years. Entry point into the program is dependent upon each student's program with the exit point at graduation/completion of your degree.

The program is delivered in two required components each year:

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

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

Pennsylvania AHEC Scholars will learn in collaboration with students in various health care disciplines. 

Scholars 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.

AHEC Fall 2021 Speaker Series - Click to learn more

Students must be enrolled in a health profession training program, be in good academic standing, and be willing to commit to two years of program participation prior to graduation. Interested students must complete an AHEC Scholars application, indicating their interest in and experience with rural and underserved populations and communities.

Eligible health profession programs include, but are not limited to: Medical, Dental, Pharmacy, Nurse Practitioner, Nursing, Physician Assistant, Social Work, Physical Therapy, and Public/Population Health.

Apply online at:

paahecscholars.org/application

PA AHEC Scholars Program: www.paahecscholars.org

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA): https://www.hrsa.gov/

Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH): http://www.health.pa.gov/

Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center: http://www.paahec.org/

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/Community 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 quality healthcare, particularly primary and preventive care, by improving the supply and distribution of healthcare professionals via strategic partnerships with academic programs, communities and professional organizations.

Recruit, Train, Retain: Empowering communities to create a healthy Eastcentral and Northeast Pennsylvania.

For more information, please contact:
Leslie Petroff, MPH
Health Educator
lpetroff@ecneahec.org

Debra Youngfelt, BS, MCHES, CTTS
Executive Director
dyoungfelt@ecneahec.org

Cindy Lynd, BA
Executive Director
clynd@ecneahec.org

Details>>
Pennsylvania AHEC Scholars Program Photo2 Pennsylvania AHEC Scholars Program Photo3

Northeast AHEC Eastcentral AHEC Eastcentral and Northeast PA Area Health Education Centers

info@ecneahec.org

ecneahec.org