Area Health Education Centers

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  • Government funded agencies whose mission is to improve the healthcare needs of the most underserved people in their state.

    In South Dakota 53 of the States 66 counties are federally designated health professional shortage areas and 61 have mental health professional shortages.

    The AHECs in SD are working to meet this need in three ways:

    Providing educational activities for students from Kindergarten - Graduate School Providing continuing education activities for medical professionals Providing communities with professional recruitment opportunities

  • . . . a four week summer program that places two students from different health professions together in a rural healthcare system for a

    holistic view of what it is like to work and live in a rural community.

  • To increase the number of clinical psychology, certified nurse practitioner, medical laboratory science, physician, physician assistant, pharmacy and social work students who have a positive experience in rural and frontier communities of South Dakota To promote interprofessional learning

  • HRSA Grant Funding from 2011- 2013

    Grew from 3 sites/6 students to 9 sites/18 students Pharmacy students paired with Medical, DNP or PA

    South Dakota Office of Rural Health Funding in 2014

    11 sites and 21 students

    Expansion in 2015 to seven disciplines, 15 sites and 30 students

    Clinical Psychology, Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Pharmacy, Master of Social Work, Medical Laboratory Science, Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant.

  • Apply online by Dec. 30th at:

    Write a one page essay about why you

    are interested in a rural experience, practicing

    in a rural area or staying in South Dakota to



    Stipend is $4000 for 4 weeks!

    30 students will be placed in 15 facilities across SD . . .

    Site visits will be done during your experience.

    Professional photos taken during orientation!

    Students will be selected by a panel from the SD

    Department Of Health and the Yankton Rural

    Area Health Education Center.

    You will need one recommendation from a professor or former

    employer. May be sent directly to

    cheri.buffington @ or

    attached to application.

    Recommendation Attach your current resume or CV. Please include your current

    and permanent home address. Also make sure it includes any previous

    health professions experience.

    Resume Facilities provide housing and meals. Students do

    community projects.

    Application Process

  • Pharmacy Cardiac Rehab Leadership Workshops Outreach Clinics Telemedicine Visiting Specialists Behavioral Health Risk Management Wellness Initiatives Community Health

    Physical Therapy Radiology Lab Surgeries Colonoscopies Home Health Visits Rounds & Clinic with Doctors Long Term Care Health Information Fairs Infection Control

  • Miller**














    Hot Springs

    *Stars indicate past years of participation

    Wessington Springs (2011-2013)

  • Twenty six of our 29 graduates (90%) are practicing in South Dakota

    Thirteen of 29 (45%) are practicing in populations under 50,000 or VA

    REHPS Participation Year

    # of Graduates # Practicing in South Dakota

    # Practicing in SD population under

    50,000 or VA

    # Completing Residency

    2011 5 4 1 1

    2012 8 7 6 4

    2013 8 7 4 4

    2014 3 3 0

    2015 5 5 2

    Total 29 26 13 9

  • Post Survey Questions # Responding

    Agree/Strongly Agree 2012-2015

    % Responding Agree/Strongly Agree


    % of Increase over corresponding pre

    experience response

    After my 4 weeks of rural practice, I am more likely to consider rural healthcare for my future profession.

    71/76 93.42% 7.70%

    After my 4 weeks I have a better understanding of rural healthcare. 74/75 98.67% 43.11%

    After my 4 weeks I feel more comfortable in the rural healthcare setting. 75/76 98.68% 32.01%

    Because of my experience, the facility is a place that I would consider for future placement. 58/75 77.33% NA

  • Paul Berndt REHPS 2014: Parkston

    Mankato, MN

    Ryan Buse REHPS 2014: Sisseton

    Brandon, SD

    Kristin Wempe REHPS 2014: Wagner

    Mitchell, SD

    Randall Waldner REHPS 2014: Redfield

    Redfield, SD

    Austin Huber REHPS 2015: Custer

    Brandon, SD

    Emma Bye REHPS 2015: Parkston

    Harrisburg, SD

    Stephen Bollinger REHPS 2015: Wagner

    Pierre, SD

    Kelly McKnight REHPS 2015: Philip

    Sioux Falls, SD

    Brady Coburn REHPS 2015: Winner

    Sioux Falls, SD

  • Anthony Loewen REHPS 2012: Wessington Springs

    Huron, SD

    Rebecka Bogue REHPS 2013: Miller

    Beresford, SD

    Mikaela Miller REHPS 2012: Wagner

    Spencer, NE (UNL)

    Miranda Tracey REHPS 2012: Redfield

    Pierre, SD

    Josh Ryan REHPS 2011: Redfield

    Sioux Falls, SD

    Liz Hoffman REHPS 2013: Sisseton

    Eureka, SD

    Kevin Oliver REHPS 2013: Redfield

    Aberdeen, SD

    Martha Holstein REHPS 2013: Parkston

    Fairfax, SD

    Erin Rasmussen REHPS 2013: Platte

    Vermillion, SD

  • Oct/Nov: Applications released at Requirements include: application, essay, resume and recommendation Deadlines are staggered based on discipline

    Dec 30th : Medical Student Deadline

    Jan 30th: Announcement

    April: Orientation Date TBA

    May/June: Start Summer Experience


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