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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.

Preparation for the Future of Rural Dentistry

University of Minnesota School of Dentistry students shared their experiences to pre-dental students in an event promoting the future of dental careers.

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Pictured, L-R, Back row: Lori Larson, Central MN AHEC Regional Specialist; Kelly Stein, Dental Hygiene Student; Adam Swingdorf, Dental Student; and Dr. Paul Schulz, U of MN Department of Primary Dental Care Outreach Director. Front row: Meghan Reedy, U of MN Community Health Dental Outreach Program Specialist; Rachel Uppgaard, Dental Student; Megan Meyer, Dental Therapy Student; Laurissa Stigen, Central MN AHEC Executive Director, and Joan Tronson, Northwest MN AHEC Executive Director.

Pre-dental students from Concordia College, Minnesota State University--Moorhead (MSU), University of Minnesota, Morris, and North Dakota State University (NDSU) heard first-hand ideas to help them become prepared for Dental School as well as a career in Dentistry.

On Thursday, October 29, Central Minnesota Area Health Education Center (AHEC), Northwest MN AHEC and the University of Minnesota School Of Dentistry sponsored "The Future of Rural Dentistry" on the Concordia College campus in Moorhead, Minnesota.

Two dental students, a dental therapy student, and a dental hygiene student, along with School Of Dentistry Department of Primary Dental Care Outreach Director Dr. Paul Schulz and Community Health Dental Outreach Program Specialist Meghan Reedy, presented to the pre-dental students. The students talked about their career paths, the preparation and education involved, and what the current outlook is for dentistry, especially in rural Minnesota.

Over 45 people were in attendance including the pre-dental students, dentists from rural communities, and instructors from NDSU and MSU.

Laurissa Stigen, executive director for Central Minnesota AHEC was pleased with the event. "The focus of this event was to create an informal atmosphere so University of Minnesota students could easily network with pre-dental students, dentists and other dental professionals." Stigen said there were a lot of valuable conversations taking place.

"One of the dentists attending was from Fergus Falls. He complimented the School of Dentistry's excellent team and said that he is optimistic about the future of dentistry," said Stigen.

Earlier in the day, the University of Minnesota students also presented to two Human Anatomy classes at Moorhead High School. Events such as these connect students to careers, professionals to communities, and communities to better health.

One pre-dental student summed up the evening events by writing, "The most valuable part of today's event was hearing the current dental students talk about what the school is like, life during dental school, and hearing dentists talk about their practices. This was a wonderful way to spend my evening!"

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).

northwesterncenter.jpgThe Northwestern Mental Health Center, in Crookston, MN, is featured in an article on the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) website.

In the piece, Northwestern Mental Health Center Executive Director Dan Wilson, LCSW, shares how the NHSC has benefited the organization. Here is an excerpt:

The Northwestern Mental Health Center (NMHC), in Crookston, MN, has been with the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) for over 17 years, and in that time we've benefited from 20 NHSC providers. We serve six rural counties in northwest Minnesota, and the widely distributed locations of our services reflect the sparsely populated geography of the area. We are very much an integrated, rural mental health program, integrating mental health with primary health care services and public education through co-location. The facility operates in 12 locations in the area and in client homes.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

RN to BSN Scholarship Announced by NW MN AHEC

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The Board of Directors of the Northwest MN Area Health Education Center has authorized the award of two scholarships to support RN candidates seeking their BSN degree.

The funds were donated to the AHEC by Dr. Garth Kruger, EvaluationGroup, LLC. Each scholarship recipient will receive $580.00 payable to the student's account at his/her college/university.

Application Deadline: May 1, 2011.

Scholarship recipients will be notified by May 31, 2010.

For application instructions contact Joan Tronson, Executive Director, NW MN AHEC

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.

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.

The Bemidji Area Indian Health Service invited Minnesota AHEC to participate in their Fall 2010 Indian Health Services, Tribal, Urban (I.T.U.) Health Directors Meeting on Wednesday, October 27th.

The meeting was held in Bloomington, MN and was attended by health care administrators from health care facilities that serve tribes in the Bemidji Area Indian Health Service(IHS) region, which covers Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.

In the Bemidji IHS region, there are 24 health centers and 33 health stations operated by tribes. In addition, there are five urban Indian health programs operating under the authority of Title V of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

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Other guests included Shriners Hospitals for Children -- Twin Cities and the National Health Service Corps. Both programs share in the mission to improve health care access and support the health care workforce.

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Mary E. Kautto, RN, Outreach Director for Shriners Hospitals for Children -- Twin Cities

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Melissa Hansen, Program Coordinator for Minnesota AHEC

Northwest MN AHEC partnered with the Pine to Prairie Consortium and RiverView Health, to implement a health careers curriculum designed to expose 8th-10th grade students to numerous careers related to health care.

On August 24th, the first Train the Trainer class was held to introduce five health instructors to the curriculum, including a new simulation mannequin.

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The simulation mannequin allows for hands-on introduction to some of the tools and materials used by various health professionals, as well as the kinds of tasks they perform. The curriculum also provides career information sheets, activities, and directions to accompany the use of some of the pieces of equipment.

The curriculum and the equipment will travel around to schools in northwest Minnesota. The instructors are encouraged to invite health care professionals into the classroom to assist with the presentations. Plans are in place to train 3 more trainers in December.

The equipment and the curriculum design were made possible by the Health Careers Promotions Grant from the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Education. Contributions were also made by several hospitals and post-secondary education institutions across the region.

Tri-State AHEC Meeting

August 26, 2010
Tri-State AHEC Conference
Moorhead, MN

MN AHEC representatives from Southern MN AHEC, Central MN AHEC, Northwest MN AHEC, and the MN AHEC Program Office met with representatives from South Dakota AHEC and North Dakota AHEC to discuss common goals and efforts in the areas health professions training and placement.
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Marketing Classes at U of M, Crookston Gain Real-world Experience through Projects Addressing the Marketing Needs of Regional Businesses

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"The marketing research class, a senior level course, worked with the Northwest Minnesota Area Health Education Center (NW MN AHEC) on some research that addressed high school students' perceptions of career choices in general along with healthcare related careers. Sandy Henneberg along with Executive Director Joan Tronson, represented AHEC and met with the students about the research project. The class conducted focus groups in high schools, in-depth interviews with guidance counselors, and developed surveys that were sent to every high school covered by the Northwest Minnesota AHEC."

In the photo above: Members of the marketing research class presented their research findings on the perceptions of high school students about healthcare careers to a representative from the Northwest Minnesota Area Health Education Center on Friday, December 11, 2009. Class members include: Seated (l to r):Cynthia Weber a senior from Crookston, Minn.; Marketing Instructor Rachel Lundbohm; Northwest Minnesota Area Health Education Center Executive Director Joan Tronson; Thomas Melhorn, a senior from White Bear Lake, Minn.

"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.

Career fair for women held at UMC

Career fair for women held at UMC
Coverage from a March 3, 2008 issue of the Crookston Daily Times

Look here for more information on this event or please contact Joan Porraz, Executive Director of Northwest MN AHEC.

Senator Klobuchar visits to Crookston

U.S. Senator Klobuchar to Discuss Rural Health Care Issues on Jan. 15 at U of M, Crookston

Posted January 11, 2008 in the UMN Crookston News

For more information on this event and others in Northwest MN AHEC, please contact Joan Porraz, Executive Director of Northwest MN AHEC.

Excerpt:
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar will kick off her northwestern Minnesota 2008 Main Street Tour at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, on Tuesday, January 15. Klobuchar will hold a discussion on rural health care from 7:40 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in Bede Ballroom A in the Student Center on campus. The Minnesota Rural Health Association will host the event. Other participants include the Northwest Area Health Education Center, RiverView Health and the University of Minnesota, Crookston.

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