Brionna Merriweather of Demopolis High School and Jasmine Mack of Linden High School participated in the Rural Minority Health Scholars program at the University of Alabama this summer.
Brionna Merriweather of Demopolis High School and Jasmine Mack of Linden High School participated in the Rural Minority Health Scholars program at the University of Alabama this summer.

Archived Story

Local students participate in health studies program

Published 9:03am Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Two select groups of students from across the state were recently on campus for the Rural Health Scholars and Rural Minority Health Scholars programs in The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences.

Two Marengo County students, Brionna Merriweather of Demopolis and Jasmine Mack of Linden, participated in the Rural Minority Health Scholars program.

These two five–week programs introduce students from rural areas to college life and give them an orientation to the need for health and medical professionals in communities like their own. Statistics show that rural students are more likely to live and practice in rural areas. The concept of the Rural Health Leaders Pipeline, which was recognized earlier this year with an Outstanding Rural Health Program Award from the National Rural Health Association, was developed as part of a strategy to recruit rural students into medical school.

The Rural Health Scholars, who are rising high school seniors, live on campus, take college courses in English and chemistry, learn about health careers and make field trips to rural health care facilities and a medical school.

The Rural Minority Health Scholars, who are recent high school graduates who will be attending college, live on campus, take a general chemistry course, attend tutorials, seminars, field trips to rural medical facilities and shadow African–American physicians from their hometowns. This program was initiated to increase the number of minority students from rural Alabama who qualify for admission to medical school through the Rural Medical Scholars Program.

Rural Health Scholars included (by home county): Autauga–Denesha Drake; Baldwin–Matthew Trattles; Barbour–Reilly Potthoff; Calhoun–Carter McKinnon; Crenshaw–Kyle Beasley; Elmore–Kayla Edwards; Fayette–Lydia Burnette; Greene–Kalissa Means; Hale–La’Tidra Evans and Caleb Wyatt; Houston–William DaKoda Lewis; Lee–Allis Hamby and Dymond Frazier; Limestone–Joshua Lovett; Madison–Heather Webster; Marion–Emily Sutton; Marshall–Samantha Thomas; Monroe–Nyah Lett and Jake Tucker; Pickens–Talmadge Butts; Russell–Tomisha Hicks and Michelle Quimno; Tuscaloosa–Isaiah Freeman; Washington–Ashley Barnes; and Winston–Krista Grace Pruitt.

Rural Minority Health Scholars included (by home county): Clarke–Tierra Williams, Destiny Nash, Jamel Dennis and Kenyetta Hunt; Dale–Zoe Britt; Hale–Jonathan Knox; Marengo–Brionna Merriweather and Jasmine Mack; and Monroe–Ashley Hollinger and Serdarion Locke.

These students, chosen based on their academic achievements and interest in rural health care, come to UA during the summer and take courses for college credit and to attend seminars. Cynthia Moore and Dr. John Wheat of CCHS direct the programs.

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