Urban Service Track

Contact Information

Connecticut Area Health Education Center
Phone: 860-679-7971
Email: clarkdufner@uchc.edu

The Urban Service Track/AHEC Scholars Program is designed to produce a cadre of well-qualified health care professionals through prevention and primary care in Connecticut’s urban underserved communities. As Urban Health/AHEC Scholars, participants represent a select group of students enrolled in the UConn Schools of Dental Medicine, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and Quinnipiac University’s Physician Assistant program.

A total of 60 Urban Health/AHEC Scholars, eight to twenty students per school, are selected each year from among qualified applicants who have a demonstrated commitment to service. They gain valuable exposure to the complex and challenging issues of health care in the inner city. A strong mentorship component supports learners as they navigate their own personal and professional development.

Students develop competencies in the following areas: culture and linguistics; population health; health policy; advocacy; health care financing and management; leadership; community resources; interprofessional health care teams; and quality improvement.

Since UConn’s Urban Service Track/AHEC Scholars Program enrolled its first cohort in 2007, student volunteers have contributed over 20,000 hours of health care service to underserved urban populations. (Urban Service Track/UConn Health Photo)

In addition to completing the basic science and clinical curricula of their respective schools, Urban Health/AHEC Scholars are exposed to a set of interprofessional experiences designed to heighten awareness of the intriguing challenges and unique opportunities in urban communities.

Clinical training occurs in federally qualified health centers and other primary care facilities in Connecticut’s urban underserved communities. Elective clinical experiences focus on underserved settings such as homeless shelters, community health fairs, and migrant farm worker clinics.

Urban Health/AHEC Scholars participate in a variety of activities to enhance their clinical and patient counseling skills. These include the Clinical Skills Boot Camp, simulations and trainings incorporating screening tools.

For more information, contact Petra Clark-Dufner at clarkdufner@uchc.edu.