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Mountain Area Health Education Center

Community Health Worker / Research Fellow

The Mountain Area Health Education Center, Inc. (MAHEC) provides quality, compassionate healthcare as a foundation for training top physicians, dentists, and health professionals. Established in 1974, MAHEC's mission is to train the next generation of healthcare professionals for western North Carolina (WNC) through quality healthcare, innovative education, and best practice models that can be replicated nationally.

MAHEC is committed to compassionate, high quality healthcare for WNC. Our team of physicians, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners are an important part of the safety net for low-income patients throughout the region. Our medical teams are highly qualified clinicians and extremely dedicated to the patients they serve. Learn more.

Impact Fellow at MAHEC

1. Community Health Worker: The Impact fellow will receive basic training as a community health worker during orientation (including training in Motivational Interviewing), and then will work on a clinical outreach team with a social worker and/or nurse care manager to provide patient assistance for vulnerable populations. Some of this work will be with an existing outreach team in Buncombe County, and some with a new team in another rural community (most likely Spruce Pine, N.C., about an hour's drive from Asheville, N.C.). Work will involve home visits, accompanying patients to clinic visits, and other outreach activities. As this is a new role in the rural healthcare team, the Impact Fellow will assist in developing methods to track and evaluate how these services improve patient function, engagement in self-care, health outcomes, and/or lower overall costs of medical care. The fellow will need to have a reliable car and clean driving record, and excellent interpersonal skills to feel comfortable interacting with a broad range of patients, including those experiencing homelessness, cognitive or behavioral health issues, and/or low-socioeconomic status.

2. Research Fellow: Approximately half of the fellow's time will be spent helping design and carrying out a research project involving either transformation of some aspect of primary care delivery or rural population health needs/outcomes. The fellow will have support of a research team, including a medical librarian, research design specialist, and database analyst, but will be expected to have the initiative to carry out the project once designed with minimal supervision. The expectation is by the end of the project that the results will be reported in a research paper suitable for publication in medical literature. The specific project will depend on the intern's skills and interests, and which projects in MAHEC's research agenda are ready to implement. Fellow should have excellent writing skills, a basic understanding of research methods, and a strong work ethic/self-organizational skills.

During the year, the fellow will have the opportunity to participate in a number of planning meetings, leadership meetings, community-based organization forums, and clinic interprofessional team huddles. Depending on future professional interests, the fellow will also have the opportunity to work with a variety of health professional students and residents during the year for a glimpse into a career as a health professional or leader of a community-based not-for-profit organization.