West Virginia Rural Health Education Partnerships

The mission of the West Virginia Rural Health Education Partnerships is to achieve

greater retention of West Virginia trained health sciences graduates in underserved,

rural West Virginia communities by creating partnerships of community, higher

education, health care providers, and governmental bodies. This mission is not

rhetoric, rather one that has carved from the above a set of values formulated by the

partners who govern this organization and have four years experience at building this

partnership. Our organization is characterized by value-based leadership from all

elements that constitute the partnership: the community and rural providers, higher

education and state government.

http://www.wvrhep.org/

Report on Partnership at http://www.wvrhep.org/reports/pdf/Highlights-NY.pdf

West Virginia Pipeline

We are implementing our pipeline program, similar to the TAMU and SUNY programs we developed in past years. In the WV program we will identify high school students and enter them in our Health Sciences Technology Academy (HSTA) a successful program that has been developed in most of WV but not in our region. HSTA primarily targets economically disadvantaged and under represented minorities and many rural students fall into these categories. In this program student meet regularly with a science club coordinator throughout their high school years. From that group of student (not all of whom enter medicine) we will offer a joint acceptance to college (Shepherd College in Shepherdstown WV) and WVU School of Medicine. We are also implementing a similar program with one of our two year schools, Potomac State. This will require transfer after two years. The students will have a variety of health related experiences through their 4 years of college (in the communities in and around the region) and in their hometowns during the summers. They will also have frequent contact with rural practitioners. They will take their first two years of medical school in Morgantown and then return to the Eastern Division for years three and four of medical school. The clerkships will be conducted in the nine county region of the Eastern Panhandle of WV. They will also work with our Rural Health partnership Program (RHEP) during their college years as well as during med school. 

RHEP is a successful program that has been running in WV for many years to provide rural health experiences for all the health science students in the state. Our recently formed AHEC will also provide opportunities for our senior students to work with FP residents, rural health practitioners and provide community health experiences for the student. The AHEC will also be developing new primary care (rural) tracks for resident education. This is just a brief description of our pipeline project. I would be happy to discuss this further with any interested parties.

"Michael Friedland" <mfriedland@hsc.wvu.edu>