INA, Ill. (Nov. 25, 2013) – Three unique opportunities are available for students to continue their education in the health science field in the form of two monetary awards and an internship through the South Central Illinois Area Health Education Center (SCI-AHEC) at Rend Lake College.

SCI-AHEC Director Kelli Stover said the opportunities for students are an effort to both bring new faces into a growing field and keep locals in their rural communities.

“It is the mission of the South Central Illinois Area Health Education Center to inspire, train, recruit and retain a diverse and broad range of health professionals to practice in rural communities, where the need is greatest, and these opportunities are just one example of how we plan to maximize the goals of our mission,” said Stover.

The first award is the Community College Healthcare Hero award in the amount of $500. Applicants must be enrolled full-time in a health science program for the 2014 fall semester, and have at least a 2.5 GPA. Students are required to submit an application, a 2-page personal statement, a current resume, college transcripts and a letter of recommendation from an academic advisor or instructor. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Feb. 14, 2014.

A second award called the Future Healthcare Hero award, in the amount of $500, is also available to students pursuing entry into a health science program for the 2014 fall semester. Students must have a 2.5 GPA to apply. Along with the applications, students need to submit a one-page personal statement, transcripts and two letters of recommendation. Deadline to apply is March 15, 2014.

A new internship this year is called the Rural Health Experience (RHE), and is aimed toward providing healthcare professionals to a medically underserved area. The RHE is open to graduate and professional level students enrolled in a health professional program and is a 40-hour experience in a rural community in south central Illinois.

Room and board for RHE will be covered by SCI-AHEC, as well as a $150 stipend to cover travel expenses. Students will be required to submit an 8-10 page reflection of their week. In addition to the application, students should submit a two-page personal statement, a current resume and a letter of recommendation from an academic advisor or instructor. Deadline to apply for RHE is March 14, 2014.

The goals of RHE are as follows: to learn about the social and health characteristics, needs and resources of a specific rural community, to understand the roles and responsibilities of different healthcare providers in a rural community and to reflect on a future career as a healthcare provider in a rural community and potential interest in this location as a future career location.

To apply for any of the above opportunities, students must reside in one of the following counties: Bond, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Jefferson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Montgomery, Monroe, Richland, Shelby, St. Clair and Washington.

For more information or to obtain an application, contact Kelli Stover at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1280, or email [email protected].

SCI-AHEC is a network, in partnership with the University of Illinois – College of Medicine at Rockford, the Urban Medicine Program at the University of Illinois – Chicago College of Medicine and the National Center for Rural Health Professions, and is located on the campus of Rend Lake College. The network is designed to identify intelligent, capable and motivated individuals from our local communities and help them develop an interest in a health profession, support them through their educational experience, recruit them back to work in our local communities and retain them for a lifetime.

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