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A Northeast MN AHEC Reflection, by Laura Palombi

I was born and raised in Ely, a small town in northern Minnesota famous for its blend of the arts and the outdoors (population 3,724). I have always been interested in a career in health care, and volunteered at the hospital and nursing home in Ely before I worked as an EMT in the Ely hospital during college. I knew that I wanted a health care career in which I could make a positive change in the lives of others, but I wasn't sure what this career might be.

After completing a B.A. in Theology, a B.S. in Biology and a M.A. in Theology (focusing in Catholic Social Teaching) I taught for several years in private and Catholic schools. After staying at home to take care of my two children for several years, I decided to pursue a career in pharmacy. Pharmacy was the perfect career for me, as it allowed me an intellectual challenge with patient contact and flexible working hours. Most importantly, I knew that pharmacists had a huge opportunity to improve the "health care experience" of many patients and that there was a variety of careers in pharmacy that I could choose from. I really appreciated that there was a College of Pharmacy in Duluth, as I had no interest in moving back to the cities. My goal was to ultimately live in a rural area and to give my children the same small-town experience that I had enjoyed as a child.

I have a personal interest in working with rural communities, because I am from such a community and am supportive of the challenges they face. I am especially interested in working with those who are struggling on the margins. During my time at the College of Pharmacy, I have most enjoyed working at the HOPE (Health of People Everywhere) Clinic at the CHUM Center in downtown Duluth. This clinic, run by pharmacy and medical students, serves the homeless in Duluth every week. I have also enjoyed planning and participating in health fairs with MPSA (the Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance) and implementing new educational programming in disadvantaged communities in the Duluth area. I think that other students, especially those who are not from a rural area, would benefit from experiencing health care in a rural setting so they can learn firsthand about the benefits of living and working in a rural community.

I learned about NE AHEC in working on finding funding sources for rural health fairs and rural outreach activities, in addition to the work they do with H.O.T. camps. In my NE Minnesota AHEC rotation, I was fortunate enough to participate in a variety of educational and outreach events. I did three puppet shows for preschool and school-aged children (ages ranging from 9 months old to 8 years old) at AEOA childcare centers and educational events in Hibbing, Virginia and Hermantown. These shows focused on exposing young children to careers in healthcare, guiding them through what happens if they were going to the hospital and talking to them about healthy behaviors and how drugs aren't candy. I worked on a project in conjunction with Carlton County Public Health and the pharmacy residents and students on rotation at Essentia health. We designed a set of tools that nurses and other health professionals can use in doing medication reviews at home visits. This set of tools included a patient handout and a provider handout for COPD, asthma, hypertension, type II diabetes and heart failure. These tools were presented at an inter-professional, inter-site seminar during my rotation, with plans to repeat the presentation as part of a training session in the future for Carlton County Public Health & Human Services.

During this rotation, I was also given the opportunity to continue other projects that bridge the gap between pharmacists and public health. I interviewed nursing directors and directors of rural public health departments to learn more about how pharmacists can become more involved in public health. I worked to design a new Public Health APPE (advanced practice pharmacy experience) and am also learning more about how the University of Minnesota could have their own PharmD/MPH program. These projects have as their goal an improved participation of pharmacists in public health and an increased dialogue between pharmacy and public health.

I hope to continue the projects I have started by completing a one-year ambulatory care residency, either in Mora or Duluth, and to continue working towards the Certificate of Core Concepts at the School of Public Health (on my way to the MPH). Ideally, my job will combine MTM at rural health departments with a light teaching load at the College of Pharmacy (hopefully in rural public health). I am also interested in a career that includes consulting and community pharmacy. My hope is that my practice will let me continue working with those on the margins who would benefit most from my clinical expertise and to work closely with public health professionals. I hope that my work will help pharmacists across the state, especially those living in rural areas, to become more involved in public health initiatives in their communities and their state.

AHEC Funding Update for FY13

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On Monday, February 13th, President Obama submitted his FY13 budget proposal to the U.S. Congress. The President's budget request did not include funding for the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) program.

We have until March 20th for House members to request AHEC funding, and we have until March 29th for Senators to recommend AHEC funding in their FY13 budget requests. If Members of Congress do not request funding for AHEC, there will be no federal funding available for AHEC programs nationwide.

Please be sure to reach out to your legislators, as well as your students, board members, community members and the many others who may be willing to call on behalf of the AHEC Program. Thank you for your continuous advocacy efforts in helping the MN AHEC Network to be eligible for funding in order to continue their excellent work in improving health by leading the nation in the recruitment, training and retention of a diverse health workforce for underserved communities.

The Pat Tillman Foundation has chosen the University of Minnesota as a University Partner in support of the Tillman Military Scholars program, which provides educational scholarships for veteran and active servicemembers and their spouses.

With its selection, the University of Minnesota is recognized by the Pat Tillman Foundation as being among the nation's leaders in support services for student veterans, active servicemembers and their spouses on campus.

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Applications are now being accepted for Tillman Scholars, until Friday, March 16, 2012

Who is eligible to apply to become a Tillman Military Scholar?
> Veteran and active duty military servicemembers Of both pre- and post-9/11 service, from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, including service in the National Guard and Reserve.
> Spouses of active or veteran servicemembers, including surviving spouses
> Servicemember or spouse seeking assistance to pursue an undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate degree as a full-time student at a public or private, 4-year U.S.-based accredited institution

Criteria
Members of each class of Tillman Military Scholars represent a rich and diverse set of backgrounds, experiences and ambitions, and were selected based on strong leadership potential and a drive to make a positive impact on others through service.

The MN AHEC Network is available to assist veterans interested in seeking health careers education and health professions students who have been servicemenbers to find support and resources, like the Tillman Scholars, to continue their path to a health care career.

Summer Public Health Institute Details Released

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The University of Minnesota 11th annual Public Health Institute offers courses for everyone practicing in or studying public health or fields related to public health.

The Public Health Institute includes a collection of fast-paced and interactive courses in nine public health areas with an emphasis on theory-to-practice, with opportunities for field trips, case studies, hands-on labs, and simulations.

The courses are available May 21-June 8, 2012.

Registration is open for professionals seeking Continuing Education Units. Registration for Graduate credit opens , enrolled University of Minnesota Students can register beginning April 10th and to the public on April 17.

Course topics include:
Culturally Responsive Public Health Practice
Environmental Health Sciences
Food Protection
Global Health
Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Public Health Leadership and Management
Public Health Preparedness, Response and Recovery; Research Methods
Women and Child Health and Nutrition.

CTSI Releases Two Research Funding Opportunities

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) is pleased to announce two pilot funding opportunities designed to support the broad spectrum of translational science research at the University of Minnesota and in our communities.


Community Collaborative Grants Program

The Community Collaborative Grants Program supports research that solves problems in translating clinical and health-related scientific knowledge into meaningful changes in practice, with the goals of improved health outcomes and/or reduced costs. This funding is intended to stimulate outstanding new pilot research that 1) involves strong community-university collaborations and 2) addresses important issues identified by community and 3) holds the promise of developing into long-term research and evaluation projects that will attract larger grants from NIH or other federal, state, or private funding agencies.

Grants are awarded in three areas: health disparities, systems for health improvement, and rural health.

Translational Research Grants Program
The Translational Research Grants Program supports and facilitates the highest quality translational research, with a goal of making definitive progress toward positively impacting human health in Minnesota and the nation. Applications must be focused on T1 human research, or human-relevant translational or clinical research with the potential to impact human health and/or disease. T1 research tests findings derived from basic research for clinical effects and/or applicability, and yields knowledge about human disease origin and progression and the potential for prevention and/or treatment.

The MN AHEC Network is proud to partner with the CTSI Office of Interprofessional Workforce Development.

Call for Abstracts: 2012 Health Equity Conference

Poster abstracts are currently being for the 2012 Health Equity Conference poster session to be held April 23rd.
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The agenda 2012 Health Equity Conference will focused on eliminating health disparities. Posters may be on any topic related to health equity and health disparities.

The deadline to submit poster abstracts is Monday February 15, 2012 at 5pm.

Awards will be given in each of the following submission categories: Students, fellows, faculty, staff and community members.

The event will be co-hosted by the Center for Health Equity, Program in Health Disparities Research and the Minnesota Center for Cancer Collaborations.

2012 Summer Advanced Research Program

The CTSI 2012 Summer Advanced Research Program provides research training through a structured core curriculum, mentored research projects, weekly research seminars, and a final mini-symposium to present research to other scholars and mentors. With input and oversight by the faculty mentor, the scholars will design a mutually acceptable research-training plan, according to his or her career interests and the ongoing research programs of the faculty mentor.

Download the Request for Applications
Download the Application Cover Sheet
View a list of potential mentors

PROGRAM OVERVIEW
•Open to current University of Minnesota health sciences professional students (from the six health sciences colleges and schools) with an interest in clinical and translational research
•Offers an 8 - 12 week mentored summer research opportunity
•Provides a weekly stipend during the course of the program
•Opportunity for outstanding projects to receive travel funding to present research at a scientific conference
•Includes interdisciplinary learning and networking opportunities through weekly research seminars
•Applications from underrepresented populations are strongly encouraged
•All health sciences students are eligible, regardless of citizenship or immigration status
•Up to ten students will be selected
•Applications due January 16, 2012; start date in summer 2012

Medical students interested in health equity research should visit the Center for Health Equity website for more summer research opportunities

MN AHEC Director Barbara Brandt is the Director of the Office of Interprofessional Workforce Development in the CTSI.

AHEC Funding Update for FY12

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AHEC funding for FY12 has been finalized at $30,142,000. This does reflect a $3 million decrease over FY11; however it is far, far better than zero, as initially proposed by the House.

Please be sure to reach out and thank your legislators, as well as your students, board members, community members and the many others who called on behalf of the AHEC Program. Thanks to your continuous advocacy efforts the AHEC Network is well positioned to continue its excellent work in improving health by leading the nation in the recruitment, training and retention of a diverse health workforce for underserved communities.

MAFP.jpgMinnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) has released a call for abstracts for their 2012 Research Forum. Abstracts are due January 27, 2012. The Research Forum will take place on March 31, 2012.

Abstracts should contain original research and be relevant to family medicine. All categories of research will be considered, including practice-based, community-oriented and participatory projects, and descriptive studies. Quality Improvement projects, clinical case presentations, and literature reviews are acceptable if they generate original conclusions.

Research can be presented as a poster rather than as a live presentation. Poster submissions do require an abstract.

Abstracts can be submitted by medical students, residents, practicing physicians, academic physicians, and researchers.

Please visit the MAFP website for details on submitting an abstract.

Northwest MN AHEC board member Ray Christensen, MD is the treasurer of the MAFP House of Delegates.

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BrainU is a grant-funded professional development program that teaches educators neuroscience principles and effective methodology for teaching neuroscience in the middle to high school classroom.

BrainU's web site contains professional development resources and lesson plan materials for grades 5 through 12 science teachers.

Science teachers from Minnesota and Wisconsin have utilized BrainU training and resources since the program's inception in 2000. Content ranges from 2-week-long teacher training sessions to 1-hour student assemblies, hands-on activities, student/teacher guides, handouts, and other materials.

BrainU is developed by the University of Minnesota Department of Neuroscience and Department of Curriculum and Instruction and is a resource in the STEM Education Center in the College of Education and Human Development.

Strength in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects is an important part of preparing students for continuing education in health professions.

The project is funded by SEPA (Science Education Partnership Award), supported by the National Center for Research Resources, a part of the National Institutes of Health, with additional funding from SEDAPA and ARRA.

The MN AHEC Network hosted a booth at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) 2011 National Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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The conference is held annually and there were over 1,800 attendees from across the nation. MN AHEC staff from across the state enjoyed attending presentations and talking with a wide range of high school, college, and graduate students and educators about AHEC resources in health careers exploration - not only in Minnesota, but across the country.

MN AHEC Network staff were also pleased to meet Iva GreyWolf, Executive Director of the Southeast Alaska AHEC. Her AHEC was also exhibiting at the conference. The 2012 AISES National Conference will take place in Anchorage, Alaska.

American Indian health careers promotion is one of seven focus areas identified by the MN AHEC Network as a priority for programming and effort.

logo-hshc.pngThe National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program pilot application cycle is now open.

The Students to Service Loan Repayment Program provides loan repayment assistance to medical students (MD and DO) in their last year of school, in return for a commitment to provide primary health care services in eligible Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) of greatest need.

This and other NHSC programs are seeking applicants who have an interest in serving in rural and urban communities with limited access to health care and in providing care through their initial service commitment and beyond. MN AHEC Network staff across Minnesota serve as NHSC Ambassadors and are available to assist interested students in their application process.

MN AHEC Regions Take Part in Give to the Max Day

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November 16 is Give to the Max Day and you have the opportunity to donate funds to help support community programming in several MN AHEC Network regions. Check out all of the activities made possible by MN AHEC regions and be sure to show your support of primary care health careers promotion across Minnesota.

Central MN AHEC

Northeast MN AHEC

Northwest MN AHEC

Minnesota's nonprofit organizations ask Minnesotans to give to their favorite charities at GiveMN.org during the third annual "Give to the Max Day" on Nov. 16, with hopes of raising as much money as possible for nonprofit organizations in 24 hours (starting at midnight on Nov. 16 through midnight on Nov. 17).

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The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) has launched an Alumni Network and a redesigned website this week. Visit the site to learn more about opportunities with the NHSC, link to Corps resources, and obtain the latest news and information from the NHSC.

The NHSC, through its providers and sites, plays an important role in helping to address the country's primary care shortage. The NHSC provides scholarships and loan repayment The NHSC is a Federal government program that is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The MN AHEC Network is also a HRSA program.

NHSC alumni include thousands of providers who have served in the Corps and made a significant contribution to the health of the nation's underserved communities. The primary purpose of the NHSC Alumni Network is to offer former members a means to stay connected with the Corps. For those alumni interested in playing a more active role, the NHSC welcomes the support to increase awareness about the NHSC, primary care and working in underserved communities.

There are several MN AHEC Network staff who are NHSC Ambassadors and they are glad to help address questions about the NHSC and qualifying for funding.

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The Minnesota Department of Health has begun the 2011 Minnesota e-Health Connectivity Grant Program for Health Information Exchange (HIE) application process.

The HIE Cooperative Agreement Program, known as Minnesota e-Health Connect, is funded by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) through the HITECH Act to build capacity in all states for exchanging health information across the health care system both within and across states. The cooperative agreement specifically requires states to use their authority, programs and resources to:

  • Ensure the development of state level directories and enable technical services for health information exchange
  • Convene stakeholders to ensure trust and support for a statewide approach to health information exchange
  • Ensure an effective model for health information exchange governance and accountability
  • Coordinate an integrated approach with Medicaid and public health
  • Develop and update privacy and security requirements for health information exchange
  • Remove barriers and create enablers for health information exchange
The HIE guidance and grant application can be found on the Minnesota e-Health Connect website.

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Pictured are Central Minnesota AHEC Executive Director Laurissa Stigen, Senator Al Franken, and Glacial Ridge Health Systems CEO, Kirk Stensrud.

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health has named U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) the 2011 Legislator of the Year.

On Sunday, October 9, Glacial Ridge Health System in Glenwood, MN hosted a reception honoring Senator Al Franken on his National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health Rural Healthcare Legislator award.

Mark Schoenbaum, Director of the Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, presented the award to Senator Franken. The award is given annually to recognize an outstanding legislator for his or her work on, and support of, rural health initiatives. Those selected have introduced or supported legislation that addresses an identified rural health need or issue; made a special effort to effect change in rural health policy; and/or demonstrated leadership in the rural community.

Schoenbaum said Senator Franken received the award in recognition of his continued efforts to ensure that Minnesotans in rural communities receive the quality medical care they deserve. "Senator Franken is a member of three panels, the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions; the Indian Affairs Committee; and the Senate Rural Health Caucus, where he has tirelessly advocated for rural health improvements. He has written and co-sponsored several important rural health bills," said Schoenbaum. He continued to say Senator Franken joins past recipients of this award such as Senator Max Baucus, Senator Kent Conrad, Representative Gabrielle Giffords and Senator Ted Kennedy.

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) presented its 2011 awards to five well-­‐respected rural health leaders and a deserving State Office of Rural Health (SORH) on September 8 during the organization's 2011 Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado.

2011_rural_health_awards.bmpThe Minnesota AHEC Network is happy to congratulate our colleague Mark Schoenbaum on receiving the 2011 Distinguished Service Award. Schoenbaum is Director of the Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care at the Minnesota Department of Health.

NOSORH presents the award each year to a member who has made an outstanding contribution or contributions to NOSORH and is actively involved in a State Office of Rural Health.


Mark Schoenbaum (right) with Karen Madden, New York Office of Rural Health.

President Kaler Visits with MN AHEC and Partners

The Minnesota AHEC Network (MN AHEC) was selected to be showcased as a part of University of Minnesota President Kaler's tour of the Academic Health Center(AHC) on Monday, September 19.

Barbara Brandt, MN AHEC Director and Associate Vice President for Education for the Academic Health Center, hosted the visit. The event was held in the Health Careers Center, an AHC Office of Education program and MN AHEC partner designed to help undergraduate students prepare for advanced health profession education.

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President Kaler, Karen Kaler, Barbara Brandt, MN AHEC Director, Marylin Speedie, Dean of the College of Pharmacy, and students from the Schools of Nursing, College of Pharmacy and Medical School discuss interprofessional teams.

Topics covered during the visit included teaching Health Professional Collaborative Practice to health professions students and practitioners. The the Right Side Up in Otter Tail County interprofessional practice and education team participated in the event via interative television to showcase their team-based work in geriatric fall prevention. Central MN AHEC is a part of the Right Side Up team.
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President Kaler and Karen Kaler connect via interactive TV with Central MN AHEC staff and the Right Side Up interprofessional geriatric falls prevention team in Fergus Fall, MN.

Similar interprofessional education and practice teams supported by MN AHEC and the Office of Education were also highlighted to show how new models of health care provide best practices for collaborative care. Teams include faculty, community-based health professionals, and students from medicine, nursing, and pharmacy.

During his tour of the AHC, President Kaler also visited MN AHEC collaborators in the School of Public Health, the simulation center in the Interprofessional Education and Resource Center, and the School of Dentistry.

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President Kaler works on his bedside manner as he checks vital signs during the simulation.

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The University of Minnesota Office for Business and Community Economic Development is now accepting applications for the 2011 Community Health Initiative (CHI) Student Consulting Projects. This program is designed to support students interested in working with community-based organizations that work to address public health issues impacting traditionally underserved communities.

The CHI program matches organizations with undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in either the School of Public Health, Social Work or the School of Medicine, Carlson School of Management or Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs or other graduate programs within the University.

Complete eligibility requirements and online applications for community-based organizations can be found by visiting the CHI website. Applications are due Wednesday, September 14, 2011.

CHI Student Consulting Projects are experiential learning opportunities for students to work on specific projects that have been identified by local nonprofit organizations or businesses involved in addressing public health issues.

These projects attempt to deal with a business need of the organization and may focus in areas including but not limited to market research, marketing, feasibility studies, implementation planning, implementation, health administration, and outreach. Each consulting projects lasts 50-60 hours after which each participating student is paid a stipend of $700.

U-Lead Advisory Academy Accepting Applications

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University of Minnesota Extension is currently accepting applications from community leaders across Minnesota for the 2012 U-Lead Advisory Academy.

The mission of the U-Lead Advisory Academy is to grow Extension stakeholders' leadership skills, knowledge and networks, and link Extension stakeholders to University of Minnesota resources.

The U-Lead Advisory Academy is a dynamic educational experience featuring an online component, four in-state sessions, and a five-day national study tour to Washington D.C..

More information and the program application can be are available from the U-Lead Advisory Academy staff. The application deadline is 10/31/2011.

December 1, 2011 is the deadline for MN Health Professional Loan Forgiveness Programs through the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care at the Minnesota Department of Health. orhpclogosmall.jpg

Minnesota's Loan Forgiveness Program recruits and retains health care professionals to needed areas and facilities within Minnesota.

The program is designed for health care professional serving in health care facilities and communities experiencing a shortage of access to primary health care services in rural and urban areas of Minnesota.

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Contact Deb Jahnke for information on these programs at 651-201-3845.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

U of M Extension Recognizes 2011 Farm Families of the Year

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Seventy-five families from around the state, one from each participating county, have been named a "2011 Farm Family of the Year" by the University of Minnesota.

Families from all six MN AHEC regions have been recognized. The full list of honorees was announced this week.

For more than 20 years, the Farm Family Recognition Program has honored farm families from throughout Minnesota for their contributions to the agriculture industry and their local communities. All of the honored farm families have made significant contributions to Minnesota agriculture and their communities.

The formal 2011 Farm Family Recognition program will take place on Thursday, August 4th beginning at 1:30 p.m. at Farmfest in Redwood Falls, MN.

MN-Pharm-logo.jpgA 2011 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, Nathan Chandler, PharmD, has been featured in a piece by the Academic Health Center titled, A promise kept to Minnesota's rural residents.

Chandler has chosen to practice in Grand Marais, MN, in Cook County. He completed some of his clinical rotations in Grand Rapids, MN with support from MN AHEC.

Job Shadowing in Marshall, Minnesota

The Minnesota AHEC Network supports health careers exploration activities for students across Minnesota throughout their educational path. Job shadows at local health care facilities is one option offered for students in high school and college with an interest in a health career.

Watch this Avera Medical Minute: Observing Medicine First-Hand in Marshall to see what a job shadow experience can be like.

Visit our website more information on a wide range of health careers and contact Minnesota AHEC in your area for more information.

NE MN AHEC Executive Director Earns MCHES Certification

NCHEC.jpgBrendan L. Ashby, MBA, MPH, MCHES, FACHE is among the first group to earn the certification as a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES).
The newly created advanced-level certification, MCHES, awarded by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc., (NCHEC) signifies that Brendan L. Ashby, MBA, MPH, MCHES, FACHE has met MCHES.jpgthe national standards for individual health education practitioners.

The MCHES credential indicates that an individual has met three components: academic and experience requirements, passing of a certification assessment, and compliance with ongoing continuing education requirements.

Match Day 2011

Yesterday, March 17, 2011, more than 26,000 medical school seniors across the United States discovered where they will spend the next three to seven years for their residency training

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On Match Day 2011, more than half of the class of 225 University of Minnesota Medical School students were matched with residency programs in Minnesota.

In addition, more than half of the students are expected to go into primary care residency programs (internal medicine, family practice, or pediatrics). Primary care is the area of focus for MN AHEC as there is a great need for these practitioners in rural and urban areas. This year, all of the family practice residency slots filled across the state.

Match Day is coordinated by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), a private, not-for-profit organization established in 1952 at the request of medical students to provide an orderly and fair mechanism to match the preferences of applicants to U.S. residency positions with the preferences of residency program directors for those applicants.

Faces of AHEC Event at the Minnesota State Capitol

On February 3rd, 2011, Minnesota AHEC hosted the second annual Faces of AHEC event at the Minnesota State Capitol.

Faces of AHEC was an opportunity to share information about the role of MN AHEC in community-based primary care workforce planning efforts to address health professions workforce issues across Minnesota with state legislators and stakeholders.

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Representative Bud Nornes and Assistant Professor Todd A Johnson, PharmD pose with health professions students from across Minnesota. The students are studying medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy.


Six health professions students from Minnesota kicked off the program by sharing their home cities across the state and their goals for practice. The event was also attended by more than 75 health care, government and community leaders, MN AHEC regional board members, and health sciences faculty from the University of Minnesota. gathered to discuss the role of MN AHEC in community-based primary care workforce planning efforts.

Highlighted speakers included:

Barbara Brandt, PhD, Associate Vice President for Education and Director, Minnesota AHEC. University of Minnesota Academic Health Center

Representative Bud Nornes, District 10A: Fergus Falls

Patrick Lloyd, DDS, MS, Dean, School of Dentistry, University of Minnesota

Linda Watson, MLS, Director, Health Sciences Libraries, University of Minnesota

Kathleen Brooks, MD, MBA, MPA, Director, Rural Physician Associate Program, Medical
School, University of Minnesota

Cindee Quake- Rapp, PhD, OTR/L, Director, Center for Allied Health Programs, University of Minnesota

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MN AHEC Director Dr. Barbara Brandt addresses Faces of AHEC Attendees

Help Create Great Ideas to Strengthen the Primary Care Workforce in Minnesota

Participate in regional planning for strengthening Minnesota's primary care workforce by attending one of eight two-hour "Great Ideas for Minnesota's Primary Care" regional strategic input planning meetings in February. Complete registration information is available here. The meetings are sponsored by HealthForce Minnesota, the MN Department of Health Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, and the MN AHEC regional centers.

Who Should Participate

We need input and strategic thinking from professionals involved in a broad spectrum of primary care areas -- service delivery, education, and employment -- as defined in the most holistic, inclusive sense possible because this is what will truly shape effective change for the citizens of Minnesota. This means professionals involved in: high school career counseling, post-secondary education and training for healthcare, hospitals, clinics, community organizations, county social services, dental care, pharmacy, allied health, mental and behavioral health, aging services, and long term care.

View the schedule and register here.

The future of Minnesota's health profession workforce depends on the ability to recruit the best and the brightest students into health careers.

MN AHEC supports a Health Degree Programs website that is full of information on how high school students can be prepared to apply for post secondary education to pursue a health profession degree.

020107healthcareers.JPGA high school student from Southwest Minnesota discusses health careers with Wendy Foley from Southern MN AHEC.

Resources on the site include:

* Exploring different health professions
* Creating a College Plan
* Researching Health Degree Programs at the University of Minnesota
* Frequently asked questions for students considering a health profession

All of the MN AHEC regional offices can also help with activities and information for further exploration into health careers.

Rural Physician Associate Program Featured

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The Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) is featured in the piece Big medicine for Minnesota's small towns on the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center home page.

The article, by Emily Jensen from Academic Health Center Public Relations, contains feedback from RPAP students, alumni, and faculty.

MN AHEC is proud to play a role in the experiences of RPAP students learning in our regions.

On November 12th, 8 University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) students gathered at St Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd, MN for an interprofessional engagement and learning event.

RPAPPharD2010.jpgLaurissa Stigen, Director of Central MN AHEC, with University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Students and RPAP students at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd, MN.

Presenters at the day-long event focused on medication therapy management, patient centered care, diabetes education, and cardiovascular care.The presenters were all health care professionals practicing in rural areas.

The students who attended were all participating in community-based clinical training in Central and Northeast Minnesota.

The event was hosted by Central Minnesota Area Health Education Center, Northeast Minnesota Area Health Education Center, Minnesota Area Geriatric Education Center and St Joseph's Medical Center.

The Health Career Enrichment Program (HCEP) promotes hands-on learning for grades 1-6.

Teachers receive a kit containing games, books, videos, activities, and scrubs, all of which expose students to healthy habits and health careers. Kits may be rented or purchased.

For more information, contact: Brittany Chopp, Northeast MN AHEC at 218-312-3010 or bchopp1@range.fairview.org


The Center on Aging in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota has featured the partnership between MN Area Geriatric Education Center(MAGEC) and MN AHEC in their Fall 2010 issue of Old News.

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Central MN AHEC and Northeast MN AHEC began working with MAGEC in July 2010. MAGEC and MN AHEC are both funded by Health Resources and Services Administration in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The collaboration will be dedicated to providing quality geriatric education across Minnesota. It is an opportunity for the two programs to combine University of Minnesota resources, program knowledge, and partners in health care around the state.

Read more from Old News here.

December 1, 2010 is the deadline for MN Health Professional Loan Forgiveness Programs through the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care at the Minnesota Department of Health.

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According to the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, the purpose of Minnesota's Loan Forgiveness Program is the recruitment and retention of health care professionals to needed areas and facilities within Minnesota.

Applications are available online. Note that most programs require applicants to apply while still enrolled in a program of study or residency.

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Loan forgiveness is an important benefit for health care professionals as well as health care facilities and communities experiencing a shortage of access to primary health care services.

Contact Amy Vallery for information on these programs at amy.vallery@state.mn.us or 651-201-3870.

Brittany Chopp, K-16 Education Director for Northeast MN AHEC, will be attending the Blandin Community Leadership Program.

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Brittany Chopp, B.A.S., C.H.E.S.

The training is a program of the Blandin Foundation, based in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. According to their website, "Community leadership training programs offered by the Blandin Foundation help rural leaders develop and enhance the skills, knowledge and relationships they need to build and sustain healthy communities - ones that thrive in times of challenge and opportunity."

In June, ten representatives from all five established MN AHEC regions and the Program Office were able to attend the 2010 National AHEC Organization Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Brendan Ashby, Executive Director of NE MN AHEC, and Dr. Ray Christensen, Assistant Dean, Medical School, Duluth Campus, present to attendees of the National AHEC Organization conference about their HRSA Rural Network Development Planning Grant.

"RPAP Key to Recruiting Small-Town Docs"

MN AHEC is proud to work with third-year medical students from the University of Minnesota who participate in the Rural Physicians Associate Program (RPAP). There are RPAP students in all four of our established rural AHEC regions.

The program is in its 38th year and has over 1,200 alumni, 57% of which chose to practice in rural areas. RPAP is a unique opportunity in clinical training wherein third-year medical students live and train for nine months in non-metropolitan communities under the supervision of preceptors who are family physicians. These preceptors mentor students in the professional and personal aspects of being a physician.

RPAP students learn clinical medicine, procedures, community health, and the business of medicine.

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The program has been highlighted in the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center News Capsules. You can also check out the program's newsletter, The Rural Physician, and more information can be found on the program's website.

NE MN AHEC: New Informational Brochure Available

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Northeast MN AHEC has released a a new informational brochure highlighting their services, objectives and contact information.

The brochure is available for download here.

If you would like copies of the brochure to distribute or if you would like to connect with Northeast MN AHEC, please contact Executive Director Brendan Ashby at 218-362-6153.

"Punching the Clock: AHEC sets youngsters on track toward health careers"

From the February 17th, 2008 Hibbing Daily Tribune

For information on this event and others in Northeast MN AHEC, please contact Brendan Ashby, Executive Director of Northeast MN AHEC.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Northeast MN AHEC category.

MN AHEC is the previous category.

Northwest MN AHEC is the next category.

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