Greensboro AHEC – Story Spotlight
Greensboro AHEC and Cone Health Advanced Practice Provider Fellowship Program Launches with 2020-21 Inaugural Class
The new program started Dec. 7 with primary care site training in four counties in the Greensboro AHEC service region.
|The APP Fellowship Class of 2020-21 includes, clockwise from top left, nurse practitioners Amy Stephens, MSN, APRN, FNP-C; Jessica Asaro, FNP; SaraBeth Early, DNP, APRN, AGNP-C; and Onyeje Ijaola, MSN, FNP-BC.|
GREENSBORO — Committed to training and retaining an advanced practice provider (APP) workforce that meets the primary care needs of the patients and communities we serve, including rural and underserved areas, Greensboro Area Health Education Center (Greensboro AHEC) and Cone Health are pleased to announce the launch of our new community-based APP Fellowship Program and inaugural class, which started Dec. 7.
“APP fellowships are quickly growing as a means to train and retain nurse practitioners and physician assistants,” says Hugh H. Tilson, Jr., JD, MPH, director of the statewide NC AHEC Program. “NC AHEC is pleased to support this fellowship because of its benefits to our healthcare workforce in North Carolina, particularly in rural and underserved areas.”
The 12-month immersive educational experience includes direct care in the clinic setting, select specialty rotations to enhance primary-care knowledge, continuing education through didactics and other methods, peer support, and mentoring.
“It is our privilege and honor to foster the ongoing growth and development of the next generation of advanced practice providers with the launch of our Advanced Practice Provider Fellowship in Primary Care program,” says Dereck DeLeon, MD, chief academic officer of Cone Health.
Fellows and primary care placements for 2020-21 are:
• Amy Stephens, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, training at Community Health and Wellness in Guilford County
• Jessica Asaro, DNP, FNP-C, training at Crissman Family Practice in Alamance County
• SaraBeth Early, DNP, APRN, AGNP-C training at Cone Health Primary Care and Sports Medicine at MedCenter Kernersville in Forsyth County
• Onyeje Ijaola, MSN/FNP-BC, training at Cox Family Practice in Randolph County
“What a great opportunity for new graduates to jump into primary care and have hands-on autonomous patient care with a team of experienced providers,” says Jade Breeback, physician assistant with Cone Health Primary Care & Sports Medicine at MedCenter Kernersville. “This year of fellowship will produce APPs who can be more confident in the excellence of the care they provide.“
For more information about the APP Fellowship Program, please contact Greensboro AHEC Graduate Medical Education Administrator Katina Blackwell Mitchell at email@example.com.
• Are you a healthcare professional serving a particular N.C. community? What steps are you taking to improve patient access to services? Let us know by posting your message to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn using the hashtag #PrimaryCare and tag us @GreensboroAHEC. Thank you for reading, and thank you for supporting Greensboro AHEC!
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Greensboro AHEC Practice Support Awards SECU Mini-Grants to Four Regional Practices for Telemedicine Projects
The grants are funded by a $500,000 gift to NC AHEC from the N.C. State Employees Credit Union.
|Michael Martin, FNP, is the owner of Barn Door Health in Randleman, N.C., one of four practices selected to receive an SECU grant for telemedicine services and patient-care technology projects.|
GREENSBORO — Greensboro Area Health Education Center (Greensboro AHEC) has named four N.C. primary care clinics in our Practice Support service region as winners of a mini-grant of up to $10,000, with the aim to support provision of telemedicine services, improve the health status of patients, and prepare for the post-COVID-19 realities of using technology in patient care.
The mini-grants are made possible through a $500,000 gift from the N.C. State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) to the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC) from the summer of 2020, intended to support N.C. primary care clinics in continuing their good work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of the nine AHEC centers across the state were given a portion of the funds to support their local regional practices.
Several clinics across the region applied for the mini-grant, and after review, four regional clinics were selected. We are pleased to announce the winners of the mini-grants and the projects they support:
• Barn Door Health in Randleman is an independently owned clinic, led by Michael Martin, FNP. Michael shared that he uses telemedicine to facilitate an increased patient compliance with follow-up appointments for diabetes management.
“The proliferation of smartphones ensures the possibility of telemedicine appointments in this rural community,” says Michael. “Many patients drive up to one hour to be seen at the clinic.”
With the mini-grant fund, Barn Door Health plans to acquire computers and tablets for video conferencing and in-home diabetic monitoring devices. They also plan to add a module to their electronic health record that enables the clinic to provide vulnerable patients with an accessible means to complete necessary chronic disease management appointments using telemedicine.
• Belmont Medical Associates in Reidsville is a recognized Patient Center Medical Home that has served local families for over 50 years. Providers at the clinic know that improving patient communications and empowering patients to be interactive in their care leads to better health outcomes. Their aim with the mini-grant funds will be to focus on improving patient communication and education among patients with multiple comorbidities.
Belmont’s leaders welcome the news: “Our website is now being utilized by more patients than ever, and that spans all ages and populations. We believe that improving our web presence, making it simpler and more interactive with the patient portal will improve the quality of care for our patients.”
Over the next six months, the clinic will be enhancing their patient portal, clinic website, social medial, and in-home monitoring devices to better facilitate patient engagement in their health.
• The Orange County Health Department, over the past few months, has focused on getting children caught up on missing immunizations since the COVID-19 pandemic prevented families from receiving these important preventative vaccines due to stay-at-home orders and limited clinic hours. The health department has partnered with Orange County, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro school districts to implement a curbside immunization program. The health department plans to use the mini-grant funds to purchase supplies to set up these curbside clinics and provide the critical personal preventative equipment for their staff. The target population for the curbside clinic will be rising high-school seniors, and if successful, will be expanded to other age groups of children.
• Free Clinic of Rockingham County: “Our clinic provides free medical care for people living at 200 percent of the federal poverty level or below and to those who have no health insurance,” says Executive Director Kim Rider. “Most of our patients are employed as ‘essential’ workers — wait staff, cashiers, childcare workers, nursing home, and janitorial staff.”
Many of the patients at the Free Clinic also have multiple chronic conditions and are at high risk of COVID-19 complications. Because of these factors, the Free Clinic of Rockingham County plans on establishing “parking lot” appointments for patients without smartphones or WiFi access. In addition to this new access point, the clinic will provide at-home monitoring devices, such as blood pressure cuffs for patients who can complete a traditional telehealth visit. Kim also plans to upgrade their internet service and providers’ laptops to provide a better telehealth experience.
In addition to the mini-grant funds, Greensboro AHEC’s Practice Support team will be providing free quality improvement support to these clinics, such as assistance with budget, workflows, and evaluation.
“This is an amazing opportunity that the N.C. SECU has provided to frontline physicians across the nine counties in our service region,” says Greensboro AHEC Practice Support Director Suzanne Lineberry, MPH, MCHES. “Small clinics often lack the funds to upgrade technology or purchase simple capital investments. With these SECU funds, we have four amazing, hardworking clinics that have taken on the challenge to improve their clinical practices and provide more services for their patients.”
For more information about Greensboro AHEC Practice Support and services available to practices in our region, please contact Suzanne Lineberry at 336.662.5810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Are you a healthcare professional serving a particular N.C. community? What does improving access to healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic look like to you? Let us know by posting your message to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn using the hashtag #TelemedicineSolutions and tag us @GreensboroAHEC. Thank you for reading, and thank you for supporting Greensboro AHEC!
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Greensboro AHEC Health Careers Coordinator Patricia Parrish Honored with 2020 NC HOSA Partnership Award
The NC HOSA Partnership Award recognizes the contributions of a person or organization that supports future health professionals.
|Patricia Parrish, MS, CHC, CDP, is
the Health Careers and Workforce
Diversity coordinator for Greensboro Area Health Education Center. Get answers to your Health Careers questions by emailing
GREENSBORO — Greensboro Area Health Education Center (Greensboro AHEC) is proud to announce that Health Careers Coordinator Patricia Parrish, MS, CHC, CDP, has been recognized with the North Carolina Health Occupations Students of America (NC HOSA) Partnership Award at the organization’s 2020 State Leadership Conference.
The NC HOSA Partnership Award recognizes “a person or organization outside of NC HOSA, based on their contribution to NC HOSA in strengthening the partnership of supporting our future health professionals.”
“Ms. Parrish has been a valuable contributor to our HOSA chapter for the past three years,” says nominator Nita Canon, a HOSA advisor and health science teacher at Southwest Guilford High School. “She introduced YHSC (Youth Health Service Corp) to our students and helped them create healthier communities through service learning. Many health-related service projects were inspired by YHSC, accumulating thousands of service-learning hours dedicated to our school and community. It also increased our students’ awareness of different healthcare careers.”
Canon further recognized Parrish for supporting district, state, and national HOSA leadership conferences by serving as a judge for competitive events.
“She is an inspiration to our HOSA members,” says Canon.
The Greensboro AHEC Health Careers and Workforce Diversity program supports a diverse group of N.C. students with the goal to “Recruit, Train, and Retain” the state’s future healthcare workforce. The program is funded through a model state-supported grant to improve the supply and distribution of the healthcare workforce with an emphasis on teaching underrepresented minorities and economically and/or educationally disadvantaged populations about health careers.
For more information about Greensboro AHEC Health Careers and available educational health opportunities for students in our service region, contact Health Careers and Workforce Diversity Coordinator Patricia Parrish at email@example.com.
• Are you a student interested in pursuing a career in health? What does the future of healthcare look like to you? Let us know by posting your message to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn using the hashtag #HealthCareers and tag us @GreensboroAHEC. Thank you for reading, and thank you for supporting Greensboro AHEC!
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2020-21 Greensboro AHEC Teen Health Career Club To Be Virtual, Open to All N.C. High-School Students
Students living in the Greensboro AHEC service region of Randolph, Orange, Rockingham, Guilford, Alamance, Caswell, Montgomery, and Chatham counties will receive priority placement.
|Students from Greensboro AHEC’s 2019-20 Teen Health Career Club learned about methods to stop bleeding in severely injured people through the American College of Surgeons’ Stop The Bleed program.|
GREENSBORO — Designed for ninth- through 12-graders who want to learn more about careers in healthcare, Greensboro Area Health Education Center (Greensboro AHEC)’s 2020-21 Teen Health Career Club will be held virtually. While we encourage all interested N.C. high-school students who meet the eligibility requirements to join, students living in the Greensboro AHEC service region of Randolph, Orange, Rockingham, Guilford, Alamance, Caswell, Montgomery, and Chatham counties will receive priority placement. Registration ($25) is now open until Oct. 5 for the annual six-month program, which begins Oct. 12. Students in the club will get to participate in health-sciences workshops, engage with speakers from the healthcare industry and graduate student programs, consider collegiate and scholarship opportunities, and practice valuable leadership skills. Eligible students seriously interested in pursuing a career in a medical or health-related field are strongly encouraged to register. Complete details and steps to register are available on the Greensboro AHEC website at https://www.gahec.org/Careers-In-Healthcare.php.
For questions about the Teen Health Career Club, please contact Health Careers program director Patricia Parrish, MS, CHC, CDP, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For complete information on registering for our Teen Health Career Club, please visit the Greensboro AHEC Health Careers and Workforce Diversity page on this site.
• Are you a student pursuing a career in health? What does healthcare mean to you? Let us know by posting your message to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn using the hashtag #HealthCareers and tag us @GreensboroAHEC. Thank you for supporting Greensboro AHEC!
Get Live Updates: @GreensboroAHEC
Greensboro AHEC Expands ORPCE Housing in 2020 for Male, Female Medical Students in Rockingham County
New clinical rotations offered at Cone Health Annie Penn Hospital have increased need for student housing options in the area.
|The living room of Greensboro AHEC’s new ORPCE 3-bedroom apartment available to medical students on clinical rotations in Reidsville.|
REIDSVILLE — Continuing in its mission to recruit, train, and retain health professionals and achieve better health outcomes across North Carolina, Greensboro Area Health Education Center (Greensboro AHEC) in 2020 has expanded the capacity of housing through its Office of Regional Primary Care Education (ORPCE) in mostly rural Rockingham County. The expansion serves a growing need to provide more diverse housing options for third-year medical students who often travel from the UNC School of Medicine at Chapel Hill — about 70 miles away — to engage in general surgery clinical rotations of four weeks or more at Annie Penn Hospital in Reidsville.
“Students staying late to provide medical care need to be able to stay in the community and not have to commute from Chapel Hill,” says Bert Fields, MD, director of undergraduate medical education for Greensboro AHEC.
A new co-ed three-bedroom apartment now replaces the one-bedroom apartment at Woodland Heights that previously housed just two students in Reidsville — the new apartment can accommodate up to six male or female students. With regard to COVID-19, students requesting ORPCE housing are advised to strictly follow noted guidelines and consider the inherent risks of living communally with other medical students on rotations. The housing allows no guests or pets at any time.
“Our students express gratitude for having nice housing that allows them to focus on the educational experience rather than the pressure of commuting or looking for temporary housing,” says Dr. Fields. “it also allows them to be on call for teaching cases that present after standard work hours.”
“Our students express gratitude for having nice housing that allows them to focus on the educational experience rather than the pressure of commuting or looking for temporary housing.”
– Bert Fields, MD
Preceptors at Annie Penn Hospital welcome the housing expansion, which eases students’ ability to work one-on-one with medical professionals for 24 hours a day in a rural community, where specialists are often fewer and educational opportunities abound. Annie Penn currently offers the only general surgery clerkship for medical students in the Cone Health system.
“The clinical rotations at Annie Penn and expanded housing options support a goal we have in rural areas because there is a doctor shortage here,” says Mark Jenkins, MD, a general surgeon and clerkship director at Annie Penn Hospital. “Students on rotation at Annie Penn get to be higher in the pecking order and get to assist more directly on surgeries, resulting in a wider knowledge of ways to treat patients. They also work on a variety of diseases that you often can’t just write a quick consult for.”
Looking into the future, Greensboro AHEC hopes to soon be able to bring students from other state and regional medical schools, such as Campbell University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine, for general surgery rotations and new clerkships at Annie Penn.
“Ideally, we are working to arrange for an elective rotation in hospitalist medicine (acute illness) to start at Annie Penn, possibly in the next 12 months” says Dr. Fields. “Rural healthcare is a top priority for all of medical education.”
If you are interested in becoming a preceptor or want more information, contact ORPCE Coordinator Tonya Crawford-Baldwin, MA, at 336.832.8566 or email@example.com.
• Are you a healthcare professional or student pursuing a career in health? What does improving healthcare access in rural communities mean to you? Let us know by posting your message to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn using the hashtag #RuralHealthcareMatters and tag us @GreensboroAHEC. Thank you for reading, and thank you for supporting Greensboro AHEC!
Get Live Updates: @GreensboroAHEC
► Greensboro AHEC Conference Focuses on Social Determinants of Health: Transportation, Food, Housing, and Toxic Stress