Greensboro AHEC – Story Spotlight

Greensboro AHEC – Story Spotlight

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.
Barn Door Health
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 the Greensboro AHEC practice support mini-grant program, contact Suzanne Lineberry at 336.662.5810 or suzanne.lineberry@conehealth.com.


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 Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter 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
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 
patricia.parrish@conehealth.com.

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.

Visit https://www.gahec.org/Careers-In-Healthcare.php for more information about Greensboro AHEC Health Careers.

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 Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter 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.
Teen Health Career Club
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 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 patricia.parrish@conehealth.com.

For complete information on registering for the 2020-21 Teen Health Career Club, please visit: https://www.gahec.org/Careers-In-Healthcare.php

 Are you a student pursuing a career in health?  What does healthcare mean to you? Let us know by posting your message to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using the hashtag #HealthCareers and tag us @GreensboroAHEC. Thank you for supporting Greensboro AHEC!

Get Live Updates: @GreensboroAHEC 

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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.
ORPCE Housing Living Room Example
The living room of Greensboro AHEC’s new ORPCE 3-bedroom apartment available to medical students on clinical rotations in Reidsville.
ORPCE Housing Kitchen Example

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 tonya.crawford@conehealth.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 Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using the hashtag #RuralHealthcareMatters and tag us @GreensboroAHEC. Thank you for reading, and thank you for supporting Greensboro AHEC!

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2020 Residency Graduate Counted Among Campbell’s First Class of Osteopathic Physicians

Angela Riccio, DO, plans to support rural communities with her move to a Western N.C. practice.

Greensboro AHEC, part of the NC AHEC Program, has been training the next generation of physicians in our community-based residency programs since 1974.

Angela Riccio, DO, Cone Health Family Medicine Residency Graduate, Class of 2020
Angela Riccio, DO, Cone Health Family Medicine Residency Graduate,
Class of 
2020

GREENSBORO — On June 19, 2020, Greensboro Area Health Education Center (Greensboro AHEC), in collaboration with Cone Health, celebrated commencement for 19 residency and fellowship graduates, as they marked the completion of their programs with a virtual graduation ceremony. This year’s ceremony was limited in scope due to COVID-19, but the graduates were recognized for more notable reasons.

Among them is Family Medicine resident Angela Riccio, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), who earned her medical degree as a member of the inaugural class of Campbell University’s Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM) in 2017.

“We could not be more proud of our inaugural class,” says Jim Powers, DO, Interim Dean of CUSOM. “We congratulate them and thank them for choosing to be founders with Campbell University.”

Campbell’s medical school is North Carolina’s first to offer a degree in Osteopathic Medicine, a holistic medical field that combines the needs of the patient, current practice of medicine, and interconnectivity of the body’s ability to heal itself.

“I often get asked, ‘What is a DO?,’ usually in the hospital elevator,” says Dr. Riccio. “We’re the same as regular doctors, but we focus on preventing health problems by treating different areas of the body with Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) to help reduce pain and restore function. I think it has a bright future. Cone Health employs many DOs, and I never feel Angela Riccio, DO, Cone Health Family Medicine Residency Graduate, Class of 2020 singled out or disadvantaged. And the philosophy of osteopathic medicine naturally produces more primary care doctors, which, hopefully, will lessen the need over time.”

After graduation, Dr. Riccio looks forward to the next step in her career: moving with her husband to support a family medical practice in Franklin, a western N.C. community with a rural population that could benefit from her type of care.

“It was my time at Campbell that made me fall in love with North Carolina and want to stay,” says Dr. Riccio. “Campbell appealed to me because it was in a rural N.C. area, and I aligned with their goal of producing physicians dedicated to primary care.”

“Angela is an example of our mission fulfilled,” says Dr. Powers. “She came to North Carolina for medical school and spent her first two years in Buies Creek and her clinical rotation years at Cape Fear Valley Health in Fayetteville. We were proud to have her among our inaugural alumni to enter a residency program in primary care in North Carolina, and now we celebrate with her as she goes into the practice of Family Medicine in Franklin.”

“I hope to bring up-to-date care to patients there,” says Dr. Riccio, “Western N.C. seems to have a higher than average need for providers. It will be challenging to learn what resources the community has and how to navigate those resources to provide the best care.”

While Dr. Riccio is excited to finish her residency, her graduation won’t mean the end of her medical education. She is currently interested in learning more about telemedicine, which she says has gotten “a big push” from the COVID-19 pandemic and could help increase healthcare access to patients in rural areas, an issue she knows about.

“It was my time at Campbell that made me fall in love with North Carolina and want to stay. Campbell appealed to me because it was in a rural N.C. area, and I aligned with their goal of producing physicians dedicated to primary care.”


– Angela Riccio, DO

“My hometown of Blairstown, N.J., had about 5,000 people, and the closest hospitals were 25 minutes away,” says Dr. Riccio. “It made emergency room needs difficult. But it was a great place to grow up, and it was a huge driving factor for me to want to live and practice in a rural setting. In Franklin, I hope to be able to minimize referring patients to specialists that may be overwhelmed by volume or difficult for patients to get to.”

As for her long-term future as a doctor, Dr. Riccio says she will never stop learning.

“This job requires lifelong learning to stay on top of new recommendations,” says Dr. Riccio. “I try to reflect each day to learn from or consider how I could do things better next time. My goals are to continue bettering myself as a doctor.”

And while she says she learned countless lessons from her patients and mentors during her residency, she credits her fellow residency graduates with lending her the most support.

“Intern year was notoriously difficult, and having others to lean on who were going through the same thing was most helpful for me,” says Dr. Riccio. “It’s been a long, hard road, but looking back now on our three years together, I can see how much we’ve all grown professionally. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

The 2020 class of residents held their virtual graduation ceremony on Friday, June 19, 2020. Want to show your pride for your graduate? You can congratulate the graduating class by posting to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter – just include the hashtag #GreensboroAHECGrads with your message and tag us at @GreensboroAHEC.

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 Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using the hashtag #RuralHealthcareMatters and tag us @GreensboroAHEC. Thank you for reading, and thank you for supporting Greensboro AHEC!

Get Live Updates: @GreensboroAHEC 

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