October 19, 2020
Seven student pharmacists at the East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy including one from Smithville have been accepted into the prestigious Tennessee Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Scholars Program, an interprofessional training opportunity designed to develop a diverse, culturally sensitive health care workforce that is well equipped to offer quality care, particularly to rural and underserved populations.
Martha Leigh Martin-Gibbs of Smithville is among the ETSU student pharmacists, all members of the Class of 2022. The others are Jacquelyn Crawford, from Church Hill; Kristen Friend, Morristown; Savannah Mackie, Russell, Kentucky; Kaitlyn Phillips, Erwin; Kaitlyn Price, Church Hill; and Sydney Tabor, Pikeville, Kentucky.
“We are so proud of these students for earning this honor,” said Dr. Debbie Byrd, dean of Gatton College of Pharmacy. “The AHEC Scholars Program is directly in line with our values and mission at the college to prepare progressive, team-oriented pharmacists who improve health care, focusing on rural and underserved communities. I look forward to seeing the impact these students make in their pharmacy careers in the Appalachian Highlands and beyond.”
The program is part of a national initiative that includes 40 hours of team-based, interprofessional clinical experience and 40 hours of didactic learning focused on six core topics: patient-centered clinical practice transformation, interprofessional education, cultural competence, social determinants of health, behavioral health integration and current/emerging health issues. After two years of formal involvement, scholars are asked to remain connected to the program as their professional journeys continue.
“My life mission has always been to ‘be the change I wanted to see in the world,’ and I have always enjoyed serving the underserved,” said Crawford. “This is what led me to pharmacy school and now to the AHEC Scholar program. I am so excited to have been selected for this honor, and I can’t wait to use what I am learning in our interprofessional teams to provide individualized patient care to the underserved of our region.”
“I am excited to be selected as a participant and believe this will be a great addition to my training here at Gatton on my path to become a pharmacist who effectively delivers patient-centered care within an interprofessional team,” said Price.
Learn more about the program at www.tnahec.org and Gatton College of Pharmacy at www.etsu.edu/pharmacy.