August 2011 Archives

Girls Exploring Medicine & Service Workshop

Girls Exploring Medicine & Service (G.E.M.S.) Workshop was held August 26 to 28, 2011 on the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) campus. The event was developed through a collaboration with the Warroad Girls Lead program and medical student Erica Bohan, MPH, who is originally from Bemidji, MN.


UMD Medical Student Erican Bohan, MPH teaches a G.E.M.S. student how to use a stethoscope.

Bohan is assigned to the community of Warroad, MN for her preceptorship experience in the new Rural Medical Scholars Program at the University of Minnesota Duluth Medical School. This course is comprehensive over the first two years of medical school and once completed Bohan will have spent a total of six weeks working with Warroad's only full-time family practice physician, Dr. Deborah Erickson.

On her outreach in Warroad, Bohan had the chance to work with a girl's leadership program called Warroad Girls Lead. This program is an extracurricular activity for high school girls in Warroad who are interested in leadership training and community advocacy.

Bohan said that working with this group opened her eyes to several needs in the community and particularly within this population. With a total population of 1,781 and its location in the northernmost part of the state, Warroad is not only rural but remote. Besides just the one full-time physician, the closest four-year university is over 140 miles away in Bemidji.

"It has come to my attention that these young women are under the impression that their career opportunities are limited to those in nursing, teaching, or secretarial work. For many of the students, the most convenient and accessible post-secondary education option is the technical college located in Thief River Falls," said Bohan.

Through collaboration with the leader of the Warroad Girls Lead program, Kim Hruba, Bohan invited girls in the Warroad Girls Lead program to attend a pilot program at the UMD Medical School campus called G.E.M.S., a hands-on workshop in health careers.Six girls traveled to Duluith with Hruba and Dr. Erickson. The girls were invited to stay at the homes of several of Erica's fellow female medical students during the two nights that they were in Duluth. Dr. Joy Dorscher, with the Center for American Indian and Minority Health at UMD, hosted a "get-to-know-you" dinner at her home on Friday evening.


G.E.M.S. participants try thier hand at reviewing x-rays.

During the workshop, the girls toured both the College of St. Scholastica and the University of Minnesota Duluth, as well as a tour and female physician shadow at Saint Mary's Duluth Clinic and the Hope Clinic.
They participated in various hands-on activity stations, including suturing pig's feet, delivering a baby in a simulation laboratory, viewing pathology specimens, and reading X-Rays. During lunch Lori Larson from Central Minnesota Area Health Education Center and a group of medical students talked about the many different pathways to health care careers and the support that is available.

"I think it is crucial to not only give the girls a chance to explore medicine and meet some inspirational female physicians, but to also ensure that they have access to resources and information about how to pursue a career in medicine should they be interested," said Bohan.

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Fergus Falls was the first stop on Governor Mark Dayton's tour of the state to discuss jobs, including new ideas for statewide workforce and business development.

Lori Larson, Regional Specialist for Central MN AHEC was able to attend one of several events the Governor made in Fergus Falls. She shared that "Dayton used the words education and training continuously as part of the solution to a healthy workforce."

He also gave some attention to funding and resources necessary to support training for health professions students to meet health care workforce shortages.

Governor Mark Dayton with Lori Larson, Regional Specialist, Central MN AHEC

MaryZahuronesPK2011.jpgMary Zahurones, an 18-year-old college student from Pierz, MN was crowned the 58th Princess Kay of the Milky Way in an evening ceremony at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on August 24, 2011.

Pierz, MN is in Morrison County in the Central MN AHEC region. Zahurones will be a freshman at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities this fall as a pre-med student studying biology and chemistry.

Throughout her year-long reign as Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Zahurones will make public appearances helping consumers make a connection with Minnesota dairy farm families who are dedicated to producing wholesome milk while caring for their animals and natural resources.


The Office for Equity and Diversity's Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) Awards program honors and acknowledges diverse students who are doing outstanding work at the University of Minnesota, both in and out of the classroom.

SEED award recipients demonstrate a deep understanding of and commitment to issues of equity, diversity, and social justice through their academic work and/or service to the community.In addition, SEED awardees will demonstrate experience with or commitment to serving or working with underserved, underrepresented or marginalized populations.

There are two SEED award types; an undergraduate SEED award and a graduate or professional student SEED award. Applicants must be enrolled as students on one of the five University of Minnesota campuses.

The undergraduate SEED applications are due September 26, 2011 and the graduate & professional student SEED applications are due October 10, 2011.

Details on the grant criteria and how to apply can be found on their website.

The awards are presented annually at the University of Minnesota Equity and Diversity Breakfast, which will take place on Wednesday, November 16, 2011.

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) offered the third installment of conversations about rural health care with nine rural Minnesota health care providers. The piece is called WEIGH IN: Is rural health care going to get better or worse?


The conversation is a part of an ongoing focus in their Ground Level series focused on the future of Rural Health in Minnesota communities.

tzink 2.JPGThe UMNews has released a feature piece on University of Minnesota professor and physician Therese Zink. The piece is titled A love of country and it highlights Dr. Zink's passion for and contribution to primary care medicine in rural areas.

Dr. Zink is engaged with MN AHEC through her work in the Rural Physicians Associate Program (RPAP) and her advocacy for rural health care in all primary care fields.

In June, 2011, Dr. Zink received the 2011 Rural Health Hero Award at the Minnesota Rural Health Conference.

She has also shared her career experience and that of others by editing The Country Doctor Revisited, a collection of essays, poems, and short stories written by rural health care professionals.

Avera Marshall Health Careers for Kids SCRUBS Camp a Success


Thirty-nine middle school students from southern Minnesota attended the second annual Avera Marshal Health Careers for Kids SCRUBS Camp on August 9, 2011 at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center in Marshall, MN.

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In addition to other topics, the middle school aged attendees learn about ultrasound technology and careers in radiology and Imaging.


Avera Marshall staff introduced the students to numerous areas of the hospital, including the emergency room. Simulation training equipment was used to offer students a hands-on experience in multiple health professions.

Southern MN AHEC was grateful to help support the arrangement of this camp. The MN AHEC Network is available to help with similar opportunities across Minnesota.


The Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) at the University of Minnesota has announced the funding of a set of grants aimed at supporting and promoting healthy and safe eating in rural and urban communities.

The projects include:

  • Developing on-farm safe food handling practices for immigrant farmers in the Twin Cities who grow and sell fresh produce and traditional crops at local farmers markets.

  • Assessing and creating a plan for a Native American-owned grocery store and deli in Lake Andes, South Dakota, on the Yankton reservation.
  • Creating an integrated Anishaabe curriculum at the intersections of culture, history, economics and health with native food practices, including gardening, farming and forestry.
  • Addressing the obesity epidemic in communities of color by creating a sustainable intervention model that can be used by the North Minneapolis Kwanzaa Church community.
  • A series of activities for fathers to help them be more involved in growing, preparing and shopping for healthy food with their children -- through visiting farmers markets and community gardens, planning menus and using safe food preparation techniques.

The MN AHEC Network is engaged in some of the communities and has existing partnerships with some of the project leaders, including Southside Community Health Services, NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, University of Minnesota Morris, University of Minnesota Extension, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and the University of Minnesota Medical School.

The physicians in the Preparation for Residency Program will be beginning their residency. The program is designed for international medical graduates seeking U.S. clinical experience required to qualify to practice in Minnesota. The MN AHEC Network is providing financial and community-engagement support for these physicians.

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Doctors Liban Farah, Liban Hired, Will Nicholson, and Jibril Elabe; photo by Libby Frost

Three doctors from Somalia, Liban Hired, Jibril Elabe, and Liban Farah, are the first beneficiaries of the U's Preparation for Residency Program. Having completed the seven-month training program , Hired is currently a resident at North Memorial, and Elabe and Farah are residents at Smiley's Clinic. After completing their residency, they are committed to work for one year in an underserved community in Minnesota.


From the Youth Work Institute Update:

STEM on the Web! August 5, 2011

The Youth Work Institute has added a new specialty topic to our website: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) will help you find programming resources and activities that draw young people in through interactive, experiential learning. The process of inquiry begins with gathering information and data, applying the human senses; it's a natural fit for incorporating science into your program's curriculum.

Registrations is currently open for the Inquiry-based Science with Kids-It's a chemical attraction! training on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011 at the Wadena County Fairgrounds in Wadena, MN.

Strong STEM skills are an important part of the education of a health professional.

NE MN AHEC Highlighted in Center on Aging Newsletter

Centeron aging.gifashby.jpgThe University of Minnesota Center on Aging has featured the collaboration between Northeast MN AHEC and the Minnesota Geriatric Education Center (MAGEC) in their Summer 2011 Old News newsletter.

The article, "Times Are a Changing - and AHEC is Preparing: Geriatric Education Initiatives in Northeast Minnesota", references the Palliative Care Initiative (PallCI) and the mnHEALTHnet rural health network.


The Minnesota Department of Health Office of Rural Health & Primary Care will post the Rural Hospital Planning and Transition Grant application on August 5th, 2011. Completed applications are due September 19, 2011.

Hospitals have used transition grants to prepare strategic plans, implement new uses for hospital space and develop community services.

The Office of Rural Health & Primary Care administers grants to help small rural hospitals preserve access or respond to changing conditions.

Contact Doug Benson, 651-201-3842, for more information.

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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