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.

In 2019, Southern Vermont AHEC is seeking two graduate Health Professions students to learn about and examine the challenges that face rural Vermont patients.  Learning objectives include understanding the role of a community-based physician at a rural health center; identifying the medical and patient value from home visits and discussing benefits of an interdisciplinary perspective in addressing barriers and gaps.  Specific project details and dates to be determined.  Personal transportation is required.  Housing can be arranged.

Dates to be determined, $1,250 for 100 hours.  Click here to apply.

A similar project was undertaken by UVM LCOM students Kalle Fjeld, in 2018, and Erin Hunt, in 2017.  They spent time in Londonderry, Townshend, Springfield and the Chester communities learning about the challenges faced by patients living in rural areas.  They accompanied Care Coordinators, nurses and a physician on home visits to understand more fully patients’ personal, geographical and financial challenges.  As part of her project, Erin produced a Resource Guide for the community that included contact information for a variety of available services.

Mountain Valley Medical Clinic is a rural health clinic in Londonderry and part of 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