University of Alabama brings health profession training to rural students

University of Alabama campus
U of Alabama's campus

The College of Community Health Sciences at the University of Alabama on Tuesday announced a partnership with Alabama Statewide Area Health Education Centers to develop new education and training opportunities for high school students in rural areas of Alabama.

“We are so appreciative of the opportunity to assume responsibility of the CCHS rural high school programs,” said director of the Alabama Statewide Area Health Education Centers, Dr. Cynthia Selleck. “We have a long history of working with high school students. It’s an area where we really shine, and we thank CCHS for their confidence in us to continue to move these programs forward.”

For over 20 years, The University’ rural programs have served as a pipeline to equip high school juniors and seniors with training for opportunities in health care after graduation and before they begin college. ASAHEC will be taking the lead role in implementing an after-school health profession education program.

“The partnership serves the mission of the College to continue to support the region in terms of leadership in medical education and scholarship through its assistance to our area partners,” stated Dr. Richard Streiffer, dean of CCHS. “Area Education Health Centers have become established nationwide, and this is a historic role in which they have deep experience and success. We are pleased to help Alabama AHEC assume this role for the benefit of our state and its communities.”

The AHEC was developed by Congress in 1971 to assists in the recruitment, training and retention of health professionals committed to serving underserved populations. The AHEC program brings resources from academic medicine to address local community health needs.

Following the final transition of all high school programs to the AHEC’s management, the University will maintain the Rural Medical Scholars, Family Medicine Residency and Rural Community Health Scholars programs while providing supervision to new high school programs.