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2021: ENAHEC's Year-in-Review



While 2021 represented another challenging year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Erie Niagara AHEC had an exciting year. We adapted to virtual programming, forged new partnerships, started new programs, and welcomed new staff members! Here's a look at what we've accomplished this year!


January to March

Emerging Health Scholars X Canisius College

Erie Niagara AHEC and Canisius College hosted a virtual, 6-week program to introduce high school students to health careers and opportunities. Thirteen students from BPS #197 Math Science Technology and BPS #366 Research Lab High School participated in interactive lab activities and learned about college opportunities with faculty, staff, and students of Canisius College.

Emerging Health Scholars

COVID-19 Continuing Education Series

With a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Erie Niagara AHEC hosted three sessions for healthcare providers on practice topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Speakers discussed nutrition, vaccine hesitancy, and domestic violence for 92 participants.


April to June

PATCH Program Launches

In partnership with HOPE Buffalo, Erie Niagara AHEC launched the PATCH (Providers and Teens Communicating for Health) Program. Ten students completed Teen Educator Orientation in May. In June, the Teen Educators conducted two PATCH for Teens and two PATCH for Providers workshops with a total of 81 attendees.

PATCH Staff Training

Emerging Health Scholars X D'Youville College

Erie Niagara AHEC and D'Youville College hosted a virtual, 6-week program in which high school students learned about the variety of health career programs at the school. D'Youville faculty and students shared information on the Public Health, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Dietetics, and Chiropractic programs. The program culminated with an in-person tour of the new Health Professions Hub and D'Youville Campus.


July to September

PATCH Celebration

To celebrate the hard work of our Teen Educators, as well as the end of their program year, we held an in-person party with games and activities.

Program Specialist Alivia

Welcomed Staff Member Alivia Smeltzer-Darling

Alivia started as a Program Specialist with Erie Niagara AHEC in July and began working on two new programs! She got off to a running start with the Youth Leadership Team and Near-to-Peer programs.


AHEC Scholars Completes Year #3

Our third year of AHEC Scholars ended on August 31. Cohort 2 students graduated from the program, while Cohort 3 students completed their first of two years in the program.

YLT Members

Youth Leadership Team Launches

In August, Erie Niagara AHEC launched the Youth Leadership Team (YLT)! Over the next school year, nine students from seven different schools will lend their voices and experiences to improve youth programming both at Erie Niagara AHEC and other community-based organizations. We can't wait to see what they accomplish! This program is provided in partnership with HOPE Buffalo.


October to December

New Group of PATCH Teen Educators Complete Teen Educator Training

A second group of twelve high school students completed PATCH Teen Educator Training in October. These teens will provide PATCH for Teens and PATCH for Provider workshops through June 2022.

PATCH Teen Educators

AHEC Scholars Cohort #4 Starts

Year 4 of the AHEC Scholars Program kicked off with a new cohort of fourteen students from various health professions schools in Erie County. Over the course of the two-year commitment, these students will gain skills to work on an interprofessional team to enhance patient-centered care and provide the best health outcomes to their future patients. This cohort consists of future social workers, physicians, public health professionals, nurses, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. Cohort 4 will complete the AHEC Scholars program in August 2023. We can't wait to watch their skills grow!

AHEC Scholars Cohort 4

Welcomed Staff Member Kimberly Turnbull

Kim started with Erie Niagara AHEC in October as our new Office Administrator. We are so excited to have her on our team!


Near-to-Peer Program Launches

The Near-to-Peer program began in November and consists of nine young adults who are learning to conduct a Community Needs Assessment (CNA). The assessment will focus on the workforce development needs in the Buffalo community, with a focus on the 14206, 14211, and 14215 zip codes. Program participants will begin administering CNAs in early 2022.


What's Next for 2022?

AHEC Scholars Interprofessional Case Competition

Simulation Experience Training

Near-to-Peer Participants Conduct Community Needs Assessment

Return of the ENAHEC Summer Camp

More TBA!






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