UAB looking to bring health care to rural areas - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

UAB looking to bring health care to rural areas

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

UAB's School of Medicine will use a five-year, $5.25 million dollar grant in order to create an Area Health Education Center program.

That program will recruit and retain health care professionals, to serve areas that otherwise wouldn't have primary care.

 "We really want to take our Alabama youth and interest them in health careers and all sorts of health careers," Cynthia Selleck, associate dean in the UAB School of Nursing says.

Selleck says area health education centers (AHECs) can create a many of opportunities for young men and women considering healthcare professions.

Selleck says, what's more important, the Alabama AHEC will provide training to those  interested, so they can go out and serve communities across the state in need of primary care.

"That's a huge need in this state, and in many others, but Alabama is largely rural," says Selleck. "55 of our 67 counties are rural and 62 of our 67 counties have designated health profession shortage areas for primary care. So that already tells you in 62 counties, we don't have enough primary care providers to care for people."

Until last week, Alabama was one of five states that did not have an AHEC program.

The program will work with UAB's health-profession schools as well as other schools and training programs to recruit students

"We know that we will do a better job of providing care in our rural and underserved areas of the state  if we can recruit young people from those areas, because they're more likely to go back home or to areas similar to home to practice," says Selleck.

If you are interested in learning more information, you can contact Cynthia Selleck here

Or by contacting the UAB School of Nursing.

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