About Us

We are proudly committed to serving rural communities in West Virginia by

  • Coordinating rural health education and service opportunities across all WVU Health Sciences schools and programs in collaboration with the WV Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) including the management of houses for student use while on a rural rotation
  • Supporting students from all health professions in their rural-oriented education and outreach efforts
  • Establishing scholarship programs to support medical and dental students who commit to practice in rural West Virginia
  • Providing WVU School of Medicine Rural Track students financial and experiential support during enhanced training toward rural medical practice
  • Providing stipends for the WVU Department of Family Medicine’s Longitudinal Scholars Program for upcoming 1st year medical students and Summer Externship Program for upcoming 2nd year medical students interested in working with a preceptor at a rural site during the summer
  • Supporting health professionals that serve as preceptors for WVU students completing community rotations through financial and faculty development initiatives
  • Continually developing strategies and identifying opportunities to raise the health status of West Virginians in line with the WVU Health Sciences Strategic Plan

WVU educates the largest number of health professions students

  • WVU Health Sciences Center prepares students to excel in several health care professions
  • A substantial number of other programs in and outside of West Virginia send students to WVU healthcare sites for clinical training
  • Exposing students to rural communities as part of their education provides them with the opportunity to see the benefits of practicing in a rural area.

Rural rotations are vital to health professions education

  • Clinical rotations at rural sites can serve as a recruiting tool for communities
  • Interprofessional education experiences during rural rotations provide students with a training opportunity that prepares them to work as part of a care coordination team and address issues relevant to rural West Virginia
  • In 2014-2015, 736 WVU health professions students and residents from dentistry, dental hygiene, medicine, medical laboratory science, nursing, nurse practitioner, pathology assistant, pharmacy and physical therapy programs completed community-based rotations, with 524 of these rotations occurring in rural areas of the state, with 419 community-based adjunct faculty

Health students provide vital services in communities

  • Many students provide needed community service, education and prevention programs as part of their educational experience in rural communities
  • In 2014-2015, 61 interprofessional team meetings were coordinated by WV AHEC with participation by 58 students from five different disciplines Teams addressed a variety of topics including flu prevention, reducing hospital readmissions, oral health, and minority health disparities
  • WVU dental and dental hygiene students also provided $3,525,415 in uncompensated care from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015, providing 17,760 dental procedures for West Virginians that may not otherwise have access to oral health care