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ReConnect Scribe Alumni -- Where Are They Now?

 Monday, October 21, 2019

ReConnect Scribe Alumni - Where Are They Now?

Since 2016, 15 aspiring medical professionals have been accepted to work as medical scribes in Roseburg while pursuing acceptance into medical school. Currently, six of these ReConnect scribes are working at the Umpqua Community Health Center (now known as AVIVA) full-time, while actively applying and interviewing at medical schools across the nation. The other nine scribes have moved on from our program to continue their pursuit of working as medical practitioners. What are these Reconnect Scribe alumni up to these days? 

Former scribe, Michael Graham, will be the first ReConnect alumni to enter the healthcare workforce as a medical professional. Michael was selected as a recipient of the Scholars for a Healthy Oregon Initiative (SHOI) scholarship and completed the Physician Assistant program at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in August of this year. In exchange for a full-tuition award, recipients of the SHOI scholarship commit to practicing as a healthcare practitioner in a rural or underserved community in Oregon upon graduation from their advanced medical program. Michael has a strong desire to practice healthcare in his hometown of Roseburg, which qualifies as an underserved medical population for his SHOI commitment. Michael has accepted a position as a Physician Assistant at Evergreen Family Medicine. He will join the staff at Evergreen and begin practicing with them in November. Congratulations, Michael, on starting your career as a Physician Assistant!








Scribe alumni Michael Graham graduated from the Physician Assistant Program at Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU) in August of this year.






Michael was joined by his wife Jade, children Jackson and Lincoln, parents George and LeAnn Graham, and siblings Mitchell, Joel, and Georgie to celebrate his graduation from OHSU..


Four of our ReConnect Scribe Alumni have joined the medical school program at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest in Lebanon, Oregon. Alumni, Lucas Short and Audrey Taylor, both joined COMP-NW in the fall of 2018 and will journey through medical school as classmates in the same program. Lucas and Audrey will graduate from medical school in the spring of 2022.

Lucas Short (fourth from left), a Roseburg High School graduate, has been active in AHECSW programs over the last decade. In addition to participating in AHEC programs as a student, Lucas has served AHECSW as a mentor to high school students in the Bright Works after-school program, and was selected to participate in our first cohort of ReConnect Scribes.



Audrey Taylor (in left photo, third from right) will follow in the career footsteps of her father, Dr. Chip Taylor, MD. Dr. Taylor is currently a family practitioner at the Umpqua Community Health Center in Roseburg, Oregon.






Dr. Taylor can be seen proudly hugging his daughter Audrey at her White Coat ceremony for COMP-NW in August of 2018 (in right photo, pictured in middle).

COMP-NW gained two more ReConnect alumni in their newest class of medical students. Scribes Jaide Farr and Emily Swanson joined the COMP-NW Osteopathic program as classmates in August of this year. Jaide Farr grew up in Springfield and received her undergraduate degree from Willamette University. Emily Swanson grew up in Roseburg  and attended Oregon State University for her undergraduate degree. In addition to being a ReConnect participant, Emily has also been active in AHECSW programs over several years as a student, volunteer, and college intern.

Jaide and Emily will graduate medical school in the spring of 2023.

ReConnect alumni Emily Swanson (farthest on left) and Jaide Farr (second from left) participated in the White Coat Ceremony for the Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-NW (COMP-NW) on August 2, 2019.

Scribe alumni, Elise Ewens, is in her second year of medical school at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Parker, Colorado. Elise is also a Roseburg native and attended undergraduate school at Oregon State University. Upon graduating from OSU, Elise spent one year working as a ReConnect scribe in our program before being accepted into medical school.







Elise Ewens upon completion of her White Coat Ceremony at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

A Portland native and University of Oregon graduate, former ReConnect is in her first year of medical school at OHSU. Rachel pursued the ReConnect Scribe program in Roseburg after undergraduate school to experience firsthand living and working in a rural area. Rachel was very grateful for her time spent as a ReConnect scribe working in a rural area: “I have had a great time working here. I have learned an immense amount and made some wonderful friendships along the way. Collaborating with AHEC and the other scribes to make improvements on the ReConnect Scribe program has been a lot of fun, and I am so excited to see how the program develops in the next few years.”












Rachel David is in her first year of medical school at OHSU.

We at AHECSW are very proud to follow the paths of our alumni who have moved on from the ReConnect scribe program. Congratulations to the seven former scribes who have been accepted into advanced medical plans and are pursuing careers as medical practitioners. The other nine ReConnects are actively building their resumes for medical school applications through work experience, internships, and advanced coursework beyond their undergraduate degrees. These ReConnects are actively applying to medical school, and several of them will be interviewing over the coming months at medical schools across the United States. Over the following year, our current ReConnect scribes will be authoring blogs about their experiences in our program. Stay tuned for these blog features to come!



Scribe Program

 Thursday, August 23, 2018

We are excited to share that AHECSW’s collaboration with the Scribe program at Umpqua Community Health Center (UCHC)has been featured in the Northwest Regional Primary Care Association’s “Northwest Pulse”.To read about this program, please go to


ReConnect Scribe Program Receives $25,000 Grant Award

 Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Oregon Medical Education Foundation Awards $25,000 Grant 

for ReConnect Scribe Program Expansion


The Area Health Education Center of Southwest Oregon (AHECSW) recently received the honor of being selected as a recipient of an Oregon Medical Education Foundation grant award. In June 2017, AHECSW received a $25,000 grant award to expand the ReConnect Scribe Program. The Oregon Medical Education Foundation (OMEF) is a charitable organization that was formed by the Oregon Medical Association in 1961. The OMEF is dedicated to the advancement of medical science through educational programs and initiatives. This organization is funded by the generosity of physicians, physician assistants, and medical practitioners across the state of Oregon.

AHECSW received the grant to promote and expand the ReConnect Scribe program, which launched in the spring of 2016. The ReConnect Scribe program targets pre-health post-baccalaureate graduates who are preparing to apply to higher-level medical programs, such as medical, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner programs. Currently, the ReConnect Scribe Program has four medical scribes placed at the Umpqua Community Health Center (UCHC) in Roseburg. However, AHECSW has strategic plans to grow and expand the program beyond Douglas County. The goal is to expand the ReConnect Scribe Program to all Federally Qualified Health Centers across southwestern Oregon, adding clinical partners from Coos, Curry, Jackson, Josephine, and Lane counties. Additionally, recruitment for the ReConnect Scribe program will target pre-health students matriculating out of southern Oregon, which aligns with AHECSW’s mission and philosophy to “grow our own” healthcare workforce.

The OMEF grant funding will allow the program to produce promotional videos for marketing and recruitment, as well as to develop training materials and curriculum to offer clinical partners in training new ReConnect Scribes. AHECSW is currently narrowing down their search for a local videographer to produce a scribe and physician testimonial video that can be used to recruit both future scribe candidates and clinical partners alike. AHECSW is also partnering with staff at UCHC to develop training curriculum for future scribes. Currently, Dr. Joseph Amavisca and scribe, Jaide Farr, of UCHC are drafting content for training modules and mock-patient encounters that will be taught, recorded, and produced into training videos to be used by future scribes.

Receiving the OMEF grant is a huge step for AHECSW in expanding the ReConnect Scribe Program. ReConnect Scribes is an innovative program that could potentially impact the future of rural healthcare in Oregon. In addition to growing the future workforce of rural healthcare practitioners, we believe that the use of ReConnect Scribes in rural clinics can lead to improvements in physician satisfaction and patient care. AHECSW is eager to move forward with program development and see ReConnect Scribes placed in rural clinics across southwest Oregon.


More information about the Oregon Medical Association and the Oregon Medical Education Fund can be found at:

Dr. Joseph Amavisca (right) and ReConnect Scribe Jaide Farr (left) create a "mock patient" encounter with UCHC staff member Whitney Carnahan.  Dr. Amavisca and veteran scribe Jaide Farr are playing a key role in developing curriculum and training modules for future scribes.



AHECSW Says Goodbye!

 Monday, August 14, 2017

At the end of July, AHECSW said goodbye to our Americorps member, Nalani Wakinekona. She will be truly missed by not only AHECSW staff, but by high school students across Douglas county. She worked with groups of students from South Umpqua, Sutherlin, and Roseburg school districts and made a great difference in these kids’ lives through Bright Works Oregon. As she heads off to College life in California we wish her the best.

CTE Middle and High School Summer Camps Were A Success!

 Thursday, August 10, 2017

Area Health Education Center of Southwest Oregon (AHECSW) has completed another Expanding Horizons CTE high school and middle school summer camp. This year camp was held at Roseburg High School hoping that transportation for parents would be an easier task. Sadly, our numbers stayed small but we still carried on as if we had a full camp.

This year's theme was "the senses" and each day highlighted a difference sense. The first day of camp started off with "hearing" and how the ear works with lots of hands on activities. Day two was "sight" and what better way to exam the eye than to be able to dissect and actually see the different parts of the eye.

Day three featured "taste". We had so many different foods to taste and of course, it wouldn't be as fun unless you were blindfolded.  Mercy Foundation was also able to bring their dental program to us to teach more about the mouth and how to take good care of it. Then came day four and the sense of "smell".  After smelling a few different items, the students were asked to do an art project on what memory the smell reminded them of and each student showed creativity and had different memories.

Even though we had a busy week of activities, the summer camp was not over for the high school students.  They still had the weekend of Wilderness first aid Friday through Sunday at beautiful camp Kellogg. It was a jammed packed weekend of fun and learning activities. Friday afternoon started with first aid and learning not only what to do when you have supplies available to you, but also how to think outside of the box when you might be out in the woods and not have everything right on hand. Saturday morning the Douglas County Search and Rescue dogs and their handlers arrived and talked to the students about items to have with you when you are out in the woods, along with showing how they incorporate the dogs into their searches. 

And yes, one of the Douglas County Search dogs is a Pomeranian! Puffin, the Pomeranian, has been involved in search and rescue for almost 11 years.  Puffin not only finds people, but he can help find evidence such as weapons or bullets and also works as a cadaver searcher.

Scenarios with the students out in the woods were held Sunday morning.  Teams of two came upon a person that had fallen from a rock area and had received multiple injuries.  The students had to show some of their new skills of first aid in the rescue.

Camp Kellogg wasn't just about learning.  The students were able to have a little fun zip-lining and tree climbing, along with swimming in the pool, sand volleyball and evening ghost stories.  But the most popular and talked about was the free falling swing. Students were put into a harness and lifted 70 feet in the air, where they had to pull a cord and free fall swinging back and forth.

What a great weekend with the students!

A huge "thank you" to our high school coordinator, Tawnie Goetz-Kennedy, Americorps member, Nalani Wakinekona, and our summer interns, Cody Early and Emily Swanson, for spending many hours planning, organizing, and staffing the summer camps!  AHECSW could not have done it without you!



Welcome to Our Summer Interns

 Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Everyone at AHECSW would like to introduce our two summer interns: Cody and Emily. They will be helping us for the next four weeks with the High School Healthcare Exposure Camp and the Middle School Healthcare Exploration Camp. There are brief bios of our summer interns below. This year our summer camps will dive into the five senses: vision, touch, hearing, smell, and taste. We will have fun playing with our taste buds, going through obstacle courses with inverted vision googles, and confusing our senses. The high school campers will spend the last three days of camp at Camp Kellogg, where they will learn about wilderness first aid and safety. Stay tuned for our next blog on how all the camps went.

Cody Early is a Roseburg-native who is currently attending George Fox University and pursing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in biology. He is interested in working as a medical lab scientists or an optometrist. His favorite movies are Shawshank Redemption and any Star Was movie, and his favorite musical artists are Green Day and Florida Georgia Line. In his free time, he enjoys basketball, golf, camping, hiking, and chatting with friends and family. When asked what he enjoys most about this summer intern position, Cody said “I hope to help students in my community nurture their passion for healthcare just like so many mentors have done for me. I also look forward to having lots of fun along the way.”




 Emily Swanson is also a Roseburg native who is currently attending Oregon State University and pursing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in biology. Emily has worked with our camps before. She is interested in working as a primary care physician or a pediatrician. Her favorite movie is Beauty and the Beast, and her favorite musical artist is Bruno Mars. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, baking, playing the saxophone, hiking, and spending time outdoors. When asked what she enjoys about the summer intern position, Emily said, “I had a blast last year helping run the camps and seeing the students get excited about medicine. I am looking forward to connecting with more students and continuing to share my interest in the medical field with them. I hope that I care encourage these students to pursue what they are passionate about. I am excited to be able to give back to my community while doing something I love!”

**If any middle school or high school students are interested in attending these free summer camps that start next week, visit this site ( and register your students. We still have several spots open!! **


Another Year of Bright Works Oregon Complete

 Monday, June 26, 2017

      As the school year winds down to a close, Bright Works Oregon (BWO) has seen a whirlwind of activity. To give back to the community, the BWO chapters worked together to create service projects. The Sutherlin chapter joined the Roseburg chapter in showing their appreciation to Battered Persons’ Advocacy by bringing in a massage therapist and thank you mugs. The South Umpqua girls hosted a Girls’ Empowerment Day for the girls of Coffenberry Middle School; this event included a yoga session and a healthy picnic.

      The UCC Paramedics program hosted BWO for an EMS day. The medical examiner from the Sheriff’s office started off the day by taking the students through the steps of a death investigation. Then Douglas County Fire District #2 showed the students how they perform a vehicular extrication in the field, which includes using the jaws of life to take apart a car and rescue a car crash victim. At the end of the day, the paramedic students showed the BWO students how to intubate patients, insert IVs, and everything in between.













      During the last week of May, BWO was able to spend the day in Portland visiting the SIM lab at OHSU. The students practiced their CPR chest compressions, explored the manikin used in the simulation operating room, and delivered a baby with a mother manikin. As a treat, we visited Powell’s City of Books to browse the largest independent bookstore in the world, and we ate a delicious dinner at Henry’s Tavern American Grill.

















         For the final day with the BWO students, we all headed to Winchester Bay for a day on the beach. We made drift wood forts, touched sea anemones, made sand castles, and ate good food.














       With the help of Nalani Wakinekona, our AmeriCorps member, the Bright Works Oregon program was able to reach more students than ever before. This year’s program included students from over 4 schools in Douglas County. We had an amazing groups of students, and they were a large part of the program’s success.


Reconnect Scribes Teach Case Studies to Douglas County Youth

 Friday, April 28, 2017


Reconnect Scribes Teach Case Studies to Douglas County Youth

The Area Health Education Center of Southwest Oregon (AHECSW) is approaching one year since the launch of our newest educational program, Reconnect Scribes. This program is designed for post-graduate students who plan to take a gap year between undergraduate school and entrance into higher-level medical programs. In this unique model, gap-year students are employed full-time as medical scribes in a clinical setting while simultaneously gaining patient contact hours and applying to advanced degree programs, such as Medical, Nurse Practitioner, or Physician Assistant school.

Current Reconnect Scribes are all placed at the Umpqua Community Health Center. They have had the opportunity to scribe for Family Practice Doctors, Women’s Health, and also for clinic Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants. Most of the scribes have had the opportunity to work with multiple providers throughout their experience, as the clinic uses them in flexible ways to accommodate the needs of provider and patient schedules.

In addition to the hours worked as a medical scribe, the Reconnect Scribe program also has a teaching and education component that combines both the Reconnect Scribe program and the Bright Works Oregon (BWO) after-school program. The scribes were given medical school case studies authored by Doctors and Professors from OHSU; the topics of these case studies ranged from diabetes to COPD and other respiratory diseases. With the help of AHECSW staff and several outside resources, each scribe developed his or her own case study into four teachable lesson plans that would be presented at separate BWO chapter sites.

Lucas Short presented a case study on Optometry and Ophthalmology to the Phoenix Charter School BWO. Audrey Taylor presented a case study centered around Diabetes to the South Umpqua High School BWO and Jaide Farr presented a case study on Respiratory Diseases to the Sutherlin High School BWO. Due to there being only three BWO sites, one scribe worked with the Umpqua Community College (UCC) EMT Program to teach his case study. Michael Graham was given the opportunity to present a case study centered on renal diseases to the UCC Paramedic students. Each scribe met with the students for two hours a week over four weeks, and each week was a different activity or lesson related to the case study topic. These case study units included dissections, labs, and presentations from local healthcare professionals. For example, Lucas included a cow eyeball dissection and a presentation from a local optometrist, Dr. Greg Valle. Audrey invited a registered nurse with Type II diabetes to speak to the students at South Umpqua High School and lead the students through a blood sugar activity. Jaide encouraged her students to examine the ways in which tobacco companies advertise the perceived benefits of smoking and mask or ignore the serious health consequences of smoking. Michael arranged a trip to a dialysis lab to give the UCC students an off-campus learning experience in the field. Each case study was different and every scribe put their own experience and personality into their teaching methods.

                                            Scribe Lucas Short helps lead a dissection activity with Phoenix School/Roseburg High School Students.  

This component of the Reconnect Scribe program pushed the scribes out of their comfort zone. Firstly, developing the case studies forced the scribes to transform complicated medical language into teachable and understandable medical information, which is something that these scribes will have to do with their future patients. Secondly, the scribes had to learn how to command a classroom, keep the students engaged, and maintain a lesson plan for two hours. Lastly, the scribes had to simply relate to the students, listen to the students, and have a good time. Ultimately, the scribes learned more about themselves and the population that they will be serving in the future.

In it’s first year, the program has been a resounding success. AHECSW has used an evaluation process throughout the pilot to seek feedback and information on the success of the program. Patients, clinic staff, providers, and the scribes themselves have all indicated that the experience has been incredibly positive. We are constantly evaluating what we are doing and seeking ways to improve the program and make it scalable to other regions and clinics.

In March, AHECSW launched promotions for the next cohort of Reconnect Scribes, who will begin their experience in the summer of 2017. We promoted the program at every Oregon college and university by reaching out through Pre-Health Academic Advisors and Professors. Our number of applicants in the second year was over four times the number of applicants from 2016. We are currently selecting applicants for interviews and will be making final selections in mid-May. In addition to continuing our partnership with the Umpqua Community Health Center, our goal is to expand to new clinics and locations in Douglas County in the year to come.


Looking for a Summer Student Intern to help with Summer Camps

 Monday, April 10, 2017

AHECSW Summer Student Intern Position Description

Position Title:   AHECSW Summer Student Intern

Project Host site:  AHESW

AHECSW Mission:   “improve the health of people in southwest Oregon”

Project Location:   Douglas County

Position Hours:   30 hours per week Start date of July 10 through August 2.

Position Summary:   Area Health Education Center (AHECSW) of Southwest Oregon works with the Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU) to solve critical issues of health access in rural areas through health career promotion, health careers training, health professionals training and support. One way we do this is offering summer camps to the youth of Douglas county introducing them to health careers. This position will serve in a mentorship role and serve as a camp counselor.

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Assist in the daily running of camps
  • Provide team building activities for youth
  • Serve as a camp counselor
  • Assist with AHECSW programs/field trips – chaperone on student field trips

Marginal Responsibilities:

  • Assist with data collection and program evaluation
  • Clerical duties, including filing and entering information into a database
  • Participate in AHECSW staff and board meetings are required

Position Requirements:

  • Pre-health students currently enrolled in a 2- year or 4-year degree post-secondary degree program.
  • Creative, tactical, and analytical thinker. Motivational leader for youth that thinks outside of the box to engage youth in non-school setting with excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work independently as well as function successfully in collaborative team environment.
  • Strong organizational skills, ability to handle multiple tasks, and independently prioritize and track deadlines.
  • Willing to work flexible hours to meet programmatic needs-One weekend applies.
  • Excellent follow-through and persistence when corresponding with students, families, educators, and healthcare professionals.
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse organizations and persons.
  • Able to travel extensively throughout Douglas County. Must have a clean driving record and ability to pass a background check with no DUI convictions. Must be willing to travel regularly to AHECSW region communities this project serves.
  • Utilizes general office skills.
  • Operates programs within budgetary parameters and is frugal with AHECSW expenditures.
  • U.S. citizen, national or lawful permanent resident.
  • Possession of a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Must be 20 years or older to apply.
  • Regular and reliable attendance.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with community based programs.
  • Strong verbal/written communication skills.
  • Experience working with youth.

Service Conditions:

  • Extensive travel throughout the Douglas County region.

Physical/Intellectual Demands:

  • Demonstrated skills and knowledge of Microsoft-based computer programs.
  • Ability to learn and apply basic computer skills including locating and operating documents, completing forms, opening and sending messages.
  • Must be able to stoop, bend, reach, and occasionally lift 25 pounds or more.
  • Frequent oral communication in person and by telephone required.

Equipment Used:

  • Laptop computer with internet access
  • Copy Machine
  • Fax Machine

Benefits Include:  Not available for part-time employees. Pay is $14.00 dollars an hour

Transportation Information:  Personal vehicle is recommended for travel to program sites. AHECSW will reimburse mileage at the organization’s going rate.

How to Apply:  Please submit a cover letter that addresses your interest in the position, rural medicine, community health, and community service. A resume that highlights your past work experiences and qualifications with at least three references. Applications should be submitted to:

Apply before April 28, 2017!

Murder at the Winery | Buy Tickets Now!

 Wednesday, January 04, 2017



Purchase TICKETS and DONATE using this link:

       Deep within the misty green hills of central Italy lays a small winery called Girato nel Buio. As you step into the Phoenix Charter School, you will be transported to this very winery as it celebrates the revealing of it’s limited-edition vintage bottles. Minutes into the night a gruesome murder is announced, and the murder mystery begins. While you enjoy local wine and an authentic Italian meal prepared by Dino’s Ristorante and the Phoenix Culinary Arts Program, you will work with the other guests to solve the mystery and reveal the killer. As a guest, you can either be a sleuth or a suspect. The sleuth questions other guests to build a case, piece together the mystery, and identify the killer. This is your chance to use your best good cop/bag cop strategy. The suspect, on the other hand, is an actual character who could have committed the murder. You might be the infamous wine critic, the American tourist, or a fiery Italian lover. As the suspect, this is your chance to practice your best poker face and evade suspicion. Prior to the event all suspects will receive a short character guide describing their character as well as their character’s motive, means, and opportunity to kill.

       From the moment you step into the winery, your life in Oregon will be forgotten as you sip on delicious wine, taste fine Italian cuisine, and immerse yourself in this mystery. You’ll be following your intuition, chasing a lead, and accusing a suspect before dessert is even served. You may even discover that you have a knack for detective work or life as a criminal. Regardless of your role in the evening, I can promise you that this will be a night you won’t want to forget. So step out from the dreary February rain and into the Tuscan sun. Italy awaits you.

       This fundraiser is a collaboration between the Area Health Education Center of Southwest Oregon (AHECSW), The Phoenix Charter School, and Dino's Ristorante. The event is directly supporting the Bright Works Oregon after school program (BWO), which is only one of the educational programs overseen by AHECSW. BWO provides students with the skills, experiences, and opportunities they need to pursue higher education and a career in the healthcare industry. There are BWO chapters at Sutherlin High School, Phoenix Charter School, and South Umpqua High School. To enhance these students’ experiences, the AHECSW staff take our students on a spring break trip. In the past, the students have visited Portland to view a live knee replacement surgery and visit a cadaver lab. Everyone at AHECSW hopes that this fundraiser will help every student in Bright Works Oregon attend the spring break trip this year. If you have any questions about the murder mystery, BWO, or AHECSW, please email Nalani at