The National Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Organization has announced three of its member AHEC organizations (Atlanta AHEC (The Southeast Primary Care Consortium), Eastern Connecticut AHEC, and Southeast Pennsylvania AHEC) will participate in the second year phase of a health information literacy initiative funded with $150,000 from the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Projects will address youth empowerment through health information skills and social action projects.
The multi-center award approach is designed to test implementation of Project SHARE, Student Health Advocates Redefining Empowerment, across varying community contexts. Project SHARE is a previously funded NLM curriculum developed at the University of Maryland/Baltimore. The curriculum encourages health communication, action, leadership and evidence-based knowledge acquisition at individual, family, and community levels. Awardee AHECs will incorporate health professions shadowing, mentoring and expertise throughout the project and are working with inner city young men, and Native American tribal youth.
A key project partner, John Scott with the Center for Public Service Communications (CPSC), will assist awardees in rolling out the projects. The CPSC has been involved in high-school based NLM activities for over a decade in South Carolina. From those experiences, a primary project component has been adopted. Project SHARE students will incorporate an over-arching social action project that, while not part of the original curriculum, has been shown to build enthusiasm and commitment to project learning in students of the South Carolina programs. New AHEC awardees will combine program elements to make an engaging experience for students.