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Upstate AHEC Selects Latasha Rivers as Outstanding Educator

Upstate AHEC is pleased to announce The 2016 Upstate AHEC Outstanding Educator Award: Latasha Rene Rivers, MSW, LISW-CP

The purpose of this award is to bring recognition to an outstanding Continuing Education Educator in the Upstate AHEC region.  The Outstanding Educator is selected based on their ability to present content in a practical, useful format that will meet the needs and expectations of program participants, while communicating material enthusiastically.  Educators must also successfully adapt presentations to address multiple learning styles.

Mrs. Rivers has served as an exceptional professional trainer for Upstate AHEC and exhibits great enthusiasm for her topics and a passion for teaching. She is a well-respected and recognized educator for continuing education programs at Upstate AHEC.  She consistently received high marks and excellent ratings on his program evaluations.

Latasha lives in North Charleston, South Carolina and is the owner of Rivers of Life, a consulting company.

Upstate Physician Named SC AHEC Preceptor of the Year

Dr. Lindsey Clarke is a committed teacher and mentor of medical students. Not only is he an outstanding family physician at the Montgomery Center for Family Medicine at Self Regional Hospital in Greenwood, he is an outstanding teacher and professional role model for both third and fourth year students and medical residents at the Montgomery Center.

Dr. Clarke never hesitates to take a student, usually taking more than one student per rotation.  Additionally, Dr. Clarke goes above and beyond to help locate and provide housing for students when housing options are scarce.  Dr. Clarke’s help with housing has been essential to student success in that rural area

Dr. Clarke also serves as the board chair of the Upstate not-for-profit organization Volunteers in Medical Missions.  He has served as board chairman for several years and exhibits passion and commitment for impoverished, hurting people in developing countries of the world as well as embodies a high level of ethical standards and leadership.  His personal characteristics are as exemplary as his clinical knowledge. Under his mentorship, AHEC medical students are getting the best opportunity possible to develop as physicians as well as individuals. Altogether, this is why Dr. Lindsey Clarke is the embodiment of the South Carolina AHEC Preceptor of the Year.

Upstate Health Career Program Students Participate in Simulation Lab

Upstate AHEC Health Careers Academy (HCA) partnered with the University Center of Greenville for a simulation lab activity on March 5. High school students from the region took part in the activity as part of the 2014-2015 Upstate AHEC Health Careers Academy.

Kim Blankenship, RN, Mary Black School of Nursing Sim Lab Manager, facilitated the lab activity, which enabled HCA students to participate in simulation experiences.  The partnership with the University Center gives students an opportunity to work with faculty, staff, health professionals and students to receive relevant up-to-date information, knowledge, and skills that are being disseminated and practiced in post-secondary classrooms and clinical settings.  Simulation affords students the opportunity to be exposed to reality-based scenarios that will be a part of their healthcare practice in the future and gives them a chance to practice physical assessment skills.

Ashleigh Godby, an 11th grade student at Riverside High School, said that the lab experience was “very fascinating, and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to get a real look into the hands on aspect of medicine. Even learning the basics gave me an assurance of my interest in medicine. I’d recommend this kind of lab to anyone who has any sort of interested in a career in medicine.”

image1-1Tai Marie Dennis, an 11th grade student at Woodmont High School, also the lab experience, “I enjoyed the lab. It made me want to go into nursing even more.”

Students participated in an overview of vital signs and IV therapy. In the process, they learned about improving communication, cultivating nursing skills, understanding classroom material, developing critical thinking and facilitating teamwork.

For more information about the Health Careers Academy or simulation activity, please contact the Upstate AHEC Health Careers Program Coordinator Nita Donald at

AHEC U Increases Participation, Receives Excellent Reviews

AHEC U, the AHEC web-based distance learning system available to South Carolina healthcare professionals, experienced the largest growth leap in its five-year history during FY 2014-15 with a 35 percent increase in participation. Almost 7,500 AHEC U course certificates were issued to professionals statewide during the past year, representing more than 10,250 participant hours, according to Fay Brown, Upstate AHEC  center director.  The largest growth occurred in the Upstate area with 3509 certificates issued,   followed by Lowcountry, Mid-Carolina and Pee Dee AHECs.

Through evaluations of AHEC U course offerings, 95 percent of professionals indicated their  intent to use the knowledge they had gained to enhance healthcare outcomes, said Jennifer Walker, director of distance learning at Upstate AHEC.

A Basic EKG course participant said, “This great review gives enough detail for experienced practitioners to look more carefully at the EKG they will interpret in practice. This class will help me look at the telemetry screen and actually know what I am seeing.”

“I have a much better grasp of the medications utilized in HIV treatment, and that new knowledge was most important to me,” a participant in an “Antivirus Basics” course said.

A “Lateral Violence for Nurses” participant replied: “I believe this lateral violence program should be an annual mandatory course in all institutions.  I will take everything I have learned and apply it to my work area.”

Recognizing a need for a more convenient and flexible method of continuing professional education in South Carolina, Upstate AHEC in Greenville launched AHEC U in 2010 by to provide distance learning opportunities as an alternative to traditional live training programs.  With an initial offering of 29 on-line courses in 2010, today AHEC U offers nearly 200 web-based courses targeted to a wide variety of healthcare professionals seeking re-certification or continued professional development.

Upstate AHEC Director Brown attributes the large growth during the past year to several factors, including enhanced search engine optimization, increased marketing, and word of mouth promotion among healthcare participants. Professionals employed by AHEC consortium member organizations have access to AHEC U free of charge. To determine if an employer is a consortium member, contact the AHEC Center in your region. Individuals may become members of AHEC U for $49.95 annually, which provides unlimited access to online course completion and credit hours.

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