Southwest Georgia AHEC Scholars

Southwest Georgia AHEC Scholars Program Receives National Recognition
National AHEC Organization Center of Excellence Award – AHEC Scholars Program
(July 2020)

Southwest Georgia AHEC Scholars is an exciting new multidisciplinary program that gives health professions students a unique opportunity to practice hands-on training, experience providing care in a rural/underserved environment, work with other health professions students in their region, build their resumes and increase their professional contacts. Students will make lasting connections with different professions and learn how to function as an interdisciplinary team.  The program consists of 80 hours of classroom or online instruction and 40 hours of hands-on community-based experiential training over two years.  Most instructional material will be self-paced study, with some small group-facilitated discussions and in-person workshops held in your region with local health professions faculty.

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Core Topics

Core topic areas covered in the Southwest Georgia AHEC Scholars Program curriculum:

  • Interprofessional Education
  • Behavioral Health Integration
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Cultural Competency
  • Practice Transformation
  • Current and Emerging Health Issues

Applications open August 1, 2021. 

Eligibility Requirements

Students are invited to apply for the program if they meet the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled in following Georgia health professions degree programs with a duration of two years or longer:
    • Augusta University/Medical College of Georgia Southwest Campus: MD students
    • University of Georgia, College of Pharmacy Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus: PharmD students
    • Georgia Southwestern State University: BSN and MSN-FNP students
    • PCOM South Georgia Campus: DO students
    • Albany State University: FNP Students
  • Have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5
  • Able to commit to the two-year term

​Requirements for this program are in addition to a student’s regular coursework required by their degree program. Program participants will be eligible for stipends during the program based on completion of curriculum objectives and required activities.

Benefits

  • Understanding that all healthcare providers contribute to the team.
  • Showing respect and building trust among team members.
  • Using appropriate language when speaking to other healthcare providers.
  • Keeping the patient and family at the center of care for best outcomes.

How to Apply

You will be asked to provide personal and contact information.  This information will be used both to screen applicants to the program and for federal reporting purposes.

You must show evidence of an overall cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher to apply for the AHEC Scholars program.  You may upload an electronic copy of an official transcript on the application form.

On the application, you will be asked to answer the following open-minded questions, in no more than 250 words:

  • Why do you want to apply to the Southwest Georgia AHEC Scholars Program?
  • Explain your definition/understanding of interprofessional/interdisciplinary practice in health care.
  • What personal characteristics make you a good fit for the Southwest Georgia AHEC Scholars Program?
  • How could participation in this program contribute to your professional development?

If you’re ready to set yourself apart from your peers and develop skills that will transform healthcare in Georgia, click on the “Apply Now” button below to begin the process.  You will be directed to the Statewide AHEC webpage to complete the application.  For any questions, email Program Coordinator.

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The SOWEGA AHEC Scholars Program was a valuable part of the clinical years of my medical education which I chose to spend in Southwest Georgia. This program fostered discussions around current frontiers in healthcare with a special focus on impact on rural and underserved areas. I was able to interact with students from other healthcare disciplines, and we worked together to address issues such as behavioral health, telemedicine, disaster preparedness, human trafficking, and more.

The leadership of the program made me feel like I always had a family looking out for me during my time in Albany, and they kept us supplied with opportunities to really dig in and make an impact on the underserved populations around us that we learned about. I feel that through the AHEC Scholars Program, I got a more in depth look at the issues facing my community and gained an appreciation for the specific needs that I can help serve in my future career as a physician – and I got to have fun while doing it!

I would recommend the SOWEGA AHEC Scholars Program to any healthcare professions student who has the privilege of spending their clinical years in Southwest Georgia.

Southwest Georgia AHEC Scholars Program Cohort #2 Class of 2021, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus Medical Student

I have never been a part of a program quite like the Southwest Georgia (SOWEGA) AHEC Scholars. As a pharmacy student, this program provided me such unique experiences to unify with other healthcare professions to provide patient care to the medically underserved population. The SOWEGA AHEC Scholars gave me the opportunity to participate in farmworkers projects, which was a week-long outreach program where healthcare professionals would set up daily morning and evening clinics for farmers. This experience broadened my understanding of healthcare disparities and allowed me to hone my communication towards less literate patients.

Additionally, the program allowed me to obtain mental health first aid certification and telehealth certification. Both of certifications shined, during the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic as healthcare interactions started to utilize telehealth and as social distancing and isolation created concern for mental health. The experiences and training that the SOWEGA AHEC Scholars Program provided me has provided me a unique skillset, allowed me to be flexible interacting with other healthcare professional, and has made me well equipped for taking care of patients with various socioeconomic backgrounds.

Through this program’s unique opportunities, I have become an overall better healthcare professional. By continuing this program, I have no doubt that future AHEC scholars will grow to become stellar healthcare professionals, who place great emphasis on interprofessional patient care.

Southwest Georgia AHEC Scholars Program Cohort #1 Graduate Class of 2020, University of Georgia (Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus) PharmD Student

Being a part of the diverse team of future nurse, pharmacists and physician helped sculpt me into the nurse I am today. With each Southwest Georgia AHEC Scholars Program seminar and training, I not only learned a lot about myself but a lot about every corner of my community. Healthcare is one of the most diverse and rewarding careers you can pursue and the AHEC helped me get a head start on becoming the successful nurse I am today.

Southwest Georgia AHEC Scholars Program Cohort #2 Graduate Class of 2021, Georgia Southwestern State University, BSN Graduate

I was a part of the Southwest Georgia AHEC Scholars Program and graduated from GSW’s nursing program in May of 2020.  The program is very beneficial and will aid you in your nursing career.  I learned so much in the AHEC Scholars Program as  a student and I am now putting all the knowledge that I gained to use as a nurse right now, especially while in a pandemic. 

I highly recommend this program as it will teach you how to to collaborate with a wide range of medical professionals, provide optimal care to your patients, and treat each patient as an individual and not just a number.  I really enjoyed the team bonding activities we did and participating in the South Georgia Farmworker Project.  It was truly eye opening.  You will have so much fun in this program and it can be done while you are in nursing school!

Southwest Georgia AHEC Scholars Program Cohort #1 Graduate Class of 2020, Georgia Southwestern State University, BSN Graduate

Joining the Southwest Georgia AHEC Scholars Program impacted my nursing career for the better.  What caught my eye was learning about things that I hadn’t even thought about in caring for a diverse population and being able to use that with the hands-on experience offered with AHEC.  I feel it gave me an advantage when interacting with patients.  You’re also able to meet many others from different backgrounds in healthcare.  It really gives you a different perspective on how you view things.  I know how much time it takes to study for tests, clinicals and other things but this is a great opportunity you won’t regret. If I could do it, so can you! I definitely recommend joining the AHEC Scholars family.

Southwest Georgia AHEC Scholars Program Cohort #1 Graduate Class of 2020, Georgia Southwestern State University, BSN Graduate

I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in the Southwest Georgia AHEC Scholars Program.  I can honestly say that it made me a better nurse.  The program opened my eyes to the health disparities in this community and taught me how important interdisciplinary healthcare practices are to patient success.  The content studied was interesting and relevant and allowed students the chance to be involved in big picture conversations about healthcare going on today.  I strong encourage nursing students to participate! These experiences will absolutely better prepare you for your nursing career.  Plus, the activities that Michelle Huskey plans are so much fun!”

Southwest Georgia AHEC Scholars Program Cohort #2 Graduate Class of 2021, Georgia Southwestern State University, BSN Graduate