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Spotlight on...Connecticut Area Health Education Center (CT AHEC)

Photo of CT AHEC emplyees
Left to Right: Petra Clark-Dufner, Suzanne Gregorcyzk, Shannon Kelmelis, Shannon McClure, and Bruce Gould.
Photo by Petra Clark-Dufner
Fun Facts
  • Shelter me ... We refer to the CT AHEC Program Office as “the bunker” because it is a former clinical lab with lead lined walls and sinks.
  • We live to serve ... Combined, the CT AHEC Program Office staff has almost 65 years of experience in higher education and state service.
  • The survey says ... We publish, administer and crunch more than 1,000 surveys annually to clinical providers, professionals supporting primary care, health professions students, and students/parents/guidance counselors.
  • Traffic report ... Our website, http://healthcareersinCT.com, has received more than  33,488 hits and is a frequent resource used by high school and college guidance counselors and advisors.
  • Protection Connection ... We distribute more than 10,000 condoms to the public at community health fairs and health promotion activities annually.
  • Oh, the places we go! ... CT AHEC organizes and/or co-sponsors an average of 51 free mobile medical and dental clinics annually for some of the most disenfranchised populations in Connecticut.

Meet the Department

  • Bruce Gould, M.D., Director and Associate Dean for Primary Care
  • Petra Clark-Dufner
  • Suzanne Gregorcyzk
  • Shannon Kelmelis
  • Shannon McClure

Websites: http://healthcareersinCT.com and http://CTAHEC.uchc.edu   

Did You Know?

  • We are one of 56 AHEC programs nation-wide. The AHEC (Area Health Education Centers) program was developed by Congress in 1971 to recruit, train and retain a health professions workforce committed to underserved populations, bringing the resources of academic medicine to address local community health needs. Approximately 120 medical schools and 600 nursing and allied health schools work collaboratively with AHECs to improve health for underserved and under-represented populations.
  • CT AHEC has been in existence for more than 13 years and has distinguished itself by providing leadership at national, regional and state levels.
  • Health professions students participating in CT AHEC programs include those studying in medicine, dental medicine, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, physician assistants and physical therapy. Partners include: the UConn (Storrs and regional campuses), Central Connecticut State University, Eastern Connecticut State University, Southern Connecticut State University, Western Connecticut State University, University of Hartford, Capitol and Tunxis Community Colleges, Wesleyan University, and Quinnipiac University.
  • Participants in the CT Youth Health Service Corp (YHSC) who complete more than 100 hours of service receive a certificate of accomplishment signed by the CTAHEC Program Director as well as the Director of the US National Health Service Corp. Several of YHSC student have received the United States President’s Award for Community Service.

CT AHEC in the Community

  • CT AHEC embraces the national AHEC logo, “connecting students to careers, professionals to communities, and communities to better health”. We have four regional centers, in addition to the program office located at UConn Health, that provide programming and services that cover the state. The regional centers share common programs, but also sponsor unique community programs that address local needs.
  • We work with more than 90 public and private secondary schools, 10 colleges and university, and over 100 community, state and federal partners, annually. Our student pipeline includes the Middle School Health Careers Exploration Program (MSHCEP), the Youth Health Service Corps (YHSC), the College Health Service Corps (CHSC) and the Urban Service Track (UST). The pipeline serves students state-wide as well as students in 56 AHECs in 27 states.
  • In 2009, CT AHEC provided service to almost 4,500 students in undergraduate college programs and grades K-12, of which over 2/3 were from minority or disadvantaged backgrounds. CT AHEC also engaged over 2,470 teachers, parents and guidance counselors in AHEC activities.

Our People

  • Our director wears four different hats, has four different titles, has multiple offices, and uses a pc, blackberry, cell phone and pager to stay connected.
  • Our team members enjoy a variety of activities including: Zumba, yoga, hiking, biking, skiing and horseback riding, as well as cooking, reading, sculpting, and guitar and fife playing.
  • We volunteer in the community at numerous school, town, city, and church/temple activities and community clinics, including the UConn Migrant Farm Workers Clinic, South Park Homeless Shelter and Clinic, CT Mission of Mercy Free Dental clinics, We Are the Children and CCMC HIV Pediatrics and Family Holiday Parties, the Huntington Street Community Garden, and Peter’s Retreat living facility for persons living with HIV/AIDS, as well as the Company Hall of Fifes and Drums, the Connecticut Blues, Connecticut Patriots, and Drednots Fife and Drum Corps.
  • Outside UConn Health, we take on a variety of roles, including home health aides, CPR instructors, youth mentors, members of community advisory boards, grant writers, parents, and pet owners.
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