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AHEC Rural Health Scholars

2018 graduate photo, from left to right: Linda Cragin, Elizabeth Tammaro, Luke Latario, Rebecca Engell Kasper, Jessica Fortin, Kristen Bevington,
Suzanne Cashman, Steve Martin

Welcome to the AHEC Rural Health Scholars Pathway!

Who we are:
A grant-funded (MassAHEC) pathway program compromised of an interdisciplinary community of graduate students, clinicians and faculty.

What we do:
Participate in a variety of rural health-related learning experiences taking place in the classroom, in the clinic and out in the community.  The pathway offers a mix of academic and social events, as well as clinical and project opportunities.

Recently students have:

  • volunteered on a CSA farm
  • practiced splinting, casting and other hands-on skills
  • completed summer and clinical placements on Cape Cod and the islands, The Berkshires, the Hill Towns, Maine, New Hampshire, Alaska and beyond
  • Learned about how various policies affect healthcare in small towns and rural communities

Activities & Opportunities:

A Look into the Lives of Navajo People in the 21st Century, by Tiffany Chen, MS4 and Jason Lau, MS4

Rural Health Scholars’ Mission:

To identify and nurture the interest of medical and nursing students who would like to pursue a clinical career in a rural or small town setting. 

To help participating students acquire the skills and develop the attitudes necessary to become effective clinicians for rural and small town communities.

To expose students to the important linkages between clinical practice and public health in developing healthy rural communities. 

To foster relationships among student Scholars and introduce them to others in the medical, public health, and governmental sectors who are working to meet the needs of rural communities.

About the MassAHEC Network:

The MassAHEC Network is a statewide program hosted by the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at UMass Medical School and aims to develop a strong, collaborative approach to addressing healthcare workforce needs by nurturing the interest of health professions students in primary care and practice in rural and underserved areas. Participants include students of the UMass School of Medicine (SOM) and Graduate School of Nursing (GSN), and students from academic programs in each AHEC center’s service area. In Worcester, MassAHEC faculty is intertwined with the SOM and GSN, serve on a variety of committees, and teach across the schools and community. In addition to the Rural Health Scholars Pathway, MassAHEC is developing new Urban Health Scholars Pathway, supports several primary care electives and collaborates with the GSN Central Massachusetts Advanced Nursing Education Academic Practice Program (CMAAPP), and Commonwealth Medicine, the consulting division of the medical school. The three main goals of the AHEC program have expanded to include Diversity, Distribution and Practice Transformation.