$7.2 million grant to help WV health education

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia Area Health Education Centers (WV AHEC) has received a renewal grant worth $7.2 million to support five centers throughout the state.

According to WVU Health Sciences, the grant will be given out over five years at $1,442,500 per year and was awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration to help the centers improve local health education and training networks.

“The overarching goals of the West Virginia Area Health Education Centers include diversity, distribution and practice transformation,” Jessica Stidham, Rural Community Health Scholars program manager, said. “Working toward these goals, the grant supports the Rural Community Health Scholars program, community-based experiential training, interprofessional education and pipeline programming that serves West Virginians through the development and maintenance of a health care workforce that is prepared to deliver high quality care in a changing health care delivery system.”

Serving 50 counties in West Virginia, WV AHEC works with those interested in health as well as health professionals. A part of that is through the Rural Community Health Scholars program, which helps “prepare individuals to work in rural and underserved communities by providing supplemental educational opportunities.”

“Participating in this programming provides a foundation for WVU health professions students to not only critically assess the needs of rural populations in West Virginia, but also see how they can work together as an interprofessional team to mitigate the barriers to health care facing our communities and create change for West Virginians,” Stidham said.