Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Upstate AHEC Welcomes Dawn Wichmann as Director

Dawn Wichmann, a Michigan native and former resident of South Carolina, is returning to the state as Executive Director of Upstate AHEC.  Dawn, who is relocating to Greenville from metro Atlanta, follows former director Fay Brown.

Dawn previously led the Lakelands Rural Health Network in Greenwood, SC, as the founding director, serving from 2008-2011. She directed the non-profit organization to expand access and improve the quality of healthcare throughout a rural, six county region. Her experience also includes serving as director of Information Technology/Systems and Informatics at the University of Toledo Medical Center in Ohio, and as director of Health Policy and Regulation at the Illinois Hospital Association. She most recently worked as an information technology and organizational assessment consultant in the metro Atlanta area.

 The new Upstate AHEC director holds a bachelor's degree in English and political science and a master's degree in public affairs and administration from Western Michigan University. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in public policy and administration from Walden University.  Dawn's experience and expertise lie in building fundamental relationships in the healthcare field and delivering optimum results for healthcare system employees.

Please welcome Dawn to the South Carolina AHEC family at dwichmann@upstateahec.org or by calling 864-349-1166.  

The Office for Healthcare Workforce Analysis and Planning Releases Primary Care Service Areas Map

The Office for Healthcare Workforce Analysis and Planning in the South Carolina AHEC Program Office has released a data brief showcasing work done in collaboration with the South Carolina Office of Primary Care to identify naturally occurring primary care service areas in the state.  Primary care service areas (PCSAs) are small geographic areas that are relatively self-contained markets for primary care services. The 95 PCSAs identified in the study were developed using de-personalized 2013 billing data from the South Carolina State Employee Health Plan to identify patient travel patterns for primary care services.  Patient ZIP codes were matched with primary care provider ZIP codes to form the basis of the geographic service areas.

An interactive map is available as part of the data brief. Users can find the name of their local PCSA based on their ZIP code and click on that area in the map to learn about local population characteristics, selected health status measures in their community, and the availability of primary care providers. 

To access this publication, visit the OHW home page and click on the map in the Fast Facts section.

Statewide Resilience Training for Public Safety Personnel

The four regional AHEC Centers of the South Carolina AHEC are pleased to partner with the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control’s Office of Public Health Preparedness to offer Building Resilience in Public Safety Personnel in May and June. This workshop will provide public safety personnel and their departments with skills and information on building resilience during trauma and provide suggestions for individual and organizational responses.

Each workshop will begin at 8:30am with check in and a continental breakfast. The program will take place 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with lunch provided. Attend the workshop on one of four upcoming dates:


May 20, 2016
Upstate AHEC at the Pelham Medical Center
Greer, SC
To register, visit: upstateahec.org

June 3, 2016
Lowcountry AHEC at the LC AHEC Training Center
Walterboro, SC
To register, visit: lcahec.com

June 17, 2016
Mid-Carolina AHEC at the South Carolina Hospital Association
Columbia, SC
To register, visit: midcarolinaahec.org

June 24, 2016
Pee Dee AHEC at Coastal Carolina University
Conway, SC
To register, visit: peedeeahec.net

Lawrence H. Bergman, Ph.D., LCP, LPC/S, founder of Post Trauma Resources, will present this training. Dr. Bergman and his firm provide mental health and trauma response to survivors of work, personal and duty-related trauma. The workshop will provide continuing education credit for coroners, law enforcement, EMTs/paramedics, and firefighters.

This educational activity is supported by a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR)/National Healthcare Preparedness Programs, CFDA Number 93.074 – National Bioterrorism Hospital Preparedness Program.

To find out more and register to attend, click the respective AHEC links above.

Mid-Carolina AHEC Partners for Pathways to Practice Scholar Placement

Mid-Carolina AHEC is proud to announce the continuation of a partnership begun in 2015 with the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region IV Public Health Training Center.  The Region IV Public Health Training Center  (R-IV PHTC) aims to strengthen competence of the current and future public health workforce in HHS Region IV, expose public health students to the value of working in underserved areas and advocate for public health systems and policies. For this upcoming summer field placement, Lovelace Family Medicine in Prosperity will host Pathways to Practice Scholar award selectee Jennifer Meunier, currently a first-year Masters of Public Health student at the University of South Carolina.

Ms. Meunier will be working with Dr. Oscar Lovelace and his staff to assess the effects of physician led weight management in primary care and will conduct research on the benefit of obtaining a body composition analysis for patients attending weight management classes versus those who attend class alone.  Further tasks will include attending a weekly weight management class, following up with patients and collaborating with the office’s weight management coordinator. 

As part of the field placement program, students are asked to complete a pre-survey, work plan, final evaluation, brief reflection and executive summary paper, and a draft conference abstract on their experience.  According to Michelle L. Carvalho, Program Manager and Coordinator at Emory University, these requirements may also meet degree requirements for the students as well. 

If you are a public health student interested in helping a rural community in South Carolina while completing necessary components of your curriculum, please contact Jeff Cauthen, Health Professions Student Coordinator at Mid-Carolina AHEC, at jcauthen@comporium.net or 803-286-4121.

Call for Abstracts and Posters for Annual Research Symposium


Upstate AHEC, in collaboration with the Nursing Research Committee of the Greenville Health System, AnMed Health, Nursing Division of Greenville Technical College and Gamma Mu Chapter and Mu Rho Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, is sponsoring the 14th Annual Research Symposium: Research Impacting Clinical Practice on Friday, September 30 in the Technical Resource Center Auditorium, Barton Campus Greenville Technical College in Greenville. The conference will provide participants with information on the use of the research process, need for research to validate evidence based practice and how the application of findings can impact clinical practice.

Abstracts are now being accepted and must be submitted no later than June 1, 2016.

If you would like more information about the conference or have questions, please contact Bennie Pettit at bpettit@upstateahec.org or 864-349-1162.

Pee Dee Echo Training Continues to Grow in North Carolina Via Videoconferencing

The Pee Dee Echo Society, under the leadership of McLeod Regional Medical Center chief echo sonographer Sherry Gibson, provides continuing professional development through case studies to registered diagnostic cardiac sonographers once a quarter.  This training was initially provided in-house to staff and has expanded to other facilities via videoconferencing technology.  Viewing sites include McLeod Seacoast (Little River, SC), McLeod Medical Center-Dillon (Dillon, SC), New Hanover Regional Medical Center (Wilmington, NC), and host site McLeod Regional Medical Center (Florence, SC).  The newest facility to join the Pee Dee AHEC training is Boice Willis Clinic in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

This collaboration was coordinated by Kay Lambert, Pee Dee AHEC Allied Health Education Coordinator, with the assistance of Area L AHEC in Rocky Mount, NC, who provided the videoconferencing equipment and viewing site for training their area sonographers. The impetus for this collaboration originated with a sonographer, Njeri Mendenhall, RDCS, who moved to North Carolina from Florence and desired to be a part of the training again. Connections were established and the Boice Willis sonographers attended their first training session in March.

Ms. Mendenhall stated, “I missed the relaxed atmosphere and ease of learning that the Pee Dee Echo Society provided.  Everyone learns from each other. After I graduated from the Sentara School of Health Professions in Chesapeake, Virginia, I shortly joined the staff at McLeod Regional Medical Center, Florence, SC.  At this time, I attended continuing education programs as a part of my professional healthcare career and continued for 8 years there.  I’m so glad to be a part of this training again with the use of videoconference technology and to receive professional continuing education credits.”

The next training for the Pee Dee Echo Society will be held on June 2 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.  Register to attend at www.peedeeahec.net.

South Carolina AHEC Health Careers and Health Profession Student Programs Prepare Future Health Professionals

Lowcountry AHEC


Lowcountry AHEC’s Health Careers Program (HCP) and Health Profession Student (HPS) Program are collaborating on the AHEC Pipeline Connects project for the third consecutive year. This collaboration provides an opportunity for HPS students to practice working as an interprofessional team, while exposing students in the Health Careers Academy (a fundamental component of the South Carolina AHEC HCP program area) to health professions and introducing the basics of team building.

Lowcountry AHEC hosted a Pipeline Connects activity in December. Students from MUSC’s School of Medicine, the South Carolina College of Pharmacy and USC Salkehatchie worked with 14 HCA students to share information about their health careers and why they have chosen their respective career paths. Afterward, Lowcountry AHEC HPS coordinators conducted an activity on building effective teams with all of the students.

The students enjoyed the activities and Lowcountry AHEC looks forward to another successful year of the Pipeline Connects project. If you would like more information or to get involved, please visit the Lowcountry AHEC website.

Mid-Carolina AHEC


The Mid-Carolina AHEC Health Careers Academy (HCA) and Health Profession Student (HPS) Program have been collaborating for the past five years as an interprofessional pipeline team to increase the number of middle school, high school and undergraduate students who enter the health care pipeline in South Carolina. The outcomes of this collaboration are shown in the increase of the number of students that enter the HCA program and the number of students who successfully graduate from the HCA Program and remain in contact with the center.

In November, Mid-Carolina AHEC hosted Hands-Only CPR training for the high school students and parents in Chester and Lancaster counties in order to introduce students to the importance of knowing and understanding how to do Hands-Only CPR. This activity also gave the HCA students a chance to interact with HPS students at the training and to learn about their job duties and career paths.

The students and parents learned:
  • What is Hands-Only CPR?
  • How much can CPR improve the chances of survival?
  • Be the difference for someone you love
  • Take 60 seconds to learn how to save a life

Students and parents who successfully completed the training received a two-year certification in adult, child, and infant CPR from the American Heart Association. In order to increase the awareness of Hands-Only CPR each participant was also asked to take their Hands-Only CPR manikins to train five additional individuals. A total of 55 middle and high school students and adults were trained.

To find out more about Mid-Carolina AHEC and their activities, please visit the Mid-Carolina AHEC website.

Pee Dee AHEC


The Pee Dee AHEC Health Careers Summer Internship Program for high school and college students provides future healthcare professionals with a four- to six-week work experience in a healthcare setting, special projects, and soft skill lessons as enrichment. This program runs from June to August. All interns are required to attend a mandatory orientation session designed to provide tools to help them start, sustain and complete their internship successfully. This summer, HPS students will be invited to the Summer Internship Orientation to share their personal stories and tips to having a meaningful, successful, and enjoyable placement experience. Interns receive guidance on creating specific goals and leave orientation confidently ready to begin their work experience.

To find out more, please visit the Pee Dee AHEC website.

Upstate AHEC


HCP & HPS Collaboration: The Day and Life of a Med School Student 



An Upstate AHEC HPS student shares her career and education journey with HCP students.












To find out more, please visit the Upstate AHEC website.