AHEC Community Health Immersion (WI Express)

Since the mid-1990s, AHEC Community Health Immersion (formerly WI Express) has given undergraduate and graduate health profession students the unique opportunity to connect with the diverse communities and cultures of Wisconsin, exploring health care delivery and public health in medically underserved areas. This well-known experience is now integrated into our AHEC Scholars program, and we invite students outside of the program to join our sessions as room allows.

2023 Community Health Immersions

Winter Break/Spring Semester Community Health Immersions

Experience communities in Wisconsin either in-person or through a live virtual Immersion. Additional details below descriptions.

Applications closed November 20th.

 


In-Person Immersions

Roe v. Wade Reversal | Milwaukee
January 5, 13, 14, & 19, 2023
Learn how Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is working to serve patients and communities in the wake of abortion becoming illegal in Wisconsin following the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Topics include Planned Parenthood structure & key focus areas, reproductive health & marginalized populations, a tour of a clinic, Roe v. Wade historical view, strategies to continue providing access to care, and what actions you can take. This hybrid Immersion will meet virtually on January 5, 2023 from 5:30-7:30pm, in-person in Milwaukee from January 13-14, 2023, and virtually on January 19, 2023 from 5:30-7:30pm. Dorm rooms are available at no cost to students who do not have lodging in Milwaukee during the in-person portion.

Women & Children Health | Beloit
March 13-15, 2023
Understand women’s health through different perspectives with an emphasis on health equity issues. This experience will have both didactic and experiential learning experiences, giving you the chance to meet and learn from experts in the region from academia, community service agencies, and healthcare who are committed to addressing women’s health. Take a more in-depth look at women’s health and health equity issues by visiting organizations that offer support and services to women and families in need. This experience will also challenge you to understand how local issues transcend to global health concerns.

Behavioral Health & Substance Use Disorder in Rural WI | Rhinelander
April 6-7, 2023
Join a live crisis simulation at Nicolet College, and visit local health and community-based organizations who provide care in behavioral health and substance use disorders in northern Wisconsin. Observe students, professionals, and community members providing a team-based approach to care delivery in a crisis situation, and learn about the specialized healthcare needs of rural communities. Includes a gas card to offset transportation costs.

Culture Shock! | Milwaukee & Ashland Area
April 20-23, 2023
Get out of your comfort zone! The difference between a rural and an urban setting can seem like Earth versus the moon. Culture Shock is designed to explore not just the opposite environments of what you may be used to, but also the stereotypes, fears, and assumptions that we have toward cultures, attitudes, and people, and how it relates to a healthcare career. If you have grown up in either a rural or urban setting, we encourage you to apply and learn through exposure and from fellow Scholars who have experienced a life opposite of yours.

 


Virtual Live Immersions

Substance Use in Wisconsin
January 9-11, 2023
Dive into the topic of substance use in Wisconsin, and, more specifically, what this looks like in rural, north central Wisconsin. You will learn about: substance use and affiliated disorders; factors that lead individuals to misuse alcohol and other drugs; challenges that people who live with addiction face; the connection between substance use disorders and mental illness; local services aimed at prevention, treatment, counseling and recovery services; community collaborations; and career opportunities.

Interprofessional Case Collaboration
January 9-20, 2023
This virtual Interprofessional Case Collaboration is designed to prepare you for professional practice. You will be divided into teams of 3 to 5 members with students representing at least three different professions/degrees to work collaboratively while conducting an analysis of a patient/client case study. Teams will have from January 9–18, 2023 to work on their root cause analysis, submit a 2-page executive summary, a 1-page budget, and a 10-minute video on their case analysis and recommendations. On January 19th & 20th, participants will review each of the teams’ presentations and provide feedback and submit an individual reflection of personal experience of working in interprofessional teams.

Gerontology & Dementia
March 20-23, 2023
Northwest Wisconsin is aging at rates faster than most of the country and the state of Wisconsin due to “brain drain” and the retirees moving to the area. Explore gerontology, dementia care, and their careers and services associated with this demographic.

Underserved Communities Series
Spring Semester 2023
Understand health through different perspectives with an emphasis on health equity issues surrounding underserved communities. Throughout this five part interprofessional series you will have the chance to meet and learn from experts in the region from academia, community organizations and healthcare. Meets virtually from 10:00am-12:00pm on March 20, March 27, April 3, April 10, and April 17.

 


Additional Details

  • The program fee is $150 for in-person programs and $25 for virtual programs. The fee for in-person programs includes accommodations, most meals, and transportation between locations during the program.
  • Participants are responsible for transportation to and from the Immersion’s location. Carpooling with other participants is common.
  • As we work with vulnerable populations, some partner sites may require you to show your vaccination card or official immunization registry record. Some partner sites may additionally require that you take a COVID-19 rapid test prior to entering the facility.

 

Credit Option:
January 24 – May 5

We are offering a one-credit online course open to all students participating in this program. The course will be administered through UW-Madison. Additional assignments will be given in addition to the regular Community Health Immersion programming to meet the 45-hour requirement for a credit.

Additional information:

  • Taking this credit is required for UW-Madison Global Health students to count AHEC Community Health Immersion as their field experience.
  • Accepted students will be given permission to enroll in NUTR SCI 421.
  • Credit counts toward Spring 2023 course load.
  • UW-Madison Spring 2023 tuition rates apply.
  • Students at universities outside of UW-Madison need to apply to be a UW-Madison special student and have the responsibility of determining how to transfer credit back to their home institution.
  • All coursework is administered through Canvas, an online digital learning environment.
  • The course includes a live in-person or virtual Community Health Immersion and additional assignments with deadlines through May 5th.

Summer Community Health Immersions

Learn first-hand from community members and health practitioners in these multi-day, in-person Immersions. Additional details below program descriptions.

Applications open February 2023.


In-Person Immersions

Indigenous Communities of the Northwoods | Menominee Nation
May 21-22, 2023
Immerse yourself in Wisconsin’s indigenous communities and cultures by exploring health care and public health care delivery in rural areas, health-related tribal policy, and social determinants of health/prosperity. During the two-day Immersion, learn alongside content-expert presenters from different tribes in Wisconsin and other local community organizations, all while learning with and from fellow students in differing health professions. Includes a gas card to offset transportation costs.

Healthcare in the Plain Community: Amish & Mennonite | Marshfield
May 24-26, 2023
Experience Amish/Mennonite culture and rural health care while visiting these communities. Explore how respect for culture can interact with health care, and learn about the balance between cost of medical care and reduction of risk. Sites visited include public health departments, fee-for-service, midwifery and family practice clinics, dental practices, and various Amish/Mennonite businesses.

Incarceration & Health | Lancaster
May 21-25, 2023
Have you considered working in a jail or prison, delivering healthcare to incarcerated persons? Ever wondered about healthcare implications for previously incarcerated individuals? Explore health, well-being, and healthcare delivery through visits to county jails, maximum and minimum security prisons. Gain an understanding of access and equity for these populations and how social determinants play a role. Hear from experts in the field, practicing healthcare providers, and public health professionals.

The Muslim Community | Appleton
May 22-23, 2023

Learn about Muslim culture and religious requirements in health care settings, including physical, nutritional, communication, health, gender-based, and end-of-life needs. Activities include visiting the Islamic Center of Wisconsin and Community Resources throughout Outagamie County to hear about valuable information to use throughout your professional career.

Native American & Rural Health | Ashland
May 22-24, 2023

See a wide variety of rural health care settings, including women’s health, acute care, public health, tribal clinics, and others. Hear presentations from a diverse group of practitioners and discuss the challenges and rewards of working in rural health in far northern Wisconsin, as well as culturally appropriate care for Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) populations.

Milwaukee’s Assets & Disparities | Milwaukee
May 23-25, 2023
Learn about this urban community’s unique cultural groups and assets while visiting a variety of health care settings and community organizations. Explore health care disparities and meet providers working to address these disparities. Topics include integrative healthcare, poverty, access to health care, homelessness, and language barriers. Lodging will be provided in dorm rooms, which is a required component of this Immersion.

Rural & Underserved Communities of Monroe County | Monroe County
May 31 – June 2, 2023
Gain knowledge about the unique barriers faced by rural, underserved communities across Monroe County by engaging with organizations serving Amish, Hispanic, homeless, uninsured/underinsured, and veteran populations. Learn how social determinants of health, interprofessional collaboration, and cultural awareness impact the work of rural professionals through a public health lens.

 


Additional Details

  • The program fee is $150, which includes accommodations, most meals, and transportation between locations during the program.
  • Participants are responsible for transportation to and from the Immersion’s location. Carpooling with other participants is common.
  • As we work with vulnerable populations, some partner sites may require you to show your vaccination card or official immunization registry record. Some partner sites may additionally require that you take a COVID-19 rapid test prior to entering the facility.

 

Credit Option:
June 5 – July 9

We are offering a one-credit online course open to all students participating in this program. The course will be administered through UW-Madison. Additional assignments will be given in addition to the regular Community Health Immersion programming to meet the 45-hour requirement for a credit.

Additional information:

  • Taking this credit is required for UW-Madison Global Health students to count AHEC Community Health Immersion as their field experience.
  • Accepted students will be given permission to enroll in NUTR SCI 421.
  • Credit counts toward Summer 2023 course load.
  • UW-Madison Summer 2023 tuition rates apply.
  • Students at universities outside of UW-Madison need to apply to be a UW-Madison special student and have the responsibility of determining how to transfer credit back to their home institution.
  • All coursework is administered through Canvas, an online digital learning environment.
  • The course includes a live in-person or virtual Community Health Immersion and additional assignments with deadlines through July 9th. Assignments may be turned in early to complete the course before July 9th.

CONTACT

AHEC Program Manager, Katie Freeman
kmfreeman2@wisc.edu