Community Projects

Summer Projects

 As part of our mission to provide health professions students with rural experiences, Southern Vermont AHEC has offered two or four week summer projects to students at the Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine at The University of Vermont.

Similar to 2017, we are offering  two-week summer interdisciplinary projects, Vermont Proud: Assessing the Need for Community Based Physicians.  Challenges for Rural Patients and The Value of Home Visits.  Two students will have an opportunity to examine the challenges that rural Vermont patients face that keep them from coming into a medical site for heart health checkups, important follow-ups to test their A1C levels, or situations that, if untreated, can necessitate a hospital emergency room visit.  At the same time, what keeps them from accepting services that might be available?  For more information and/or apply for a summer project, please contact Susan White, Health Professions Resource Coordinator at

In the summer of 2017, Erin Hunt spent two weeks in Londonderry, Townshend, Springfield and the Chester area learning about the challenges faced by patients living in rural areas.  Erin accompanied Care Coordinators, nurses and a physician on home visits to understand more fully patients’ personal, geographical and financial challenges.  Erin produced a Resource Guide for the community that included contact information on a variety of needs.  She was able to spend time in the rural clinic, Mountain Valley Medical Clinic, as well as the Federally Qualified Health Center, Springfield Medical Care Systems.

During the summer of 2015, Emily Forbes-Mobus and Catherine Hayes met with Claudia Maurieb, Prevention Photo-EmilyForbesMobus-and-Catherine-Hayes.Claudia-Maureib2015Consultant with the Vermont Department of Health.  Emily and Catherine did an AHEC Interdisciplinary Student Project: Beyond Hub & Spoke, a two-week project in Springfield exploring opioid treatment, examining what aspects of the Hub and Spoke are working and what resources exist in the community for people seeking help with treatment, and those in recovery.


During the summer of 2014, Ania Mortier (NP and Katie Lantz worked on an Interdisiplinary Summer Student Project with the Bristol Mountain Health Center and conducted a mindfulness and stress reduction seminar for their patients.


photo: student project

photo: Annie Lawson (left) and Sabrina Bedell (right) work together on an elder care team project.

In the summer of 2013, we were fortunate to have one medical student and one student in her second year of a Master’s of Social Work (MSW) Program.Annie Lawson and Sabrina Bedell worked as an inter-professional team to examine elder care in Brattleboro and Townshend.  Working under the guidance of two family practitioners, Dr. Robert Tortolani in Brattleboro and Dr. Tim Shafer of Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend, as well as other community mentors, Annie and Sabrina looked at what care services are in place to keep elders in their homes.  They also look at what might be missing, and challenges that communities, elders and health care systems face with geriatric patients.   They spent time in primary care settings, adult day center, assisted living senior  housing, free clinics, and learning about the SASH program.  IN addition to giving medical and service providers a chance to teach and interact with health professions students, we also hope it impacts on the students’ thinking.  As one of them summed up in her evaluation, “I am thankful for this opportunity to explore this field, and I am positive that this experience will shape my practice in the future.”

SEARCH-Students-closeup-Benson.Patel-with-CCIn 2012, Patrick Benson (right) and Anisha Patel (center) worked with Christian Craig of the Edgar May Health & Recreation
Center in Springfield, along with Barbara Dalton, MD, on a two-week project in Springfield.  Their portion of the project, Prescription for Exercise, built upon a project from 2010 and 2011 which explored ways to improve the outcome of the PFE program.  They interviewed physicians and patients and visited a weight-loss support group.




image: jogging

Family Medicine Student Community Health Improvement Project

The Community Health Improvement Project is part of the Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine at The University of Vermont Family Medicine student clinical rotations. For Larner College of Medicine 3rd year students on Family Medicine rotations, AHEC will connect you to community resources, county demographic information and contacts for your community health Improvement Projects.  Contact Susan White for more information, sample projects or community health topics.

Examples of Student Community Health Improvement Projects in the last few years include:

  •  “Shared Decision-Making in the Clinical Practice” Castleton Family Health Center, Bomoseen
  • “Reducing Fall Risk”, Grace Cottage Family Health, Townshend
  • “Stress Management for Teenagers”, Chester Family Medicine
  • “Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Bennington”
  • “Access to Care: Steps to Follow”, Springfield Health Center

photo: projects