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Office of Medical Education
2020 Gravier Street
Suite 602
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: 504-568-4006
Fax: 504-599-1453

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Office of Medical Education

Current AHEC Activities

Community-Based Health Professions Training Support
Drawing on regional needs assessments, the South Louisiana Program Office and centers maintain aggressive support to the LSU schools of Medicine, Nursing, Allied Health and Dentistry, as well as the department of Public Health. In addition, the AHEC Centers are linked to 24 health science institutions throughout the state to support community-based health professions training. The Southeast Louisiana AHEC developed and, with Southwest AHEC, supports the current Rural Primary Care Elective program (RPCE 120). This course includes the departments of Medicine, Family Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Pediatrics, and features a summer rural rotation for first year medical students. To date 1,745 students have participated in these popular electives and have had a significant impact on the number of medical students selecting primary care residencies.

The South AHEC centers have developed and replicated dental student and residency rotations throughout the region. The Southwest and Southeast Louisiana AHEC Centers support the 1st year required (ICM) Introduction to Clinical Medicine. The Southwest and Southeast Louisiana AHECs helped developed the required 3rd year Family Medicine clerkship at LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. The South region Centers are currently involved in the new curriculum design and have assisted in the establishment of a primary care rural track for medical students committed to returning to rural primary care practice. In addition the South region AHECs supports the evaluation of the medical school curriculum and are active participants in LCME and ACGME accreditation.

The AHEC centers help support 165 primary care preceptor sites, and provided 2,534 AHEC student weeks of training in 2001-2002. This represents more than 19 percent of the total medical undergraduate clinical education.

Disadvantaged and Minority Recruitment Career Development
Kids in Health Careers (KIHC) activities are major initiatives for the South region AHEC program. Minority populations in New Orleans represent the largest pool of future health care professionals and 14 AHEC-supported programs are linked to KIHC efforts. The new medical school curriculum at LSU School of Medicine-New Orleans requires all first year medical students to visit selected inner city schools and describe different health careers.

The South region AHEC centers offered 22 recruitment/career development programs for 2001-2002. During the same period, more than 5,000 students participated in health career awareness programs. In 2001, LAHEC published its Health Career Handbook in CD-ROM format, which contains information on 74 health careers, as well as financial information, educational institutions by location, and salaries. In 2001-2002, more than 1,400 C/Ds and hard copy health career directories were distributed. The health career web site: www.lahealthcareers.com is maintained by the all Louisiana AHEC Centers. The Southwest Louisiana AHEC has been the lead center, in partnership with the Department of Health and Hospitals, in facilitating the annual Medical Louisiana Job Fair. SW Louisiana AHEC is leading recruitment activities associated with the Robert Wood Johnson Southern Rural Access Grant. Both of these activities bring students, residents and communities together by matching interests and needs. The South region AHECs developed and supports the "Day with the Doc' program that brings rural and underserved Junior High school students in contact with 2nd year medical students at the medical school in New Orleans.

Continuing Education for Health Professionals
For the year 2001-2002,67 continuing education programs were developed and provided to 1,594 providers, representing 451 contact hours. In addition, 3 distance learning programs were facilitated for 108 providers. Each South region AHEC Center maintains a freestanding libriary or link to a hospital library with appropriately prepared medical librarians. These learning resource activities are critical to reducing isolation and encouraging health professionals to practice in rural or underserved areas. Dentists, dental hygienists, social workers, nurses, physicians and allied health professionals access these services regularly, and more than 60,000 searches have been performed. Both centers are current recipients of National Library of Medicine outreach grant awards.

Community Economic Development
The South region AHEC centers are linked to myriad state, federal, private and local initiatives that promote access to primary care. The economic derivatives of these activities and awards are significant, including the Robert Wood Johnson Southern Rural Access Grant activities at Southwest and Southeast LAHEC Centers. They are also linked to the Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) De/ta Initiative, which will provide grant monies to 29 designated 'delta' parishes to improve access to prima ry care through network development. The Rural Loan Fund, a component of the RWJ grant has generated over $12,000,000.00 in credit facility requests in rural Louisiana to improve access to primary care. Other grant activities include rural AIDS prevention, Ryan White Title I and II, USDA, Office of Public Health and Department of Health and Hospital grant awards. It has been well documented that early exposure to primary care, facilitated by the AHEC Program, has resulted in more students selecting primary care disciplines which have a profound economic impact in rural communities.

National Health Service Corps
The South region AHEC Program Office maintains the lead relationship with the National Health Service Corps and supported by and the two regional AHEC Centers. We have established a relationship as a NHSC "Ambassador". The Program Office was supportive of requests for continuation of federal support for NHSC program funding, and the centers offer a direct link to the State Loan Repayment Program and provide other valuable services for the recruitment and retention of NHSC scholars and providers.

Public Health
The South region AHECs have taken an aggressive lead in linking the Louisiana National Guard and the Office of Emergency Preparedness to the LSUHSC. This has resulted in the creation of training scenarios using computer driven human simulation for ebola, anthrax, late smallpox, etc. Portions of these training scenarios have been successfully tested during the recent Super bowl, Mardi Gras, and other community first responder training events in Louisiana. South region AHEC centers are also grant recipients of rural AIDS prevention programs.

The South region AHEC Centers are directly linked to genetics research for diseases unique to the Acadian populations in Louisiana. In addition, both AHEC Centers are engaged in rural AIDS prevention, tobacco cessation linked to AmeriCorps, and Tar Wars activities with the American Academy of Family Physicians. South region AHEC Centers have programs targeting rural children and women's health education, including cervical and breast cancer outreach, and mental health transportation activities. The Southeast Louisiana AHEC has key responsibilities for Farm Medic first responder training that is being expanded to include human simulation training for first responders and other consequence personnel.

Behavioral, Mental Health and Substance Abuse
The South region AHECs initiated rural electives for medical students interested in mental and public health. AHEC Center staff assisted with a Pediatric Faculty Development grant that included a substance abuse component for pediatric residents. The south region AHECs created the Wheel of Health initiative to stress to elementary school children the positive health aspects of avoiding alcohol, tobacco and other substances. The South region AHEC supports MD-MPH students with "capstone" programming in rural and underserved locations and activities.

Migrant, Immigrant, Refugee and Other Displaced Populations
The South region AHEC centers have taken the lead in the creation of a Migrant Health Clinic in Louisiana. Funded by a corporate foundation grant it provides a bilingual primary care physician and use 'promotores' for MSFW outreach and translation. Capstone students are often engaged and recently completed a compendium of migrant farm worker populations in Louisiana. In addition, the South region AHECs support the homeless clinics staffed by medical students from Tulane and LSU-New Orleans. These clinics provide medical, dental and social services as well as pharmacy support.

Major Partners
Major partners of the South region AHEC program office and centers are the Louisiana Health Science Center- New Orleans that includes the School of Medicine in New Orleans, LSU School of Dentistry in New Orleans, the school of Allied Health in New Orleans, the Graduate School and the LSU School of Nursing. Additional academic partners are the numerous schools of nursing and other institutions of higher learning throughout south Louisiana, and the Tulane University schools of Medicine, Public Health and Tropical Medicine. In addition the AHECs take active roles in the American and Louisiana Academies of Family Medicine.

Key relationships involve the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health, Office of Mental Health, Louisiana Rural Health Association, State Office of Rural Health; Louisiana Primary Care Association, Louisiana Public Health Institute, the USDA, ORHP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. AHEC Center directors and staff hold board positions and other leadership positions in several partner organizations, and have established long-standing and important relationships with local and national philanthropic foundations.