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CARRS Program

Community and Rural Rotations Support Program

The CARRS application for MEDICAL STUDENTS will be open May 7, 2018. Available projects are listed below by county. Applicants will have to choose one of the projects when submitting the CARRS application.

CARRS Program Goals

  • Provide financial support for students interested in rural practice
  • Offer the opportunity for health profession students to contribute to impacting health outcomes through community-based projects
  • Create a platform for rural community recruitment efforts

 The CARRS program:

  • Offers a stipend to medical and dental students who are participating in rural rotations and have an interest in entering rural practice after graduation.
  • Rotations must be scheduled or requested in one of the high risk/high need counties identified as CARRS Counties. These counties include: Boone, Calhoun, Fayette, Lincoln, McDowell/Wyoming, Mercer, Mingo, Pocahontas, Roane.
  • The stipend is $1500 per rotation and the student is responsible for completing a community project with the guidance of a community mentor, like Health Sciences Technology Academy (HSTA) community research associates and county extension agents.
  • Students are paired with their community mentor before the rotation begins and the mentor connects the student to with a substantive community health project in the local community.
  • Projects are listed below by county and when the student is completing the CARRS application they will be asked to provide specific information about their rotation and choose one project in the county where their rotation is scheduled.
  • The student is also responsible for completing an on-line CARRS module in SOLE which includes a written reflection of the student’s community experience and a brief evaluation.
  • Upon successful completion of the rotation, project and SOLE module, the student will be able to print a certificate of completion and request a letter of recommendation from the community mentor.

CARRS is a program of the WVU Institute for Community and Rural Health (ICRH) and has support from the Schools of Dentistry and Medicine, on all campuses. The ICRH staff works with the community mentors and projects are identified and approved by ICRH staff as appropriate for health professional students to support a positive experience for all.

Questions about the CARRS Program and the projects below can be addressed to Jacquelynn Copenhaver at jacopenhaver@hsc.wvu.edu


CARRS Community Mentors and Projects

Boone County

Project Title: Health Sciences Technology Academy Health Fair

Community Mentor: Cathy Morton, Ed. D. HSTA Director

Project Description: The Health Sciences Technology Academy (HSTA) is a high school club for students who are interested in health professions careers. Throughout their high school years students participate in many different activities to help them decide what health career they want to pursue. During the Spring Semester 2018 the HSTA in this region of the state plans to host a community health fair. Health measurements will be collected: Biometrics, physical health, mental health, and diet as well as a show case of community opportunities and services. In the Fall of 2018 HSTA students will use this data to determine their research project topics, focusing on: How healthy is my community and How can I help improve the health of my community. HSTA students will design interventions and/or experiments to improve community health outcomes. They will collect post-intervention data at another community health fair in the Spring of 2019.

CARRS-HSTA Project Requirements:

1. The student must attend at least one HSTA Club meeting and all community health fair planning meetings, as requested by the community mentor(s).
2. The student must attend and actively participate in the ENTIRE community health fair (including set-up and tear-down).
3. The student must complete any follow-up after the community health fair, including implementation of a community education piece related to the outcomes of the community health fair.

Calhoun County

Project Title: Moving Onward and Upward (MOU)  *Only during October 2018 - April 2019

Community Mentor: Lew Holloway, Executive Director, Northern Area Rural Education Center

Project Description: MOU is a program for high school students in Calhoun County who are interested in finding out more about careers in the health field and the needed schooling and training. The participants meet weekly, work on a community project together, spend a day on campus at WVU HSC and shadow different departments and programs at Minnie Hamilton Health System.
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Project Title: Health Sciences Technology Academy

Community Mentor: Merge McMillion, HSTA Community Research Associate

Project Description: The Health Sciences Technology Academy (HSTA) is a high school club for students who are interested in health professions careers. Throughout their high school years students participate in many different activities to help them decide what health career they want to pursue. The students participate in a wide variety of activities including regular club meetings (featuring various speakers and activities), community health fairs, research projects for the statewide science symposium and health and science camps. CARRS students will have the opportunity to participate in the activities that are available during their rotation in Calhoun County.

CARRS-HSTA Project Requirements:

1. The student must work with the community mentor to develop a calendar of activities and events that s/he will attend and participate in during the CARRS rotation.
2. The student must attend and actively participate in ALL activities and events on the approved calendar.
3. The student must complete any follow-up after each event, as assigned by the community mentor.

Fayette County

Project Title: Health Sciences Technology Academy 

Community Mentor: Merge McMillion, HSTA Community Research Associate

Project Description: The Health Sciences Technology Academy (HSTA) is a high school club for students who are interested in health professions careers. Throughout their high school years students participate in many different activities to help them decide what health career they want to pursue. The students participate in a wide variety of activities including regular club meetings (featuring various speakers and activities), community health fairs, research projects for the statewide science symposium and health and science camps. CARRS students will have the opportunity to participate in the activities that are available during their rotation in Fayette County.

CARRS-HSTA Project Requirements:

1. The student must work with the community mentor to develop a calendar of activities and events that s/he will attend and participate in during the CARRS rotation.
2. The student must attend and actively participate in ALL activities and events on the approved calendar.
3. The student must complete any follow-up after each event, as assigned by the community mentor.

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Project Title: WV Project ECHO

Community Mentors: Jennifer Boyd, PA-C, New River Health Association; Angela Alston, Executive Director, Southeastern Area Health Education Center; Kayetlyn Edinger, Project ECHO Coordinator; Jay Mason, Innovations Manager/WV Project ECHO Manager

Project Description: Project ECHO  is a lifelong learning and guided practice model that revolutionizes medical education and exponentially increases workforce capacity to provide best-practice specialty care and reduce health disparities. The heart of the ECHO model is its hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing networks, led by expert teams who use multipoint video conferencing to conduct virtual clinics with community providers. In this way, primary care doctors, nurses, and other clinicians learn to provide excellent specialty care to patients in their own communities.  For example, the WV Project ECHO Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Hub is made up of behavioral medicine & psychiatry, addiction, social work, infectious disease, and case management specialists.  The spokes are primary care organizations and providers throughout WV looking to gain knowledge in this area.  The ECHO sessions are held twice a month for one hour. Current ECHO projects include HepC, Chronic Pain, Psychiatry, MAT (Medication-Assisted Treatment) and Chronic Lung Disease.

CARRS-WV ECHO Project Requirements: 

1. The student must choose one ECHO project to make a case presentation with the guidance of the clinical community mentor.
2. The student must attend both sessions of the project in which they will present a case and attend one other session in a different ECHO project.
3. The student will work with the community mentor to implement a community education piece related to his/her ECHO case presentation.

Lincoln County

Project Title: Health Sciences Technology Academy

Community Mentor: Merge McMillion, HSTA Community Research Associate

Project Description: The Health Sciences Technology Academy (HSTA) is a high school club for students who are interested in health professions careers. Throughout their high school years students participate in many different activities to help them decide what health career they want to pursue. The students participate in a wide variety of activities including regular club meetings (featuring various speakers and activities), community health fairs, research projects for the statewide science symposium and health and science camps. CARRS students will have the opportunity to participate in the activities that are available during their rotation in Lincoln County.

CARRS-HSTA Project Requirements:

1. The student must work with the community mentor to develop a calendar of activities and events that s/he will attend and participate in during the CARRS rotation.
2. The student must attend and actively participate in ALL activities and events on the approved calendar.
3. The student must complete any follow-up after each event, as assigned by the community mentor.

McDowell/Wyoming County

Project Title: Health Sciences Technology Academy Community Health Fair

Community Mentor: Summer Kuhn, HSTA Community Research Associate

Project Description: The Health Sciences Technology Academy (HSTA) is a high school club for students who are interested in health professions careers. Throughout their high school years students participate in many different activities to help them decide what health career they want to pursue. During the Spring Semester 2018 the HSTA in this region of the state plans to host a community health fair. Health measurements will be collected: Biometrics, physical health, mental health, and diet as well as a show case of community opportunities and services. In the Fall of 2018 HSTA students will use this data to determine their research project topics, focusing on: How healthy is my community and How can I help improve the health of my community. HSTA students will design interventions and/or experiments to improve community health outcomes. They will collect post-intervention data at another community health fair in the Spring of 2019.

CARRS-HSTA Project Requirements:

1. The student must work with the community mentor to develop a calendar of activities and events that s/he will attend and participate in during the CARRS rotation.
2. The student must attend and actively participate in ALL activities and events on the approved calendar.
3. The student must complete any follow-up after each event, as assigned by the community mentor.

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Project Title: WV Project ECHO

Community Mentors: Joanna Bailey, MD, Tug River Health Association; Kayetlyn Edinger, Project ECHO Coordinator; Jay Mason, Innovations Manager/WV Project ECHO Manager

Project Description: Project ECHO  is a lifelong learning and guided practice model that revolutionizes medical education and exponentially increases workforce capacity to provide best-practice specialty care and reduce health disparities. The heart of the ECHO model is its hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing networks, led by expert teams who use multipoint video conferencing to conduct virtual clinics with community providers. In this way, primary care doctors, nurses, and other clinicians learn to provide excellent specialty care to patients in their own communities.  For example, the WV Project ECHO Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Hub is made up of behavioral medicine & psychiatry, addiction, social work, infectious disease, and case management specialists.  The spokes are primary care organizations and providers throughout WV looking to gain knowledge in this area.  The ECHO sessions are held twice a month for one hour. Current ECHO projects include HepC, Chronic Pain, Psychiatry, MAT (Medication-Assisted Treatment) and Chronic Lung Disease.

CARRS-WV ECHO Project Requirements:

1. The student must choose one ECHO project to make a case presentation with the guidance of the clinical community mentor.
2. The student must attend both sessions of the project in which they will present a case and attend one other session in a different ECHO project.
3. The student will work with the community mentor to implement a community education piece related to his/her ECHO case presentation.

Mercer County

Project Title: Health Sciences Technology Academy Community Health Fair

Community Mentor: Summer Kuhn, HSTA Community Research Associate

Project Description: The Health Sciences Technology Academy (HSTA) is a high school club for students who are interested in health professions careers. Throughout their high school years students participate in many different activities to help them decide what health career they want to pursue. During the Spring Semester 2018 the HSTA in this region of the state plans to host a community health fair. Health measurements will be collected: Biometrics, physical health, mental health, and diet as well as a show case of community opportunities and services. In the Fall of 2018 HSTA students will use this data to determine their research project topics, focusing on: How healthy is my community and How can I help improve the health of my community. HSTA students will design interventions and/or experiments to improve community health outcomes. They will collect post-intervention data at another community health fair in the Spring of 2019.

CARRS-HSTA Project Requirements:

1. The student must attend at least one HSTA Club meeting and all community health fair planning meetings, as requested by the community mentor(s).
2. The student must attend and actively participate in the ENTIRE community health fair (including set-up and tear-down).
3. The student must complete any follow-up after the community health fair, including implementation of a community education piece related to the outcomes of the community health fair.

Mingo County

Project Title: Health Sciences Technology Academy Community Health Fair

Community Mentor: Summer Kuhn, HSTA Community Research Associate

Project Description: The Health Sciences Technology Academy (HSTA) is a high school club for students who are interested in health professions careers. Throughout their high school years students participate in many different activities to help them decide what health career they want to pursue. During the Spring Semester 2018 the HSTA in this region of the state plans to host a community health fair. Health measurements will be collected: Biometrics, physical health, mental health, and diet as well as a show case of community opportunities and services. In the Fall of 2018 HSTA students will use this data to determine their research project topics, focusing on: How healthy is my community and How can I help improve the health of my community. HSTA students will design interventions and/or experiments to improve community health outcomes. They will collect post-intervention data at another community health fair in the Spring of 2019.

CARRS-HSTA Project Requirements:

1. The student must attend at least one HSTA Club meeting and all community health fair planning meetings, as requested by the community mentor(s).
2. The student must attend and actively participate in the ENTIRE community health fair (including set-up and tear-down).
3. The student must complete any follow-up after the community health fair, including implementation of a community education piece related to the outcomes of the community health fair.

Pocahontas County

Project Title: WV Project ECHO

Community Mentors: Greg Peters, MD, Community Care of West Virginia; Angela Alston, Executive Director, Southeastern Area Health Education Center; Kayetlyn Edinger, Project ECHO Coordinator; Jay Mason, Collaborative Innovations Manager/Project ECHO Manager 

Project Description: Project ECHO is a lifelong learning and guided practice model that revolutionizes medical education and exponentially increases workforce capacity to provide best-practice specialty care and reduce health disparities. The heart of the ECHO model is its hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing networks, led by expert teams who use multipoint video conferencing to conduct virtual clinics with community providers. In this way, primary care doctors, nurses, and other clinicians learn to provide excellent specialty care to patients in their own communities. For example, the WV Project ECHO Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Hub is made up of behavioral medicine & psychiatry, addiction, social work, infectious disease, and case management specialists.  The spokes are primary care organizations and providers throughout WV looking to gain knowledge in this area.  The ECHO sessions are held twice a month for one hour. Current ECHO projects include HepC, Chronic Pain, Psychiatry, MAT (Medication-Assisted Treatment) and Chronic Lung Disease.

CARRS-WV ECHO Project Requirements:

1. The student must choose one ECHO project to make a case presentation with the guidance of the clinical community mentor.
2. The student must attend both sessions of the project in which they will present a case and attend one other session in a different ECHO project.
3. The student will work with the community mentor to implement a community education piece related to his/her ECHO case presentation.

Roane County

Project Title: Health Sciences Technology Academy 

Community Mentor: Merge McMillion, HSTA Community Research Associate

Project Description: The Health Sciences Technology Academy (HSTA) is a high school club for students who are interested in health professions careers. Throughout their high school years students participate in many different activities to help them decide what health career they want to pursue. The students participate in a wide variety of activities including regular club meetings (featuring various speakers and activities), community health fairs, research projects for the statewide science symposium and health and science camps. CARRS students will have the opportunity to participate in the activities that are available during their rotation in Roane County.

CARRS-HSTA Project Requirements:

1. The student must work with the community mentor to develop a calendar of activities and events that s/he will attend and participate in during the CARRS rotation.
2. The student must attend and actively participate in ALL activities and events on the approved calendar.
3. The student must complete any follow-up after each event, as assigned by the community mentor.