Merrimack Valley Area Health Education Center (MVAHEC) promotes cultural diversity within the region's healthcare workforce through initiatives such as:
In Fiscal Year 2005 Merrimack Valley AHEC sponsored:
- Student Intern Program for Lawrence High School students interested in preparing for careers in health care professions. The program combines paid after-school work at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center sites with training and academic counseling to assist students toward further education and work in the health care fields.
- HIV Patient Care. Provided training on the care of HIV patients to 40 health care workers, including providers, nurses, social workers and community health workers.
- Introductory Spanish. A six-week course in introductory Spanish for nurses and administrators at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center.
- Training for Trainers. A two-part “Training for Trainers” for the electronic medical record supervisors to better enable them to teach the necessary skills to their colleagues.
- Supervisor Training. A two-part training program for new supervisors in health care settings.
- Services through the:
HRSA Workforce Diversity program, the Lawrence Latino Nursing Program.
Program served 35 Latino students. The goal of this program is to provide academic and other support to Latinos who are either already enrolled in or seek to enroll in course work leading to an RN degree. The program also offered a summer institute for recent high school graduates to support them in preparing for and applying to nursing school.
MVAHEC also provided through co-operation with various funding institutions, a 60-hour Medical Interpreter Program for bilingual participants working or living in the Merrimack Valley area. The goal of the Fundamentals of Medical Interpreting Course is to assist the prospective medical interpreter in developing the skills necessary to facilitate effective, professional, and reliable medical interpretation in a health care setting.
MVAHEC provided through various sponsorships, as part of its activities of continuing education in the medical interpreter field, three Advanced Mental Health Interpreter Training Series. These seminars were offered to medical interpreters who had already graduated from the 54-hour Medical Interpreter Training Course, providing them with new information, specific to effective interpreting for patients with mental health issues.
MV AHEC also offered in collaboration with local health care agencies, three 24-hour Medical Terminology Courses for Spanish, Portuguese and Khmer-speaking participants in the Greater Lawrence and Lowell areas. This eight-week program included definitions and analysis of medical terms, as well as anatomic, diagnostic, operative and symptomatic terms.
A major focus of MVAHEC has been the creation of career ladders for the Latino and Southeast Asian communities in Lawrence and Lowell.