Monday, February 9, 2015

Wellness Connect Launches Patient Sessions

The Wellness Connect Telehealth Weight Management program successfully launched in January at four primary care practices across the state.  The program, with funding from The Duke Endowment and the MUSC Center for Telehealth, is a partnership between the South Carolina AHEC, MUSC Weight Management Center and family medicine practices to provide expanded access to weight loss experts at MUSC. The four-month program allows individuals to participate in a weight loss program from the comfort of their primary care provider’s office.

“This telemedicine project allows the expertise and resources of our state's oldest medical university to benefit the rural community we serve and will most definitely have a positive impact on America's fastest growing epidemic – obesity,” explains Dr. Oscar Lovelace in Prosperity, SC.

Sessions take place every other week with patient groups meeting with the MUSC Weight Management Center via videoconference. Over 20 patients are enthusiastically participating and several have already reported weight loss.  

“Wellness Connect allows us to reach many more South Carolinians throughout the state who, whether by geography or finances, wouldn’t otherwise be able to access the professional weight management services they need,” according to Dr. Joshua Brown, Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Services and Training at MUSC’s Weight Management Center.

Two lessons have taken place, with eight lessons to follow over the coming months.  Three additional practices will be added to the program starting in April.

To find out more about the program, contact Dr. Ragan DuBose-Morris at duboser@musc.edu or 843-792-9429.

Application Deadlines for South Carolina Rural Dentist Loan Repayment and Rural Physician Incentive Grant Programs Near

South Carolina Rural Dentist Loan Repayment Program

The application deadline for funding through the South Carolina Rural Dentist Loan Repayment Program is February 15. The program assists in the repayment of educational loans of dentists who practice in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or serve as full-time faculty at the MUSC College of Dental Medicine. For more information about the program, please visit the South Carolina AHEC webpage at http://www.scahec.net/professionals.html.

South Carolina Rural Physician Incentive Grant Program

Applications are currently being accepted for the South Carolina Rural Physician Incentive Grant Program.  Awards for physicians will vary, with the minimum award being $60,000 and the maximum award being $100,000, depending upon the type of practice setting and the population of the county. Awards for advanced practice professionals will vary, with the minimum award being $30,000 and the maximum award being $50,000, depending upon the type of practice setting and the population of the county.

The deadline for applications is March 1. For more information about the program, please visit the previous article or program website

Lowcountry AHEC Welcomes New HCP Coordinator

Lowcountry AHEC is proud to announce the addition of their new Health Careers Program (HCP) Coordinator Katura Williams, M.Ed.

Ms. Williams is a local Walterboro native. After graduating from Colleton County High School, she received her bachelor’s degree in sociology. In 2013, she completed her Master of Education in Counselor Education from South Carolina State University. Previously, Ms. Williams worked with the Colleton and Charleston Departments of Health and Human Services and the Lowcountry Community Action Agency. While working on her graduate degree, she interned at Harleyville Elementary School and Colleton Middle School. She has a love for helping people and is excited to work with Lowcountry’s HCP students.

Ms. Williams will be replacing Natasha Chatman, who is leaving Lowcountry AHEC after nearly six years to join the Franklin C. Fetter Community Health Center. Ms. Chatman has been an extremely valuable member of Lowcountry AHEC and will be missed.

Please join Lowcountry AHEC in bidding farewell to Natasha Chatman and welcoming Katura Williams to the team!  Ms. Williams can be reached at williamsk@lcahec.com.

AHEC Partnership Enables Collaboration Across Oceans

The South Carolina AHEC has partnered for two years with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and the American University of Beirut (AUB) to provide videoconferencing capabilities for Balint seminars between both universities. The technology allows the seminars to take place despite the faculty and students participating from separate continents. The published results of a study of the effectiveness of the videoconference seminars is now available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25320058.

Balint seminars are "used in many family medicine residencies to improve and strengthen the patient-doctor relationship: to make better doctors" (see full paper [insert link]). Unfortunately, there is a lack of credentialed Balint leaders in developing countries; therefore, the feasibility and effectiveness of conducting Balint seminars via videoconference was investigated. Drs. Jumana Antoun and Maya Romani at AUB and Drs. Alan Johnson and Clive Brock at MUSC found that videoconference Balint seminars were indeed a promising alternative to offer the activity to providers in other disciplines, states, and countries while increasing the number of trained Balint leaders.


The South Carolina AHEC is proud to help provide the technical assistance required to make this initiative a success.  To read the full paper and find out more, visit http://fampra.oxfordjournals.org/content/31/6/733.long.

Pee Dee AHEC Health Careers Program and Darlington County School District Collaborate on Communication Workshop

Communication is changing. Today’s high school students largely prefer text messaging, email, and social media, such as Facebook, to traditional channels such as communicating face-to-face or by phone with someone. However, these skills still remain crucial to searching for and obtaining employment. To help, Pee Dee AHEC and Darlington County School District will collaborate to offer an employability skills workshop for the Darlington County School District Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Office after school program this spring, led by WIA Coordinator Rudell DuBose.

“With so many fast ways to communicate today, it can become easy for our communication skills to get sick. We’re hoping this workshop will be fun while at the same time equip young people with skills on how to communicate well, not just online, but in person,” says Pee Dee AHEC Health Careers Program Coordinator Larrissa Clavon. Ms. Clavon will present the spring workshop, “WellTalk: A Communication Workshop.”

Ms. DuBose and Ms. Clavon both agree that effective communication skills strengthen students’ ability to interact with professionals. The goal of “WellTalk” is to give students confidence in talking with adults at college and career fairs hosted by their high schools, during tours on college and university campuses, at interviews for jobs and internships, in speaking with their teachers at school and in casual conversation at home.

During “WellTalk,” students will explore the importance and relevance of communication skills as high school students, develop ways to share and receive information more effectively, learn the importance of communication in health professions and all professions, and exercise different ways to improve their overall communication skills.

The “WellTalk” workshop will take place March 3, 5, 10, and 12 during the after school program serving Darlington High School students at the Darlington County School District WIA Office located at 501 Spring Street, Darlington, SC.

For more information contact Larrissa Clavon at lclavon@mcleodhealth.org.

Mid-Carolina AHEC Shares Two Steps to Save a Life

If you are called upon to give CPR in an emergency, you will most likely be trying to save the life of someone you love: a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend.  Sadly, most Americans (70 percent) feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to administer CPR or they’re afraid of hurting the victim. 

Fortunately, “Hands-Only” CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR for sudden cardiac arrest at home, at work or in public.  It can double or even triple a victim’s chance of survival!  This basic type of CPR has just two easy steps: If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse:

(1) Call 9-1-1; and
(2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the disco song “Stayin’ Alive”. 

“Do what?” you may ask.  Information on the American Heart Association “Hands Only” CPR Fact Sheet can be a helpful first start in learning these techniques. The fact sheet can be found on the American Heart Association website.

For those who are interested in learning more, Mid-Carolina AHEC is an American Heart Association Training Center.  Currently, they have over 400 Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) instructors who taught over 12,000 students basic and advanced CPR in 2014.  Classes are taught to healthcare professionals and laypersons throughout Mid-Carolina’s 11-county service area.

To find out more information about training or how to participate, visit http://www.midcarolinaahec.org/american-heart-association.

Upcoming Continuing Education Programs

Lowcountry AHEC Offering DSM-5 Overview in May

Lowcountry AHEC is offering a training course reviewing the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) entitled, “DSM5: A First Look” on May 8 at the Trident Community Center in the Trident Family Health building in North Charleston.  The long-anticipated DSM-5 has been in publication for nearly two years and reflects a significant shift in the way that clinicians will conceptualize and diagnose their patients. In this full-day training, participants will explore the revision rationale put forth by the American Psychiatric  Association (APA) and gain a greater understanding of the field's movement toward a more dimensional conceptualization of mental health disorders. The course will explore how the diagnostic criteria of each disorder has been revised in light of the growing body of neurological and psychiatric literature, as well as the impact that culture, gender, human development and ethnicity play on assessment.

This course will be an interdisciplinary program offered to nurses, social workers (non-social work hours), physical therapists and occupational therapists.  Participants will require a thorough familiarity with the previsous edition of the DMS, DSM-IV-TR (Text Revision), and current psychiatric diagnoses to best benefit from this lecture.

Matt Dugan, MA, LPC, CACII, Program Administrator of Adult Services of the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services Center, will be the guest speaker. 

To register, visit www.lcahec.com.

New to AHEC U

New to


Getting Started with EKG's
Beyond the Basics of EKG's
Understanding and Improving Psychosocial Functioning in Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease
HIV Update: 2015
STD Facts: Symptoms, Transmission and Treatment
Pharmacology: Just Because It Costs More, Doesn't Mean It Is Better

To view a program, visit ahecu.org.