Mid-Carolina AHEC had the opportunity this summer, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region IV Public Health Training Center located at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, to offer the “Pathways to Practice Scholars” program in the Midlands region. This program provides an opportunity for public health students to gain practical experience working with seasoned public health practitioners serving or working on behalf of underserved communities or populations. All field placements are intended to enhance students’ professional skills and knowledge while giving them the opportunity to use skills learned in the classroom. Broad areas that can be addressed during a field placement experience are epidemiology or biostatistics, health policy, health management, health promotion and education, global health, health communications, environmental health, and refugee health.
University of South Carolina MPH candidate Andrea Gibson worked with Lovelace Family Medicine and Newberry County Memorial Hospital to generate and publish resources for maternal health. As part of her activities, Ms. Gibson created a website entitled “Carrying to Cradle: Resources for Healthy Pregnancies and Healthy Babies.” She also looked at infant mortality rates and primary C-section rates, comparing those of Dr. Oscar Lovelace’s office in Prosperity, South Carolina to those in the rest of the state and in other parts of the country. Her research has shown that rural medical practices can provide good quality of care, as shown by Newberry having one of the lowest infant mortality rates in South Carolina. Mid-Carolina AHEC Health Professions Student Coordinators Julie Ghent and Jeff Cauthen are pleased to have been a part of connecting Ms. Gibson with a community that can benefit from her skills and interests.