Skip to main content

The AHEC Pipeline Connects

Lowcountry AHEC’s Health Careers Program (HCP) and Health Profession Student (HPS) Program are collaborating on the AHEC Pipeline Connects project for a second year.  The activity provides an opportunity for participating HPS Program students to practice working as an interprofessional team by introducing HCP students and middle school students to healthcare professions.  The program increases interest in and recruits middle school students for Lowcountry’s HCP program.  Ultimately, Lowcountry AHEC expects to increase the number of HCP students accepted into health careers programs who will eventually become health professionals. 

Recap: Year Two First Phase

Lowcountry AHEC hosted the first activity of year two on November 6. HPS Program students met initially and discussed their respective disciplines, giving them an opportunity to learn from each other. Then the HPS program students worked with the high school students and middle school students at Colleton County Middle School.  The health professions students shared information about their health career, specifically, what students need to do to be accepted into a health profession program and various aspects of the programs. This discussion enabled career exploration and initiated mentor-mentee relationships.
A total of 10 Health Careers Academy (HCA) students, 17 middle school students and 10 HPS Program students participated.  The health professions training programs represented included: MUSC Physical Therapy, Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant programs Charleston Southern University Health Promotion program, the South Carolina College of Pharmacy, and the A.T. Still School of Osteopathic Medicine. Program evaluations showed an increase in the interest level for healthcare careers in the HCA and middle school groups.

Year Two Second Phase

Lowcountry AHEC hosted phase two of the Pipeline Project on March 3. During this session, the HPS coordinators facilitated a discussion with the participating health profession students about their disciplines.  Then the health professions students shared information about their health careers and provided an interactive educational activity for the high school and middle school students at Colleton County Middle School.  They utilized a model of the human body and other props to educate the students on how eating healthy and exercising relates to the organs and how their health profession works with specific disease states.

A total of eight HCA students, 12 middle school students and seven HPS Program students participated.  The health professions training programs represented included: MUSC Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, and Medicine programs, the South Carolina College of Pharmacy, and the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine program. The evaluations are in the process of being analyzed, but middle school students expressed interest in joining the health careers program once they entered high school.

To learn more about Lowcountry AHEC and their programming, visit


Popular posts from this blog

Kelly Jones, PharmD, Named 2016 South Carolina AHEC Educator of the Year Award

Kelly Jones, PharmD, BCPS is recognized as the 2016 South Carolina AHEC Educator of the Year. Dr. Jones is the Associate Professor of Family Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence. He was nominated by the Continuing Professional Development staff of Pee Dee AHEC in recognition for his outstanding contribution to the continuing professional development of healthcare providers across South Carolina and beyond. The South Carolina AHEC Outstanding Educator of the Year Award recognizes excellence in instructors of continuing education in the South Carolina AHEC system. The Outstanding Educator is selected based on their ability to present content in a practical, useful format that meets the needs and expectations of program participants while communicating the material enthusiastically. Educators must also successfully adapt presentations to address multiple learning styles.   Dr. Jones has served the South Carolina AHEC in a myriad

Lowcountry AHEC Helps School Nurse Orientation Pivot Online during Pandemic

For many years, orientation for school nurses in South Carolina has been an in-person event; however, due to COVID-19, this orientation, like so many other in-person events, was cancelled this past year. Yet the need to orient South Carolina's school nurses remains critical. Recognizing this need, a team consisting of Lowcountry AHEC staff, South Carolina Association of School Nurse President Dawn MacAdams and South Carolina Department of Education State School Nurse Consultant Vicky Ladd developed a plan to deliver the orientation as an online, self-paced course. The instructors supported the format change, working to convert their in-person sessions to online content, and Lowcountry AHEC will provide nursing credit for the series over the next two years. The orientation went live in the fall of 2020 and is available at no cost to South Carolina school nurses on the new and improved South Carolina AHEC Learning Portal. To find out more and register, visit the Foundations of School

Mid-Carolina AHEC Simulation Activity Allows Students to Step into Nurses’ Shoes

Prior to COVID-19 Students in the Mid-Carolina AHEC Health Careers Program were able to participate in an interactive activity that allowed them to act as nurses during a simulation activity. The experience was offered through Mid-Carolina AHEC’s continued partnership with Midlands Technical College: Airport Campus. Chaunta Simmons, RN, an instructor with the college’s Health Sciences Department, developed the experience to provide a way for students to actively learn about the nursing profession. Together with Nursing Department Chair Shirley Bannister, RN, they explained the roles of nurses, provided a brief presentation, and enabled students to perform as nurses by taking care of their simulated patient. Students completed a series of tasks common to the day-to-day nursing practice such as patient assessment, foley catheter management, patient positioning, post-operative management, medication administration and safety all while adorned with personal protective equipment (PPE).  &qu