RowanSOM receives $4.3 million grant from AHEC | rowan today
The Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (RowanSOM) received a five-year, $4.3 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, continuing the medical school’s support for centers of New Jersey Area Health Education (NJ AHEC) which provides training and education for students seeking careers in health professions in underserved areas.
The NJ AHEC program has been affiliated with RowanSOM for over 40 years. In partnership with Southwestern AHEC, Garden AHEC and Shore AHEC, the program covers all seven counties in South Jersey and trains medical and health students to work with humility to provide culturally competent care to underserved communities. This unique program enables students to develop strategies and implement solutions outside of the classroom within communities affected by inequalities such as income, gender, race, and location.
“NJ AHEC is a longitudinal, interprofessional program with a curriculum that implements a defined set of educational activities in medically underserved areas of New Jersey,” said Kristin N. Bertsch, Ph.D., Director of NJ AHEC . “Our program is an exciting collaboration between RowanSOM, Camden County College, Rowan College of South Jersey, Rutgers University School of Nursing, and Rowan University’s Departments of Nursing and Psychology. Training provides students with careers unique experiences allowing them to work in interprofessional groups and collaborate with community partners to work in underserved areas.
Students who complete the two-year program receive a certificate of completion that distinguishes them as an AHEC scholar and clearly demonstrates their commitment to working with medically underserved communities. They join a nationwide cohort of approximately 39,000 program graduates in 49 programs across the country.
The multi-faceted curriculum includes interprofessional education, behavioral health integration, social determinants of health, cultural competence, current and emerging health issues, virtual learning, and telehealth. Requirements also include establishing a youth public health program focused on recruiting high school students, completing ten percent of clinical training in community settings, and developing education programs. studies in community-based accredited primary care residency programs.
“The hope is to inspire students to work in these underserved communities to help alleviate the physician shortages that exist in these areas,” added Dr. Bertsch.