Volume 4 | Oct.- Dec. 2020
Oct - Dec 2020
In This Issue

  • In the Spotlight
  • Mental Health & Covid-19
  • AHEC Scholars Class of 2022
  • Staying Connected with AHEC
In the Spotlight
Meet Alexis Simpson

Alexis is currently a senior at the University of Nebraska Omaha, and a student worker for Omaha AHEC. She is majoring in neuroscience and minoring in chemistry with the hopes of becoming a physician. In addition, Alexis is a Urban Health Opportunities Program (UHOP) Scholar. UNO's UHOP Program aims to diversify the urban Nebraska primary care medical workforce by identifying and preparing qualified students from underrepresented groups to enter and succeed in medical school. Outside of academics, Alexis is an avid dancer who has been doing so since she was three years old. Growing up dancing in a studio, she has danced for her high school, and now performs with other college students at a dance studio that was started by one of her high school peers. Additionally, she creates music mixes for the studio and assistants in teaching younger classes.

On becoming a physician:
"I made this career choice very early in life, third grade to be specific, and I haven’t looked back since. I endured a major burn accident when I was a toddler which which left me with permanent scarring along my left jawline and covering my chest to just above my navel. While the appearance of these scars has improved over the years with the help of multiple surgeries and a lifetime of healing, my experiences because of this incident inspired me to want to be like the people who helped me by helping the people like me."

On Omaha AHEC:
"I love how AHEC strives to provide education and opportunities for the people of Omaha, regardless of their level of education. AHEC works with high schoolers, undergraduate students, and professional students, and professionals in order to impact our community. I am proud to be associated with an organization like AHEC."

On being a UHOP Scholar:
"The UHOP Program gives me confidence that not only will I make it into medical school, but I will also be successful once I get there. The assistance and guidance that I've received has greatly impacted my time at UNO and impacted it for the better."
Mental Health & COVID-19
In the past six months, every person around the globe has had to adapt to the changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about. Wearing face masks, temporary unemployment or working from home, limiting travel, and home schooling children.

More importantly: social distancing. As humans, we are social creatures. We live in communities and families because it's in our nature. We seek the company of others because it brings us happiness. We enjoy celebrating with our friends and families. We relish sporting events and dining out. While some people are more social than others, even introverts are social beings.

As states and countries have introduced measures to stop the spread of the virus, more and more people have had to make changes in their daily routines. All of these changes, all at once has left people vulnerable and many of us have found ourselves suffering from changes in our mental health. While our pets may appreciate the extra time we've been spending at home, secluding ourselves is not the best for our mental health. The World Health Organization has come out with some helpful tips that all of us may find helpful during this stressful and uncertain time. Taking care of not only our physical health, but our mental health is monumental.

  • Keep informed
Listen to advice and recommendations from your national and local authorities and follow trusted news channels for up-to-date news.
  • Have a routine
Having a normal day-to-day routine helps reduce stress levels.
  1. Get up and go to bed at similar times every day.
  2. Keep up with personal hygiene.
  3. Eat healthy meals at regular times.
  4. Exercise regularly.
  5. Allocate time for working and time for resting.
  6. Make time for doing things you enjoy.
  • Social contact is important
Even while social distancing, social contact is important. Keep in regular contact with friends and family by phone and online platforms.
  • Limit alcohol and drug use
Limit the amount of alcohol you drink or don’t drink alcohol at all. There is no evidence of any protective effect of drinking alcohol for viral or other infections. In fact, the opposite is true as the harmful use of alcohol is associated with increased risk of infections and worse treatment outcomes.
  • Minimize newsfeeds
Try to reduce how much you watch, read or listen to news that makes you feel anxious or distressed. Seek the latest information at specific times of the day, once or twice a day if needed. 
  • Help Others
If you are able to, offer support to people in your community who may need it.


Below are links for helpful resources if you or someone you know is struggling with mental health.


Class of 2022
The Nebraska AHEC has chosen their Class of 2022 Scholars! Nebraska has chosen 75 AHEC Scholars across the state, 15 of which are in the Omaha region. Keep an eye out in our future newsletters for a list of our AHEC Scholars participants and Class of 2023 AHEC Scholar application.

AHEC Scholars Benefits

  • Health professions students who complete the Nebraska AHEC Scholars Program gain lifetime connections with health professionals in a variety of disciplines.
  • Access to real world experience beyond the classroom will increase self-confidence in your field and give you a competitive edge when seeking employment. 
  • Becoming an AHEC Scholar will elevate your credentials as an emerging health care leader.
  • AHEC Scholars gain access to exclusive workshops, potential employers, community leaders, and national and state resources on the latest health topics. 
  • The program is offered at no cost to the student. 
  • AHEC Scholars may be eligible for a stipend.

Staying Connected with AHEC
Our social media pages are up and running! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook for upcoming Omaha AHEC news, events, activities and opportunities.

Missed our previous newsletters? You can find them on our webpage!