Pocatello, Idaho (KIFI) – The Idaho State University College of Nursing received a five-year federal grant through the Office of Health Resources and Services Administration to provide sustainable healthcare workers in rural and underserved communities in Idaho. supported the development of
Totaling approximately $2.9 million, the grant will be used to establish the Idaho Community Health Education Center Program Office (IDAPO), which will offer three programs involving community members, students and healthcare workers.
The Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Scholar certificate is one of the programs available to students in Idaho’s Health Professional Degree Program. Students will learn important skills, including understanding how to integrate behavioral health services into family medicine clinics.
The Pipeline program is focused on encouraging students in grades 9 through 12 to remain in Idaho and become medical professionals.
Continuing education for current healthcare providers provides the services necessary to keep state healthcare providers abreast of the latest innovations and healthcare approaches.
“Building the healthcare workforce is critically important to Idaho. We are growing rapidly and access to care is essential to the quality of life in our great state.” said Rex Force, Vice President and Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, ISU. “The AHEC program supports a significant pipeline of healthcare providers.”
The Director of the Idaho Community Health Education Center Program Office is Diana Schow, Assistant Professor in the ISU School of Community and Public Health and School of Nursing. She is joined by her Rylee O’Neill, associate director and former director of Southeast Her Idaho AHEC. Her Sue Tavernier, Director of the Graduate School of Nursing, is Director of Evaluation at IDAPO.
The Idaho Community Health Education Center program office serves as the hub for the regional AHEC centers.
Liz Bryant continues to lead the North Idaho AHEC Center hosted by the University of Idaho, Moscow. Katrina Hoff is the director of her Southwest Idaho AHEC for Jannus, Inc., a nonprofit organization located in Meridian. Chelsea Martin is the new Director of Southeast Idaho AHEC, which resides at Southeastern Idaho Public Health.
“Having support from public health, universities, and the nonprofit sector greatly increases our ability to build statewide,” O’Neill said.