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AHEC Blog

An Open Letter to Potential ReConnect Scribes from a Current Scribe

 Thursday, January 23, 2020

What I Gained from My Experience as a ReConnect Scribe

Dear Potential ReConnect Applicant,

I was delighted to become a part of the Area Health Education Center of Southwest Oregon’s ReConnect program after I heard about it as a student in the University of Oregon Rural Health Club. After scribing in this program for the last year, I would love to emphasize the following points to students who are potentially interested in the ReConnect Gap-Year Program.

The primary reason why I applied to the ReConnect program was to gain clinical experience. As the program includes a Medical Assistant (MA) component, it has more than delivered on this. Some highlights of working as an MA include: administering flu shots and point of care blood tests, taking vitals, preparing for procedures, and using medical terminology in real-time.

However, while the clinical experience has been significant, to me, it has not been the most meaningful part of the ReConnect program. To my surprise, working with the logistical side of healthcare has actually been the most helpful to my growth and understanding of medicine. If you become a part of the ReConnect program you can expect to learn about a wide variety of components in the healthcare world, such as:

  • Insurance
    • Copays and deductibles and MVAs, oh my! The more you learn about insurance, the more you’ll realize there is to know, but you’ll certainly be ahead of where you were when you started.
  • Medical Coding
    • I wasn’t even aware that coding is a part of medicine at all. Come to find out, it’s not only a massive part, but there are two different kinds: coding diagnoses (ICD-10s) and coding for billing (99214 vs 99213, etc).
  • Social Dynamics of a Medical Clinic
    • You will engage in communication between administration, front office reception, back office medical staff, providers, etc. You’ll get to observe how physicians and practitioners interact with their patients.
  • Medications and Medical Terminology
    • Memorizing (and pronouncing!) medications and their generic equivalents has been interesting, but trust me, you’ll be rattling off escitalopram, adalimumab, and myrbetriq like they’re the names of your favorite breakfast cereals. You’ll also learn about medications that are controlled substances and those that require pain contracts.
  • “Productive Shadowing” - Observing a variety of different practitioners
    • Scribing for three Medical Doctors, a Doctor of Osteopathy, a Physician’s Assistant, a Doctor of Nursing Practice, and two Family Nurse Practitioners has introduced me to a variety of health professions and given me incredible insight on different styles of care and patient-provider interactions. If you get the chance to do this, you may come to better understand which areas and degree of medicine you would like to pursue.
  • The Art of a Chart Note
    • I’m by no means an expert on medical charts, but scribing hundreds of patient appointments has caused me to go from not knowing what the acronyms HPI, ROS, PE, and A/P stand for, to being able to write them fluidly. In case you are curious, those stand for medical terms such as History of Present Illness (HPI), Review of Systems (ROS), Physical Exam (PE), and Assessment and Plan (A/P). I feel this experience may help you be more efficient and get less burnt out when you’re faced with your own charts in the future as a medical student or practitioner. Medical scribing provides an opportunity to get a jump start on the components of a patient exam or interaction.
  • Rural Healthcare
    • Working at a rural clinic such as Aviva, especially at the satellite clinics in more rural areas, will demonstrate the challenges (and joys!) of rural communities and healthcare resources available there.
  • Patient Contact
    • I cannot emphasize enough how special it is to converse with patients, to empathize with them, and to help put them at ease. But I’m guessing you’re not interested in reading a 10 page blog about that, so I’ll stop there.

Indeed, the ReConnect program is an opportunity to bolster your clinical experience, but I urge you to also see it as a way to learn the logistical aspects of medicine that cannot be taught in class or read about in a textbook. While these are often the “less glamorous” parts of medicine, my experience with them turned into the most unique and vivid parts of my application essays, and made me more passionate about healthcare overall.

Sincerely,

Natalie DeBell
Current ReConnect scribe and future medical student

Natalie DeBell has been a part of the ReConnect program since January of 2020. She grew up in the Roseburg area, attended Roseburg High School, and has returned to Roseburg for her gap-year between undergraduate education and medical school. Natalie graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Oregon as a Human Physiology major and is proficient in Spanish. Natalie was recently notified of her acceptance to medical school at Oregon Health and Sciences University and plans to begin her journey there in the summer of 2020. Natalie recently wrote about her experience as a ReConnect scribe to share her insights and learnings with undergraduate students who are potentially interested in joining the ReConnect Program.

 

 


 

 

 


ReConnect Scribe Program Receives Second Grant from Oregon Medical Education Foundaton (OMEF)

 Tuesday, December 10, 2019

In June 2019, the Area Health Education Center of Southwest Oregon (AHECSW) received its second grant from the Oregon Medical Education Foundation (OMEF) in the amount of $25,000 to further develop and expand the ReConnect Scribe program. The OMEF is a charitable organization that was formed by the Oregon Medical Association in 1961 and 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. The ReConnect Scribe program was also awarded a $25,000 grant from OMEF in the summer of 2017.

This grant will continue to fund the expansion and promotion of the ReConnect Scribe Program, which has been in existence since Spring 2016. ReConnect Scribe 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. The current goal is to expand the ReConnect Scribe program into additional rural clinics, starting with the southwest counties of Oregon. Thus far, ReConnect Scribes has been exclusively placing students at Aviva Health (formerly Umpqua Community Health Center) in Roseburg. Through our partnership with Aviva Health, the program has developed and evolved into a thriving model for preparing and growing the future workforce of rural healthcare practitioners. The next step is to expand and replicate this model in additional clinics or Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in southwest Oregon.

In addition to expanding the number of clinical sites for ReConnect Scribes, grant funding will be used to bolster and improve recruitment strategies to gain more prospective ReConnect candidates. One of the findings discovered through the duration of the program is that candidates who are most likely to apply for ReConnect Scribe positions are individuals who have grown up or graduated high school in the region the clinic serves in. Of the 15 ReConnect Scribes who have participated in our program since it began, 12 graduated high school in Douglas County. This reveals a need to strategically recruit within a region to place candidates at a host site in that region. The AHECSW and ReConnect program staff will be working on building a system to identify potential future rural providers and provide gap-year opportunities within clinics in their home communities.

Grant funding will also be used to develop and maintain elements of the program that support current ReConnect Scribes in their application process to medical school and development as future healthcare providers. One critical aspect of the program is when candidates join the program, they step into a “cohort” of peers; ReConnect scribes are interacting with peers who have similar goals and aspirations. Each of our ReConnect scribes is in the process of actively applying to medical school and developing their professional resume. This adds a layer of camaraderie and shared experiences that creates strong bonds among candidates. An activity that the cohort of ReConnect scribes have an opportunity to participate in are bi-monthly “professional learning dinners.” At these events, local pediatrician, Dr. Robert Dannenhoffer of Aviva Health, leads scribes in a professional development or learning activity that introduces them to medical concepts and provides an opportunity for them to “think like a provider.” Topics covered thus far have been “How to Read an Echocardiogram (EKG)” and “Conducting Patient Exams and Reaching Diagnosis.” Grant funding will continue to support activities such as these and allow AHECSW to provide a meal for scribes as they come together for a unique professional learning experience with their peers.

Thank you to OMEF for their generosity and belief in our program's vision.  AHECSW is beyond grateful for your continued support of the ReConnect Scribe Program. 

 

 

 

 

 

ReConnect Scribes gathered at the first-ever “Professional Learning Dinner” facilitated by AHECSW and Aviva Health in April 2019. Dr. Robert Dannenhoffer taught scribes how to read an EKG while scribes enjoyed dinner and an evening of professional discourse and learning.

 


 

 



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 https://www.nwrpca.org/page/NorthwestPulse

 


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:  http://www.theoma.org/omef

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 (https://tinyurl.com/jub35sj) 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.