Connecting Students to Careers, 
Professionals to Communities, and
Communities to Better Health!
Fall/Winter 2015/2016
In This Issue
Quick Links
Greetings Idaho AHEC Friends,
I hope your Thanksgiving Holiday was special in whatever way it needed to be. I have much to share with you since our last edition in May!

This the first all-digital edition of Frontier Footnotes. As you may recall, we will no longer be distributing print versions. The new format allows room for much more content and by clicking on the links in the "In this Issue" section at the left you can easily find the topics that interest you most. It's definitely a "work in progress," so please bear with the odd spacing and such. I'm working on it! 

Some of the Idaho AHEC highlights include the addition of a new intern, a recap of the Orientation to Health Careers projects, an overview of the ITA 2015: Telehealth Summit held in late October, and a look at the Idaho WWAMI Rural Underserved Opportunities Program student posters.
This edition is also full of exciting news from other agencies dedicated to developing and supporting a robust health care workforce committed to enhancing the lives of Idahoans through better health.

I'd like to offer a hearty "Thank You" to all Frontier Footnotes contributors and to the Idaho AHEC Advisory Board, which is comprised of a very special group of people who continue to serve Idaho AHEC on a regular basis.

Wishing you all the best of the holiday season and success in the coming year!
Katrina Hoff, Director    
(208) 336-5533 x233
Connecting Students to Careers
internIntroducing Idaho AHEC Intern: Tayla Sutherland
Tayla Sutherland, a junior studying Health Sciences at Boise State University, joined the Idaho AHEC team as an intern for the Fall 2015 semester.

Currently working towards her Bachelor's degree in Public Health, Tayla hopes to join the Peace Corps after she graduates in the fall of 2016, where she can share her knowledge of Public Health practices to those in need.Tayla's end goal is to become a certified nurse where she can continue to travel to underdeveloped countries and put her desired practice to good use.
While interning at Idaho AHEC, Tayla conducts research, manages social media sites, updates web posts and manages the Idaho AHEC Event Calendar. She is also assisting in the coordination of the Orientation to Health Careers program. In addition, Tayla is learning all that she can about AHEC, non-profit organizations, networking, and is gaining new skill sets.
ohcOrientation to Health Careers
Grow your own healthcare workforce! The Orientation to Health Careers (OHC) program provides middle-school and high-school students with a chance to learn more about a variety of healthcare careers in their own communities. Participants gain awareness about health career options, which we hope increases their desire and motivation to enter primary care or public health occupations.

Critical Access Hospitals, Community Health Centers, Rural Health Clinics, and Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) community chapters and other organizations are eligible to apply. OHC is free for student participants and stipends are available to offset expenses incurred by the host community.

Program Requirements:
  1. At least 10 students must participate
  2. Must provide at least 6 hours of experiences for the students
  3. Permission slips for participation and photos
  4. Completion of pre- and post- surveys
  5. Presentations by at least two primary care providers
  6. At least one presentation by a Public Health representative
  7. At least one hands-on activity
  8. Tour of a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility
  9. Reporting to Idaho AHEC
Participating communities in 2015 include:

Malad Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA)
Rachel Madsen RN, Med, Health Science Instructor, MHS SEITec Adminstrator, HOSA Advisor at Malad High School, led Malad HOSA students in the coordination of "Health Careers are Hot!" in late April. During the three-day after-school workshops, 20 Malad Middle School students learned how to take vital signs, practiced CPR, participated in a health career scavenger hunt, dissected cow and heart lungs, and vaccinated chickens. The program also included health facility tours and provider presentations.  Hands-on activities were the biggest hit for this OHC. Each student received a set of scrubs.

Bingham Memorial Hospital (BMH) in Blackfoot, coordinated an OHC in June that included 16 presenters covering 12 different fields of healthcare. 18 students age 15 - 18 participated with an additional outreach to 100 middle-school students. Kelli Whiteus, Continuing Medical Education Coordinator and Research and Grants Coordinator, served as the program coordinator. Joanne Smith, Clinical Education Coordinator assisted with planning and implementation of the program. Students participated in a variety of hands-on opportunities; such as a suturing and intubation clinic, ultrasound, Interventional Radiology, and a Public Health activity led by the Southeastern Idaho Public Health Department. Student surveys indicated a very high level of satisfaction with the experience!

Syringa Hospital and Clinics in Grangeville hosted their OHC in November. Katy Eimers, Director of Human Resources, facilitated the program with the help of Donna Kopczynski, RN. 19 students from Grangeville HS and Prairie Jr/Sr HS in Cottonwood participated. Each student received Idaho AHEC backpacks and blood pressure/stethoscope kits. They received training on how to use the kits, toured an ambulance barn, a simulation lab, and a physical therapy clinic. Student surveys for this OHC revealed a keen interest among students to learn more about health careers and what classes they should take in high school.

Orientation to Health Careers is facilitated by Idaho AHEC and funded through a grant from the Idaho Bureau of Rural Health and Primary Care.

To learn how your community can participate, contact:
Katrina Hoff, or (208) 336-5533 ext. 233

smdepSummer Medical Dental Education Program
University of Washington Health Sciences Center
Each summer, the UW School of Medicine's Center for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the UW School of Dentistry Educational Partnerships and Diversity work together to offer a unique opportunity for college freshman and sophomore students interested in careers in medicine and dentistry, the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP). Here are some of the highlights and you can read much more about the program here.
  •  An enrichment program for underrepresented minority and disadvantaged college freshmen and sophomores interested in becoming physicians and dentists
  •  FREE
  • 6-weeks; June 19 - July 30
  • Stipends and travel assistance are provided
  • Participants are housed at UW dormitories
  • Dining accounts are provided
How to apply:
SMDEP Admissions season begins November 1st, 2015.
SMDEP Admissions deadline is March 1, 2016.
Apply at
Program Contact: Felicita Abeyta-Hendrix
Phone Number: (206) 616-5522; (206) 685-2489
ruopRural Underserved Opportunities Program
University of Washington School of Medicine
The Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program (RUOP) is a four-week, elective immersion experience in community medicine for students between their first and second years of medical school. During their 4-week rotation, students live in rural or urban underserved communities throughout Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho (WWAMI). They work side-by-side with local physicians providing health care to underserved populations. Administered by the UW Department of Family Medicine, RUOP is a collaborative effort of the UW School of Medicine, WWAMI campuses and the Area Health Education Centers. It is also supported by the Washington and Idaho Academies of Family Physicians.

Each year, RUOP participants complete a project and prepare a poster for the annual poster session in Seattle. Here's an impressive list of the posters presented by Idaho RUOP students at this year's session in November: 
  1. Alex Doroshkin - Vascular Health Awareness: Increasing blood pressure monitoring in the elderly of Emmett. Preceptor: William Vetter, MD, Emmett.
  2. Michael Duerden - Jerome County SBIRT Education Initiative: Improving SUD outcomes through screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment. Preceptor Josh Kern, MD.
  3. Joey Florence - Involving Youth in Drug Prevention. Preceptor: Frank Batcha, MD, Hailey.
  4. Khloe Frank - Life Skills Development Curriculum: Addressing youth suicide in rural Idaho. Preceptor: Coy Fullen, DO, Plummer.
  5. Joshua Frankland - A Rural Media Campaign to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Preceptor: Jack Secrest, MD, Cottonwood.
  6. Claire Gentile - Nutritional Education Intervention to Combat and Prevent Obesity in Weiser, Idaho. Preceptor Lore Wootton, MD, Weiser.
  7. Thao Ha - Empowering Women in Canyon County through Self-defense Class. Preceptor Jonathon Bowman, MD, Nampa.
  8. Kelsie Hedlund - Snake River Community Clinic Mindfulness Program for Reducing Anxiety. Preceptor: Glenn Jefferson, MD, Lewiston.
  9. Andrew Johnson - Providing Exercise for the Elderly in Montpelier, Idaho. Preceptor: Clay Campbell, MD, Montpelier.
  10. Jacob Kartes - Reducing Adult Non-medical Use of Prescription Drugs (NMUPD) in Clearwater County. Preceptor: Phillip Peterson, MD, Orofino.
  11. Christopher Mallory - Decreasing Young Adult and Adolescent Suicide in Sandpoint, Idaho with the "Signs of Suicide Program." Preceptor Tim Bonine, MD, Sandpoint.
  12. John Nuhn - Actively Surviving: Physical activity to improve cancer survivors' quality of life. Preceptor: Daniel Muelenberg, MD, Sandpoint.
  13. Renee Nuhn - Increasing Continuity of Care for Patients in EMS Driven Hypertension Screening Programs in Sandpoint. Preceptor: Scott Dunn, MD, Sandpoint.
  14. Jeffrey Shirts - Advance Directives Among Young Adults: Increasing the incidence of advance directives among young adults in Rexburg, Idaho. Preceptor: Mike Packer, MD, Rexburg.
  15. Meghan Shuell - Snow Safety: Improving injury prevention strategies in McCall, Idaho. Preceptor: David Hall, MD, McCall.
  16. Kevin Stroschein - Walking Paths for Schools: Healthier children for a healthier future. Preceptor David McClusky, MD, Twin Falls.
  17. Nicholas Swenson - The Shoshone Bicycle Helmet Project: Promoting helmet use in Shoshone, Idaho. Preceptor: Keith Davis, MD, Shoshone.
  18. Ann Watson - Media Literacy Education to Prevent Adolescent use of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems in Bear Lake County, Idaho. Preceptor: Lance Hansen, MD, Montpelier.
  19. Dana Werner - We are Not Mething Around: Preventing methamphetamine abuse in St. Maries, Idaho. Preceptor: Bill Wheeler, MD, St. Maries.
  20. Mary Young - Youth Mental Health First Aid Training for School Personnel in Lewiston, Idaho: Taking action to prevent youth suicide. Preceptor: Scott Osborn, DO, Lewiston.
  21. Caitlin Zak - Project AIM: Decreasing teen pregnancy in Mountain Home, Idaho: The theory of possible selves. Preceptor: Tim Brininger, MD, Mountain Home.
nhscNational Health Service Corps and NURSE Corps
The Bureau of Health Workforce works to expand access to quality health services and achieve health equity through a number of programs, including the National Health Service Corps, and NURSE Corps. There are many National Health Service Corps and NURSE Corps Scholarship and loan repayment opportunities available to health care providers who are passionate about serving the medically underserved. For additional information regarding the NHSC, please contact Andy Nobel at
Connecting Professionals to Communities
The State Office of Rural Health and Primary Care is pleased to offer support to Idaho communities in their clinician recruitment efforts by subscribing to the 3RNet (the National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network). 

You can set up a free online account by going to, registering as an employer, and posting your opportunity. There is room for you to upload photos of your community, hospital, clinic, or health center. We encourage you to enter as much detail as possible about your opportunity; the more information a candidate has, the more appealing the opportunity becomes, It can only be accessed by candidates who register, and candidate information is shared with communities who post for that candidate's discipline.

If you have any questions about how to get started, please contact or (208)334-0669.

gcccGarden City Community Clinic Offers Volunteer Opportunities for Providers
Garden City Community Clinic (GCCC) expresses the love of Jesus Christ by partnering with people and communities to improve health and well-being.  GCCC is a free medical and dental clinic for low-income and uninsured individuals.  The clinic is located in Garden City, Idaho, and holds clinics throughout the entire week.  In order to meet the healthcare needs of the clinic's target patient population, more volunteers are urgently needed to staff the clinic!  The clinic's top needs are for Medical Providers, Dental Providers, RN's, and RDH's.  The clinic also welcomes Dental Assistants and anyone interested in volunteering at the front desk or for special projects!   If you, or someone you know, would be interested in volunteering, please contact the clinic's Volunteer Coordinator, Devon Vankleek,  at or 208-384-5200 x. 231.

psychPsychologists with Special Training Seek Prescription Privileges to Help Improve Access
Idaho ranks last in the nation for the number of psychiatrists per capita of population. All of us know the result: long wait times, short visits, and one of the highest suicide rates in the nation. 

The situation only worsens because the number of psychiatrists is declining nationwide and is expected to decline for the foreseeable future. 

Idaho psychologists believe they have a safe solution. They are proposing that clinical psychologists who want to prescribe could do so by adding three to four years of specialized prescribing training after their doctorate.

The training would focus on mental health prescribing. This is several years more training than a physician's assistant and more specialized training in mental health prescribing than general physicians receive. 

Prescribing psychologists have been working for over twenty years in the military, the Public Health Service, and the Indian Health Service and for over ten years in New Mexico and Louisiana. They have never had a malpractice suit or a serious licensing complaint. 

Illinois has passed a law allowing psychologists to prescribe, Hawaii is close, and the legislation is being introduced to more than a dozen other states. 

For more information on the Idaho proposal, or if you have stories about how more availability of well-trained 
prescribers would help, contact either or We would truly value comments from consumers.
Connecting Communities to Better Health
ita2ITA 2015: Telehealth Summit
The 2nd Annual Idaho Telehealth Summit, coordinated by Lynsey Juel and the Idaho Telehealth Alliance, took place at Boise State University on October 22-23, 2015.
Over 120 administrators, health care providers, IT staff and others interested in learning more about telehealth attended. The agenda featured policy updates, a look at the role of telehealth in the Idaho State Healthcare Innovation Plan, and a "How-to Guide" for implementing telehealth into a medical practice presented by highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals from Idaho, Oregon, Montana, California, Washington D.C., New Mexico and Utah.
During the Summit Reception, Dr. Michael Meza was presented the award for Outstanding Contribution to Telehealth in Idaho. To view Summit pictures and presentations, visit the Idaho Telehealth Alliance website (
chcNew Community Health Centers Expand Access to Primary Healthcare for Idahoans 
Idaho's community health centers owe their existence to a remarkable turn of events in U.S. history, and to a number of determined community activists who fought more than 50 years ago to improve the lives of Americans living in poverty and in desperate need of healthcare. Moving on the opportunity presented by President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty initiatives in the early 1960's, healthcare pioneers secured funding for two "Neighborhood Health Centers" (as they were then called) and approved in 1965, the Community Health Centers Program was launched. 
This tradition of providing access to quality primary healthcare is being carried on by Idaho's 16 Community Health Centers (CHCs) that operate 67 sites in 47 communities across the state. Among the newest members of the CHC family are the Challis Area Health Center and the Shoshone-Bannock Community Health Center in Fort Hall. Both centers were awarded New Access Point funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to start a Health Center and are currently seeing patients. 
CHCs are all community-based nonprofit organizations. They deliver essential medical, dental and behavioral health services to everyone, including those without insurance, residents of rural and underserved areas, and Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance patients.
In late 2015, four new sites will be in operation, serving thousands of additional Idahoans. These sites include: Rexburg, Montpelier, Preston and Caldwell. To learn more please visit
Challis Area Health Center Board of Directors

Frontier Footnotes is produced periodically by the Idaho Area Health Education Center, a regional partner of the University of Washington School of Medicine.  Views, opinions, and informational content of the articles appearing in this publication are the responsibility of the contributing organization and do not in any way represent views and opinions of all contributors. Idaho AHEC thanks you for your interest!