2017 Newsletter
Volume One
Located in Highland, NY, the Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center (CHAHEC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and one of nine partners in the New York State Area Health Education Center (AHEC) System. Catskill Hudson AHEC's region is comprised of eleven counties, including Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Rockland, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster.

The Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center seeks to improve access to quality, primary healthcare in medically undeserved areas through educational activities designed to recruit, train, and retain community-based healthcare personnel where they are most needed.

Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center created Scrubs Club in 2012 to enhance high school student knowledge of a broad array of health occupations to encourage them to consider a health career as a future career choice and inspire them to complete their high school education and continue to post-secondary studies or vocational training in health occupations.

We are very excited to report that since the program’s release, Scrubs Club is being utilized by high schools, at-risk youth programs, after school programs, community-based career workshops, B.O.C.E.S, Science & Technology Entry Programs (STEP), and other Area Health Education Centers throughout the United States.

Scrubs Club has also been awarded the 2016 National AHEC Organization (NAO) Center Award for Excellence in Health Careers Recruitment and the 2016 AHEC Center Award for Excellence in Health Careers Recruitment.

Early evaluations of the Scrubs Club impact on high school students who utilized the program as a three-year longitudinal club show that, upon graduation, 90% plan to continue their education. 

Of these students, 85% plan to pursue a health career and 85% of these students stated that participating in Scrubs Club
influenced their decision to pursue a health career. 

Please visit our website to review the Impact Survey and press releases, see the photo gallery of students engaged in Scrubs Club, Scrubs Club brochure, and download the pricing list and order form.
Medical Mind Benders

Another student-based program created by Catskill Hudson AHEC that you may also be interested in is Medical Mind Benders, which is a complete collection of 14 fun, interactive, boredom-busting games and activities that combines classic, simple gaming with a creative “medical twist.” 

These games are designed to strengthen student word association, inter-personal workplace skills, cognitive memory and problem-solving skills, while introducing them to an extensive variety of health careers and familiarizing them with health terminology. 

Medical Mind Benders is a great supplement to any middle school health education curriculum.


Nursing Summit
In 2004, Catskill Hudson AHEC presented its first “Nursing Summit” to nurse administrators and nurse educators who wished to work together with Catskill Hudson AHEC to promote the nursing careers in New York State. 

Since then, Catskill Hudson AHEC’s Nursing Summit has attracted all levels of nurses as well as healthcare professionals, health educators, and health professions students by providing an educational forum to explore topics of relevance and critical issues facing nursing and healthcare professionals today and supporting the continued development of and within the nursing profession. 
The Nursing Summit has also provided invaluable networking opportunities for attendees.

Health Professions Seminars
In 2013, Catskill Hudson AHEC introduced the Health Professions Seminars  to increase the knowledge and awareness of important healthcare issues surrounding LGBT patient care and encourage attending health professionals and their staff to adopt LGBT culturally competent practices to provide exceptional healthcare to all of their patients.
As a result, approximately 95% of attendees reported that they will work toward integrating lessons learned into their practice.
Attendees and supporters agreed, “Excellent program on severely needed content! Consider this as an annual or semi-annual program,” “Excellent presenters with diverse backgrounds and information. It was very eye-opening,” “With these types of training's, persistence, and optimism, I believe we will prevail in getting the word out!”

Because of the increased health threats and treatment barriers that continue to compromise quality patient care within the LGBT community, Catskill Hudson AHEC will address obstacles and ways to improve healthcare delivery systems specifically affecting the adolescent LGBT community. The 2018 Health Professions Seminars entitled, "Enhancing the Quality and Delivery of LGBT Adolescent Healthcare" will be presented to all healthcare professionals and staff providing healthcare to the LGBT community, on July 13, 2018 at Marist College. 
Emergency Responder Leadership Academy
In 2004, Catskill Hudson AHEC presented its first EMS Leadership Academy , which was a two-part, professional development workshop for EMS captains, officers, and others in or about to be placed in a position of leadership in their agency. In 2011, the program name was changed to the Emergency Responder Leadership Academy to better reflect the evolution of the program’s expanding focus and growing audience.
Throughout the years, this program has continued to develop unique learning experiences that are presented by experienced leaders in emergency response. Topics continue to focus on professional development in areas that are critical to every emergency services long-term success, such as, administration, supervision, recruitment and retention, public relations, budgeting, service excellence, strategic planning, communication, and safety, to name a few. 
Sherry Wyckoff, MPH, HRHCare Regional Practice Manager

Sherry Wyckoff is a Regional Practice Manager for HRHCare which is a Federally Qualified Health Center with 28 locations in the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, Long Island. Sherry covers Dutchess and Columbia counties, overseeing 6 health centers in the region.

Sherry relates to the rural areas she serves because she grew up in Otsego County, graduated from Schenevus Central School and received her Bachelor's in Science in Business Economics from SUNY Oneonta. 

Sherry previously worked for Bassett Healthcare as a research coordinator at the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health which focuses on preventing and treating occupational injuries and illness in the farming population. 

Her work with migrant and seasonal farm workers lead her to obtain her Master's in Public Health and focus on the health and community needs of this population.  

Sherry currently lives in Hyde Park and enjoys being outside hiking and biking throughout the Hudson Valley region.

Robert Irving Miller, R.N., M.S., Esq

Since 1994, Robert Irving Miller has successfully represented businesses, health care professionals and individuals in litigation, at trials and in appeals. His primary focus – medical malpractice defense, health law and all matters related to the administration of health care facilities. Mr. Miller’s experience in both the fields of law and health care has made him an ideal advocate for the health care industry.

Mr. Miller is licensed to practice law in both New York and Connecticut as well as in federal courts in the Northern and Southern Districts of New York.

Mr. Miller graduated from Pace University School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the Pace Law Review. He had previously earned undergraduate degrees in nursing and health services administration, as well as a master of science degree in management science. 
His early health care career included substantial experience as a registered nurse in emergency rooms and critical care.

He later worked as the assistant administrator at Little Falls Hospital in Little Falls, New York, and the Chief Operating Officer of the Julia L. Butterfield Memorial Hospital in Cold Spring, New York. He is also a former licensed nursing home administrator.


The Blueprint for Health Equity is a New York State-sponsored population health improvement project that is delivered by a regional health information organization, HealthLinkNY, which is a partner of Catskill Hudson AHEC, and which aims to offer education and training to health professionals at all levels across the Hudson Valley to help providers:

  • address the social determinants of health of their patients, and mitigate health conditions that are exacerbated by negative social determinants of health;
  • combat or avoid racism, whether intentional or unintentional, in the planning and delivery of health services; and learn about experiences of poverty that many patients experience and that make it harder for them to take fullest advantage of critical health programs.

Catskill Hudson AHEC serves on the planning committee for this exciting multi-disciplinary effort, and has arranged for presentations by an expert trainer in the field of cultural competency and cultural humility and responsiveness, for multiple event dates.

“Blueprint” trainings reached dozens of providers in counties across the Hudson Valley each month of 2017.
Summer Rural Immersion Program

The New York-Connecticut Summer Rural Immersion Program for Medical School Students is a three-school, six-health-provider summertime experience, led in part by Catskill Hudson AHEC as part of a planning team started at initiative of the Foundation for Community Health, by which medical school students from across downstate New York and western Connecticut are able to learn about a wide variety of rural healthcare needs in Dutchess County and the Litchfield hills of Connecticut, where there is a lack of available physicians to support important population health goals.

In July 2017, for 13 days, seven students “shadowed” physicians and other providers at Sharon Hospital, the Hudson River Healthcare community health center in Amenia, New York, the Geer Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Connecticut, an EMS mobilization site, a health insurer, and a drug abuse treatment center.

Five of these students came from Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine – Middletown Campus.
During the program, they stayed in free housing at a nearby independent boarding school in Lakeville, CT.

They sampled and learned about area social, housing, transportation, and recreational opportunities and infrastructure.
The program began in 2016 and expanded in 2017 with the addition of two more days of shadowing.

Students also had the opportunity to listen to a panel of experienced rural primary care physicians speak about the lifestyle and benefits of serving rural and underserved populations on a full-time basis.

One of the primary goals of the program is to offer medical school students enough insights into the value of working with rural populations that they might consider living and working in the area.
The project was conceptualized by Gertrude O’Sullivan, director of communications and special programs at the Foundation for Community Health, with Rob Wingate, executive director of Catskill Hudson AHEC; Sherry Wyckoff of Hudson River Healthcare; David Yens of Touro College; Tricia Harrity of the Northwestern Connecticut Area Health Education Center, now known as Health360; Heather Cappabianca of the Northwestern Connecticut Community College’s Center for Workforce Development; Kevin O’Connell of Geer; Jim Hutchison of Sharon Hospital; and Andrew Selinger of Quinnipiac Universit y.
The NYSAHEC System is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Award titled Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program (U77). The content and information is solely the responsibility of the authors and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government website.