February 14, 2019

Michigan AHEC launches AHEC Scholars Program

The Michigan Area Health Education Center launched the AHEC Scholars Program at Wayne State University in January. The program is a part of a national initiative to prepare tomorrow's health professionals to become leaders in interprofessional, transformative practice who serve those who need it the most.

The inaugural AHEC Scholars cohort includes 20 nursing and medical students.

Juliann Binienda, Ph.D., associate professor of the WSU Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, is the course director. "We are excited to offer this statewide innovative and stimulating program, which seeks to increase the quantity and quality of health professionals in rural and urban underserved areas of Michigan."

The program is designed for health professions students from diverse backgrounds who are interested in supplementing their education with additional knowledge and experience in rural or urban underserved communities. It aims to prepare students to enter the health professions workforce by teaching them health disparities and the role of the community in patient care through interaction with different health specialties.

Types of health professions students in the AHEC scholars program include medical, pharmacy, dental, nursing, physician assistant, public health and social work.

AHEC Scholars is a two-year program that requires 80 hours of effort per year. Forty hours will be spent completing clinical- and community-based training, and 40 hours will be spent participating in didactic training activities.

Educational and training activities will be team-based and will support the following areas: Interprofessional Education; Behavioral Health Integration; Social Determinants of Health; Cultural Competency; Practice Transformation and Current and Emerging Health Issues.

In the fall of 2019, the Michigan AHEC Scholars Program is expected to expand and include students from across the state of Michigan.