Florida State University

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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COSSPP students selected for 2020 AHEC Scholars Program

by Anna Prentice, University Communications, and COSSPP communications staff

Nine Florida State University students in disciplines across campus have been selected to the 2020 cohort of the Florida Area Health and Education Center (AHEC) Scholars Program. Three of those chosen have majors within the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy (COSSPP).

The students, who will work directly with the Big Bend Area Health Education Center, will gain firsthand experience in underserved population settings. Students were chosen from a pool of more than 400 applicants.

“Our program complements and builds upon the student’s traditional health care curriculum and gives them a chance to work together as a team to problem solve prior to graduation,” said Allison Wiman, executive director of Big Bend AHEC.

This two-year program offers students 80 hours of clinical and didactic training while receiving core fundamentals including interprofessional education, behavioral health integration, social determinants of health, cultural competency, practice transformation and current and emerging health issues.

AHEC’s mission is to enhance access to quality health care, particularly primary and preventive care, by improving the supply and distribution of health care professionals via strategic partnerships with academic programs, communities and professional organizations. These efforts support strategic priorities to increase diversity and distribution among health care professionals and enhance health care quality and delivery to rural and underserved areas.

“When health care providers work as a team, patients receive better care,” said Kristen Aguirre, scholar coordinator for AHEC. “We expect great things from this selection of dynamic scholars, and we look forward to working with them.”

For more information about the AHEC Scholars Program, visit this link.

The COSSPP students chosen for the program are:

Mariann D’Arcangelis: Master of Public Health program
“Big Bend AHEC does remarkable work within the community. This program allows me to learn more about my desired field of health education and network with other students interested in public health.”

Brandon Rowland: Joint MSW/MPA graduate student, Askew School of Public Administration
“I chose to apply to the AHEC program because there is an overwhelming shortage of medical and mental health professionals in rural southeast Georgia, and other rural areas around the country. Through this program, I hope to learn new interdisciplinary skills and make professional connections that will allow me to bring quality care to rural communities like my hometown.”

Kimberly Watts: Master of Public Health program
“I wanted to join this program to work with others who are just as passionate about improving the health of our community.”