Internships and Projects

 

AHEC Scholars 2022 Summer Projects and Application


Learn more about AHEC Scholars and Summer Projects here.


Vermont AHEC Common Application:  https://redcap.med.uvm.edu/surveys/?s=KR7XM8ML4P4E4EYL 

This common application is used to apply to summer projects hosted by three organizations: UVM AHEC Program, Northern VT AHEC, and Southern VT AHEC. Some projects may require a supplemental questionnaire and criminal background check. All projects are AHEC Scholars-eligible activities and fall into one of two tracks: research and quality improvement or mentoring and education. Projects are typically 100 hours (40 didactic/curriculum-based and 60 hour field-based/project-specific) and pay a $1,500 stipend.

All projects will link to one or more AHEC focus areas:

  • Interprofessional Education/Interprofessional Practice
  • Behavioral Health Integration
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Cultural Competency
  • Medical Practice Transformation
  • Current and Emerging Health Issues

Project dates vary, but all are within the summer recess date range of Monday, June 20 to Friday, August 12. Some projects may provide for travel, meals, and lodging.

Application Deadline is Wednesday, February 16, 2022 at midnight.

Applicants will be notified in early March 2022.

This is a competitive process, decisions will be based on the best match for each program. Individuals may participate in more than one project.

Please have your current Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume ready to attach to this application.

If you have questions about this program or its application, please contact ahec@uvm.edu.

Project Descriptions

Project descriptions serve as a guide for a specific topic area; actual projects will evolve once a project team is formed.

UVM AHEC Program

Track: Research/Quality Improvement

Gardening Project
Access to healthy food is one of the most important social determinants of health. Along with access to food, knowledge and experience in food preparation is essential for developing a healthy and sustainable diet.

Specific questions or goals for 2022
Will teaching and demonstrating gardening have a positive impact on patient health outcomes?


Track: Research/Quality Improvement

Electronic Medical Record Projects
The Epic Electronic Medical Record (EMR), while an essential part of healthcare, can be frustrating both for clinicians and for patients. The informatics team, which includes physician-informatacists, is continuously engaged in projects to improve daily workflows for safety and efficiency. In addition UVMMC participates in the concept of Open Notes, in which patients have access to their medical records, including the notes generated by the health care team.

Specific questions or goals for 2022
What are patient perspectives on access to their medical documentation, and to the patient portal more broadly?
What are the considerations, advantages, or disadvantages of various approaches to medical documentation?
Opportunity to participate in informatics projects.


Track: Research/Quality Improvement

Population Management of Chronic Disease Project
The Office of Primary Care has expertise in quality improvement and chronic disease. Past projects have included: Hypertension Management, Antibiotic Stewardship in the Outpatient Setting, Opioid Prescribing in Primary Care, Post-operative Pain Management, and others. The 2022 chronic conditions focus is on Diabetes and Hypertension.

Specific questions or goals for 2022
How does population health reporting improve care for patients with chronic disease?


Track: Research/Quality Improvement

Oral Health and Medical/Dental Integration Project
Oral health is an important part of overall health, yet education of health professionals occurs in separate schools and the practice of medicine and dentistry are not well integrated.  

Specific questions or goals for 2022
How can LCOM core curriculum and/or AHEC extracurricular activities be enhanced to be innovative and responsive to medical/dental oral health integration and interprofessional teamwork?


Track: Research/Quality Improvement

Eating Disorders Project
There is an evolving community coalition in Vermont focused on improving the care of people with eating disorders.

Specific questions or goals for 2022
What are available resources in Vermont?
How prevalent is this diagnosis in Vermont?
How can these efforts best support care delivered in the school health office setting (i.e., public health school nurses)?

Track: Research/Quality Improvement

Ethical Dilemmas in Medicine: Medical Repatriation
Examine a practice involving the transfer of undocumented patients in need of continued medication care to their country of origin, sometimes referred to as "medical deportation".

Specific questions or goals for 2022
What exactly is medical repatriation? Are there pros and cons?
How is medical repatriation implemented the United States? In Vermont?
Are there available hospital data for medical repatriation?
What impact does medical repatriation have on the physician/nurse/health professional/patient relationship?
What is the undocumented worker landscape in Vermont?
What impact does medical repatriation have on the state’s public health, workforce, and economic goals?
What are knowledge levels and attitudes in Vermont toward medical repatriation?

 

Northern VT AHEC

Track: Education/Mentoring

The Governor's Institute on Health and Medicine
The Governor's Institute on Health and Medicine is a week-long, health science enrichment and career exploration camp for high school students. Northern Vermont AHEC is seeking nine residential mentors to support students’ learning and assist in creating a fun and respectful learning community. The Institute on Health and Medicine runs from Sunday, June 26 through Saturday, July 2, 2022 on the campus of Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. Staff training will be held at Norwich on Saturday, June 25. 

Program activities are organized into three curricular ‘strands.’ Interest or experience in one or more of the strands is preferred. The three strands are:

1.  Emergency and sports medicine
2.  Neuroscience and neuropsychology
3.  Biomedical engineering and clinical lab science


Southern VT AHEC

Track: Education/Mentoring

MedQuest Mentors
MedQuest 2022 is an on-site, 3-day, non-residential program for high school students to explore a variety of health careers in a rich learning environment with engaging content and group discussions, skill-building activities, job shadowing, mentoring, and dialogue with health professionals. Southern Vermont AHEC is seeking 2-4 mentors. Each mentor will prepare and facilitate 2-3 learning modules for the program. The dates of the program are TBD but anticipated for the end of June in Rutland, with the potential for a second program at the end of July.

Track: Research/Quality Improvement

Health Equity Project with Rutland Community Health Centers
Opportunity to help regional community health centers to accurately assess, capture and record gender and racial/ethnic identity in the electronic health records. This project will involve some remote research, as well as on-site interviews and analysis. Seeking 1-2 students, dates are flexible.

Specific questions or goals for 2022
1.  Carry out Initial assessment
2.  Review Intake Forms with goal to Standardize
3.  Learn how to Conduct Chart Audits
4.  Shadow health professionals and staff
5.  Conduct Focus Studies
6.  Analysis of data/reports  

 

Public Health Projects with Medical Students

Public Health Projects (PHP), a required course incorporated in the Vermont Integrated Curriculum, teaches second-year medical students to apply the principles and science of public health while working to improve the health of the community.  Public Health Projects respond to health needs identified by local community agencies. 16 projects are completed each fall by medical student groups working in partnership with community agencies, and mentored by both College of Medicine faculty and community agency mentors.

FY21

Project: "Naturopathic Medicine in Vermont's Healthcare System: A Thematic Analysis"

Abstract: Background:--Naturopathy is a practice of medicine that emphasizes natural therapies. In Vermont, Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are eligible for full prescriptive authority and may be designated as primary care providers, however their specific role within the healthcare system is not well understood. The objective of this project was to explore the role of NDs in Vermont’s healthcare system.

Medical Students (class of 2024): Trevor Coles, Tayler Drake, Rosie Eiduson, Dan Fried, Max HoddWells, Simran Kalsi, Mahima Poreddy

UVM Faculty Mentor:  Charles MacLean, MD 

Community Agency Mentor: Elizabeth Cote

 

Naturopathic Medicine in Vermont's Healthcare System: A Thematic Analysis Abstract
Naturopathic Medicine in Vermont's Healthcare System: A Thematic Analysis Poster

 

FY19

Project:  "Opinion and Attitudes of Vermont School Principals and Nurses on Youth Vaping"

Abstract: Background--A rapidly emerging new trend that is turning into a nationwide epidemic for youth in the United States is the use of electronic vapor products also known as “e-cigs”, “e-hookahs”, “vapes”, “mods”, and “JUULS”. There is little known about the long-term health effects of prolonged use of vapes. The rise in vape products sales and use, poses a public health threat to adolescents. The study’s purpose is to assess the opinions and attitudes of school principals and nurses about youth vaping. The results will identify if any gaps exist in the youth vaping issue and further expand on existing concerns of school issues. Using this information, public health recommendations can be developed.

Student: Vy Cao, MPH (UVM Class of 2019)

UVM Faculty Mentors:  Charles MacLean, MD and Katherine Mariani, MD

Community Agency Mentor: Elizabeth Cote


Youth Vaping Abstract

Youth Vaping Poster

 

Project:  "Vermont Legislators' Opinions Regarding the Opioid Epidemic"

PHP Project LCOM 2021One of the Public Health projects presented by the students in the Larner College of Medicine Class of 2021, "Vermont Legislators' Opinions Regarding the Opioid Epidemic" was performed in partnership with the UVM AHEC Program.

Abstract: Background--In response to the opioid crisis, the 2018 Vermont legislative session proposed 22 bills, nine of which passed.  While there is literature that includes various legislators' information source preferences, there is no literature regarding how Vermont State Legislators gather information and formulate public health decisions surrounding opioid policies.  The goals of the study were 1) to identify Vermont legislators' opinions regarding investments in, and effects of, programs to prevent and treat opioid addiction, and 2) to determine sources of information used and valued by legislators.

Pictured from left:  Ryan Harned, Bridget Moore, Casandra Nowicki, Matthew Lebrow, Emily Eichner, Jonathan Gau, and Liam du Preez

Medical Students (class of 2021):  Casandra Nowicki, Emily Eichner, Liam du Preez, Jonathan Gau, Matthew Lebow, Bridget Moore, Ryan Harned

UVM Faculty Mentors: Charles D. MacLean, MD and Jan K. Carney MD, MPH

Community Agency Mentor: Elizabeth Cote

Vermont Legislators' Opinions Regarding the Opioid Epidemic Abstract
Vermont Legislators' Opinions Regarding the Opioid Epidemic Poster

Past Projects

FY18

PHPFY18StudentPhoto2One of the Public Health projects presented by the students in the Larner College of Medicine Class of 2020, "Prescriber Perspectives of July 1, 2017 Opioid Prescribing Rules" was performed in partnership with the UVM AHEC Program.

Abstract: Introduction--In July 2017, Vermont enacted new rules on acute opioid prescribing to reduce misuse, addiction, and overdose associated with prescription opioids. The new rules include requirements of non-opioid therapy use when possible, querying VPMS, patient education and informed consent, and co-prescription of naloxone. Our study objective was to gain insight into the perspectives of opioid prescribers on the new rules read more.

Medical Students (class of 2020): Zara S. Bowden, Jinal Gandhi, S. Natasha Jost, Hanna Mathers, Chad Serels, Daniel Wigmore, and Timothy Wong

Pictured from left: Timothy Wong, Chad Serels, S. Natasha Jost, Jinal Gandhi, Hannah Mathers, Zara S. Bowden, and Charles MacLean, MD (missing from photo: Daniel Wigmore)

UVM Faculty Mentors: Charles D. MacLean, MD and Jan K. Carney MD, MPH
Community Faculty: Elizabeth Cote

Prescriber Perspectives of July 1, 2017 Opioid Prescribing Rules Abstract
The 2017 Vermont Opioid Prescribing Rules: Prescriber Attitudes Poster

FY17

Group of medical students in front of their public health project posterStudents in the Larner College of Medicine Class of 2019 presented posters and explained findings from 16 different Public Health projects at a public reception and celebration on January 18, 2017.

One of the 16 student projects, “Patient Perspectives on Medication Assisted Therapy in Vermont” was performed in partnership with the UVM AHEC Program.

Vermont has the highest per capita buprenorphine use in the U.S. The UVM AHEC Program's PHP cohort aimed to gain a better understanding of patient perspectives on the barriers and enablers of successful Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT) – buprenorphine treatment for opioid addiction – in order to help inform system refinement. The students developed an interview guide based on established tools, as well as input from program leaders, clinicians and community stakeholders, and conducted interviews with 44 patients at two specialty treatment centers in Burlington, VT in October 2016. The students found that half of the subjects reported a mental health condition and stated that barriers to treatment included transportation (25 percent) and stigma (41 percent), among other factors. The students advised that “a comprehensive system that addresses this wide range of domains is critical to achieving optimal outcomes."

Medical Students (class of 2019): Ashley Adkins, Holly Bachilas, Florence DiBiase, Michael Marallo, John Paul Nsubuga, Lloyd Patashnick, Curran Uppaluri
Pictured (from left): Holly Bachilas, Florence DiBiase, John Paul Nsubuga, Curan Uppaluri, and Michael Marallo

UVM Faculty Mentor:  Charles MacLean, MD and Jan Carney, MD, MPH
Community Faculty: Elizabeth Cote

 

MAT Patient Perspectives Poster
Patient Perspectives on MAT Abstract

FY16
Students in the Larner College of Medicine Class of 2018 presented posters and explained findings from 16 different Public Health projects at a public reception and celebration on January 20, 2016. One project, “Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Vermont: Lessons Learned from Primary Care Physicians,” was sponsored by the UVM Office of Primary Care and statewide Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program. The goal of the project was to identify physician barriers to providing office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) in Chittenden County. The students who conducted the study are Timothy Henderson, Molly Markowitz, Adam Petchers, Brittany Rocque, Andrew Sheridan, Nathaniel Sugiyama, and Lindsey Wyatt. Their UVM faculty mentors are Charles MacLean, MD, and Jan Carney, MD, MPH; community faculty members are Beth Tanzmen, MSW, Assistant Director, Vermont Blueprint for Health, and Elizabeth Cote, director, Office of Primary Care and AHEC.

Of the 25 primary care physicians interviewed, non-office-based opioid treatment providers more frequently reported that OBOT patients were challenging. OBOT providers more frequently acknowledged the stigma associated with OBOT. Both groups of physicians expressed a desire for increased state support for OBOT. The student recommendations are: increased state support/resources for OBOT; mentorship of new OBOT providers by experienced OBOT providers; and generation of OBOT best practice guidelines for primary care providers.

Asked what they were most surprised by in their study, Lindsey Wyatt said it was the fact that almost every provider said OBOT was easier and more rewarding than they thought it would be.

The Class of 2018 medical students working on this project found that "the five most frequently reported barriers were: insufficient state logistical support, challenging patient population, practice infrastructure/capacity, time, and provider fears/concerns. Seventy-nine percent of non-prescriber PCPs said that they would provide OBOT if the identified barriers were removed."

“Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Vermont: Lessons Learned from Primary Care Physicians.” (PDF)

An Inter-Professional Exploration of Cuba’s Primary Healthcare System

This presentation gives an overview of learning from a June 2014 trip to Cuba by faculty in the Larner Colleges of Medicine, Social Work, and College of Nursing and Health Sciences; medical students, a dental student, a dental technician, a social work graduate student, a nurse practitioner student; and members of the Burlington College faculty. The purpose of the course was to gain a better understanding of the Cuban health system, particularly the role of primary care, and the interaction between primary care, public health and the community. Cuba has a well-regarded system of population health and primary care.

Exploring Cuba's Primary Healthcare System (PDF
)