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WVU’S Rural Community Health Scholars seize the opportunity to give back

people stand close to each other, one with an apron and head cover

Rural Community Health Scholars from West Virginia University Health Sciences travel across the state to provide health care services to rural and underserved residents. (WVU Photo)

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What’s the News? 

As Rural Community Health Scholars, more than 30 West Virginia University Health Sciences students will have an opportunity to positively affect the lives of rural and underserved West Virginians. The West Virginia Area Health Education Center Rural Community Health Scholars will learn how to best implement health care services in rural and underserved areas, while receiving hands-on experience and providing meaningful patient care in the field. 

Quotes and Comments

“Being a Rural Community Health Scholar has helped build my confidence. If I, a simple student of public health, can bring about a movement, a change, then anyone can. It’s all about keeping up the hard work and dedication, and as long as the goal is to help others, anything is possible.” 

“I believe that education regarding nutrition and healthy habits, access to fresh produce, and increasing options that can improve the determinants of health as a whole (i.e. social, economic, and physical environment along with individual characteristics and behaviors) can help change the course of healthcare for these communities.” – Kruti Pandya, Master’s in Public Health, Biostatistics

“The West Virginia Area Health Education Center Rural Community Health Scholars program has improved my ability to work among a multidisciplinary team, advocate for occupational therapy’s role, advocate for underserved communities, and gave me a greater insight into the contexts and environments that affect my clients.”

“Being from a rural area, I understood the views of individuals because I was integrated into the community. However, from the view the Rural Community Health Scholars gave me, from the outside looking in, I am now able to understand the contextual factors that shape an individual’s thinking. Because of that, I am better able to assist my clients.” – Lauren Campbell, Occupational Therapy

Target Audiences

  • Rural health care providers
  • Students interested in health care careers
  • High school counselors
  • STEM teachers 
  • Policymakers/legislators 


Link to original story: Top health sciences students selected as WV AHEC Rural Community Health Scholars  

Rural Community Health Scholars



CONTACT: Wendy Holdren
Senior Communications Specialist
Health Sciences Center

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