Two Belmont graduate students were recently selected to participate in the Tennessee Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) scholars program, a two-year commitment in which health profession students learn about community health through 40-hours of didactic training (online readings, discussions, essay responses) and 40-hours of clinical training.
AHEC is a nationwide project, funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Building upon a core set of guidelines and requirements, each AHEC created an AHEC Scholars Program for their state to increase the distribution and diversity of the nation’s healthcare workforce. The latest cohort marks the first group to be held at the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center, the first federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Tennessee. The AHEC training will focus on six primary topics: inter-professional education, behavioral health integration, social determinants of health, cultural competency, patient-centered practice transformation and current and emerging health issues.
Jaanki Bhakta and Joanna Plumb, both students in Belmont’s Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner program, were selected as AHEC Scholars and recently completed their orientation.
Bhakta said, “I wanted to participate in this program because I felt it would be a great opportunity to learn new things while helping underserved communities. I am hoping to gain knowledge that would be difficult to find elsewhere. For example, learning about resources that are available to patients at low or no cost and using that to help promote health in the underserved communities.”
Plumb added, “I wanted to participate in this program to gain understanding and experience in working in underserved populations and community health. I have always enjoyed the idea of public health and caring for those who have difficult access to care. I’m pretty excited to see where this program leads. I believe it will help me in giving good care to my future patients.”