Spotlight on...Connecticut Area Health Education Center (CT AHEC)
Left to Right: Petra Clark-Dufner,
Suzanne Gregorcyzk, Shannon Kelmelis, Shannon
McClure, and Bruce Gould.
|Photo by Petra Clark-Dufner
- 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
- 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,
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
- 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
Meet the Department
- Bruce Gould, M.D., Director and Associate Dean for Primary
- Petra Clark-Dufner
- Suzanne Gregorcyzk
- Shannon Kelmelis
- Shannon McClure
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 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
- 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
- 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