Developing and implementing a co-curricular IPE program: AHEC Scholars Program

Andrea Moreno-Vasquez, Eduardo Gandara, Annette Z. Idar, Pamela Recto, Jose Zapata, Janna Lesser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


As part of a new directive, the Human Resources Services Administration (HRSA) mandated Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Programs across the nation to implement an interprofessional education (IPE) program for health professional students, with the goal of fostering collaborative practice among health profession students and motivating students to work in medically underserved areas post-graduation. The South Texas AHEC Program collaboratively developed and implemented a co-curricular IPE initiative, the AHEC Scholars Program, including didactic and practicum components, focused on the needs of communities in our area. A pre-post quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate the student outcomes related to IPEC Competencies and knowledge and preparation for the practice of core topic areas mandated by HRSA. Student outcomes showed statistically significant improvement in all measures. In order to obtain more detailed accounts of students’ practicum experiences, students were asked to complete reflective journals after each practicum. The AHEC Scholars Program provides students with opportunities to work with underserved populations and enables students to explore the benefits of team-based care. This article summarizes the collaborative process of the development and implementation of the AHEC Scholars Program; secondly, it details student outcomes from a 3-month pilot study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1080-1087
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021


  • access to healthcare
  • community-based health
  • health profession students
  • healthcare delivery
  • interprofessional education
  • underserved populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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