AHEC Scholars Spotlight: Daicia Price and the UM School of Social Work

As a Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Work in the University of Michigan School of Social Work, (UM SSW) Daicia Price is passionate about connecting students to opportunities and experiences that will further their education and their future careers. In 2019, Professor Price learned about the Michigan AHEC Scholars Program and was instrumental in launching the first cohort of 12 UM SSW students. Since then, the number of AHEC Scholars at UM SSW has increased to over 30 students.

Professor Price first became aware of the AHEC Scholars program through her work as CO-PI of the HRSA-funded Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training grant. In that program students perform clinical work at Detroit-Wayne County-based Federally Qualified Health Centers and outpatient community mental health clinics. This work led her to Michigan AHEC and the AHEC Scholars program. "I saw a connection between the work my students were doing in the field with the AHEC Scholars program focus on interprofessional education and on underserved populations," said Price. "One of my primary goals is to prepare students to enter the workforce with real world experiences. The AHEC Scholars Program has provided an opportunity for the students to gain skills they can carry forward into their field work."

One of Professor Price's students, Rebecca Steiner, is from the second cohort of UM SSW AHEC Scholars students. Rebecca, who will graduate this summer, is grateful for her experience with the AHEC Scholars program. "I appreciate the supplemental training AHEC has provided on interprofessional care with a focus on rural and underserved communities," said Steiner. "Since my current field placement is in an underserved community and I plan to work in an underserved community post-graduation, the information, skills, and resources I have gained have been useful." One aspect of AHEC Scholars that appealed to Rebecca was its team-based approach to interprofessional learning. "Although some of my coursework has focused on interprofessional teams and our school is moving into more interprofessional, collaborative learning, we still have a ways to go and AHEC has helped to fill in that current gap."

Professor Price intends to continue to encourage more students to become AHEC Scholars. "When I'm committed, I'm committed," added Price. "I know it does involve extra effort from our students, but I believe the experience they gain is worth it."