Academics committed to the community

For the Madera stand

Madera Unified Certified Nursing Assistant Students at Camarena Health Center show off the gift bags they received after completing the California Area Health Education Center scholarship program. From left to right: Jenny Alvarez, Perla Reyes, Ruby Tiscareno and Azucena Eugenio.

Camarena Health has partnered with the Central Valley Health Network (CVHN) to offer Madera Unified Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) students the opportunity to participate in the California Area Health Education Center (AHEC) scholarship program.

The goal of this program is to recruit, train and retain a professional health workforce engaged in underserved communities. This opportunity allows fellows to explore the primary care environment and enhance their skills through a variety of experiences.

Five students from Madera South High School CNA were selected to be part of this first cohort: Perla Reyes, Ruby Tiscareno, Azucena Eugenio-Vasquez, Jenny Alvarez and Ana Boch.

The AHEC program consists of a three-part program. The 40-hour online program, hosted by UCSF-Fresno, allowed students to delve into community health topics, as well as interdisciplinary case studies. The 40-hour clinical training provides students with the opportunity to interact and engage with Camarena Health patients in underserved or rural areas to gain hands-on skills. Finally, the community health project, which involves identifying a need in underserved communities and helping to meet it. Throughout the program, students had the opportunity to participate in webinars, clinics and community exploration, self-guided research, and case-based learning.

“The AHEC Scholars program has given students in the Madera Unified District the opportunity to participate in a unique program in which students have the opportunity to connect with their community through a variety of experiences,” said Jazmin Rios, head of the development of the Camarena health workforce. “The goal is to improve their skills while pursuing a career in the health field, preparing them better for their future. “

Camarena Health AHEC Fellows have engaged with the community by completing their in-house clinic in various locations. The researchers were stationed in emergency care at Camarena Health, Camarena Kids, Almond Women’s Health, and 6th Street Health Center. This allowed them to experience the diversity of care that community health centers provide to patients.

For their project, the students chose to collaborate and develop a brochure to address and educate patients on the importance of vaccinations and child welfare visits. During their spring break, the researchers volunteered their time to help distribute the COVID-19 vaccine in the community.

“The students who participated in this program were eager to learn more about the needs of their community and how to support them,” said Rios. “They attended our COVID-19 vaccination clinics in their free time, helped patients ask questions, and helped fill out forms. They were happy to help the patients and arrived ready and with a smile.

The five scholarship recipients received a scholarship of $ 1,000 for completing the program. They each plan to begin a college education this fall with the intention of entering a health care profession.

Reyes will be attending Fresno State to major in nursing. Tiscareno will attend Fresno State to major in biology. Eugenio-Vasquez will attend Fresno Pacific University to major in nursing. Alvarez will attend UC Merced to major in chemistry. Boch will attend UC Santa Cruz to specialize in neuroscience.


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