RCC Becomes First Community College to Host a Virginia Area Health Education Center

Stacie Wind and Dr. Charles Smith stand with Dr. Shannon Kennedy, RCC President.

Stacie Wind and Dr. Charles Smith stand with Dr. Shannon Kennedy, RCC President.

Rappahannock Community College is the first community college in the state of Virginia to host an Area Health Education Center (AHEC). The Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority (VHWDA) works in partnership with AHEC to recruit, train and retain a healthcare workforce committed to underserved populations. RCC is one of eight AHEC centers in Virginia. “Our location at the community college shows a different kind of commitment,” said Dr. Charles Smith, RCC Dean of Health Sciences. “We are delighted that we can serve the community in this way, in addition to our existing programs at RCC.”

The Virginia AHEC operates under four main objectives: the AHEC Scholars Program, Community Based Experiential Training, Continuing Education and Pipeline Recruitment. CORE training topic areas include Interprofessional Education, Social Determinants of Health, Behavioral Health, Cultural Competency, Practice Transformation, and Substance Use Disorders.

The Virginia AHEC Scholars Program is a two-year interdisciplinary program comprised of 40 hours of didactic and 40 hours of clinical activities each year. This program is designed to increase networking and mentoring opportunities for program participants, linking them with established leaders in primary care.  “Any Health Discipline that is at least a two-year program qualifies for the program,” said Dr. Smith. “In addition to the Scholars Program, we will use all of AHEC’s objectives as a foundation to provide training, education, and service to our local community.”

The Rappahannock AHEC will be led by AHEC Program Manager, Stacie Wind. Ms. Wind, a native of the Northern Neck and a RCC Alumni, is a graduate from James Madison University in Health Administration. Prior to her role as the AHEC Program Manager, Ms. Wind was the Co-Director for the statewide care transitions program at Bay Aging. Stacie’s position will focus on community outreach, recruitment, and training of future health professionals in the Virginia Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula Region.  “We’re very fortunate to have her,” Dr. Smith added. “This is a big project, and we know she is going to make all the difference.”

About Rappahannock Community College

Rappahannock Community College, established in 1970, serves Virginia’s Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula and surrounding areas. RCC is home to multiple associate degree, certificate and varied Workforce programs. RCC has been named a “Great College to Work For” by the Chronicle of Higher Education since 2015. The College celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020. Rappahannock.edu