NC AHEC Scholars Program at MAHEC addresses state’s health professions shortage

Press release from Mountain Area Health Education Center:

North Carolina Area Health Education Centers is accepting applications through Monday, April 30, for the new NC AHEC Scholars Program at MAHEC with priority given to health professions students in two- and four-year college programs from underrepresented minorities, disadvantaged/rural backgrounds and first-generation college students.

This new program, which runs September through May beginning in 2018, will recruit, train and support a diverse group of health professions students who are committed to community service and improving health in rural and underserved urban communities in Western North Carolina and across the state.

Over the next two years, the NC AHEC Scholars Program at MAHEC will train 15 to 20 scholars who will join an estimated 280 scholars statewide and a national cohort of approximately 3,900 scholars in 49 programs across the country. These programs are supported, in part, by the federally funded Health Resources and Services Administration.

“The NC AHEC Scholars Program is an extension of AHEC’s health careers pipeline and diversity programs, which help ensure that healthcare professionals reflect the diverse range of the communities they serve,” shares Jacqueline R. Wynn, MPH, Director of Health Careers and Workforce Diversity and Associate Director of the NC AHEC Program. Wynn has been instrumental in planning and securing funding for the AHEC Scholars Program in North Carolina and across the country.

Co-created and co-taught by faculty across the state including those at MAHEC, the two-year program includes 40 hours of community-based, experiential or clinical training and 40 hours of didactic (classroom-based) education in six core topic areas: interprofessional education, behavioral health integration, social determinants of health, cultural competency, practice transformation, and current and emerging health issues.

“The NC AHEC Scholars Program at MAHEC is designed to give students the skills, experience and connections they need to make our rural communities healthier and stronger,” shares Jacquelyn Hallum, Director of Health Careers and Diversity Education. “By working alongside the healthcare leaders of today, our scholars will develop the expertise to become the healthcare leaders of tomorrow. We’re excited about how this program will help transform health in our region.”

Applicants should have an interest in improving healthcare in rural or underserved communities and be currently enrolled in a health professions degree or certificate program in North Carolina. Nursing, nursing assistant, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy and other health and allied health professions students are encouraged to apply. NC AHEC Scholars may be eligible for a subsidy, subject to academic or institutional approval.

For more information on the NC AHEC Scholars Program at MAHEC and application guidelines, please visit

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