AHEC Scholars Program

AHEC Scholars is a two-year program for health professions students interested in getting hands-on experience and learning about topics that affect communities. The program focuses on developing a deeper understanding social determinants of health that affect vulnerable populations and underserved communities.

By learning about the unique needs many people face, students will change the way they see the bigger picture beyond the individual. The AHEC Scholars program is designed to augment the student’s current curriculum. Ultimately, students will create more meaningful interactions with the populations they encounter through their experiences in the program.


Individuals interested in participating in the AHEC Scholars Program must:

  • Be currently matriculated into an accredited allied health or health professional degree/certificate program; and
  • Be interested in improving the health quality of individuals in underserved healthcare communities.
"Becoming a part of AHEC I have become more aware of the challenges a lot of patients face when trying to access health care. This has allowed me to be more culturally sensitive and competent and to effectively communicate with patients at the level they feel comfortable with. Being educated on these topics is crucial to eliminate the health care disparities faced by many ethnic and racial groups and to increase favorable outcomes."
Tahreem Malik, OMS III Touro COM-Middletown
AHEC Scholar


Each AHEC Scholar will be required to complete 40 hours of didactic education and 40 hours of community-based experiential training per year.

“I am so thankful for being a part of the AHEC Scholars program because it has supplemented my education on issues faced by medically disadvantaged communities, given me access to resources to better serve patients that I can share with colleagues, and connected me with other students at neighboring schools that equally value this opportunity and are invigorated to make changes to make healthcare more equitable for all.”
Liz Eraca, Marist College, Physician Studies Program
AHEC Scholar

Didactic Education

Didactic education consists of an online curriculum that addresses topics designed to augment patient care, including:

  • Cultural competency
  • Understanding vulnerable populations
  • Behavioral health integration
  • Interprofessional care coordination
  • Healthcare reform and quality improvement

The curriculum will be delivered through videos, journal articles, and online certificate programs.

"Being an AHEC Scholar has simply been an amazing experience. The projects that we get to be a part of really allowed me to interact with many professionals and people from different communities. The Opioid Education project was amazing as it allowed me to work with a diverse group of people to present to the youth of the counties that we work with and educate them on the reality of the Opioid Epidemic in the US while allowing me to learn more about their communities. Everyone that I have met through the program has left a mark on me and, as an international student, being able to have this experience will most certainly help shape the way that I work, understand and interact with the American population as a physician and as a person."
Matheus Moreira S. Peraci, Student Dr. OSM Touro COM
AHEC Scholar

Experiential Training

Each AHEC Scholar will be a part of an interprofessional team of students.  Through a variety of community-based projects and experiences, participants will apply their knowledge from the didactic education in their interactions with the community and become a more well-rounded student.  

“Participating in the AHEC Scholars program has been both a rewarding and educational experience. I look forward to our monthly meetings because it's a time where we learn and discuss current, real life issues that are going on in our community. Over the past year I've also had the opportunity to work with the opioid response team at AHEC. I am forever grateful for this opportunity because I've broadened my knowledge on the opioid crisis and what we, as health care providers, can do to promote harm reduction in those with opioid use disorders. I look forward to implementing the things I've learned into my practice as a future OBGYN to better care for pregnant women with opioid use disorders.”
Alexa Walsh, Student Dr, OSM Touro COM
AHEC Scholar

Counties Served: Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Rockland, Schoharie, Sullivan, and Ulster.

Is AHEC Scholars Right for YOU?