OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe John Payne Fellowship honors the memory of John Payne and his nearly 25 years of contributions to the North Carolina AHEC Program. The fellowship enables non-medical faculty to further their professional interests and explore innovative educational efforts. The fellowship memorializes Payne’s leadership of AHEC and his lifelong commitment to community-based education, his love of travel, and his interest in exploring new ideas.

The fellowship is awarded annually to one or more North Carolina AHEC faculty. It provides support, allowing fellows to study an aspect of health professions education relevant to the AHEC program. Projects emphasize lifelong learning, involving experiences and activities that explore new models, new ways of thinking, and innovation. Fellows are expected to share what they learn with AHEC colleagues through discussion, publication, and/or presentation. The length of the fellowships may vary depending on the projects. Funding is intended to help cover the recipients’ travel and living expenses within the United States during the timeframe of their awarded fellowships. The individuals’ AHECs are expected to cover salary and other compensation costs during fellowship.


Full-time AHEC faculty in allied health, dentistry, mental health, nursing, ORPCE, health careers, library services, pharmacy, CME, quality improvement, and public health disciplines and other AHEC faculty who fulfill a significant educational role are eligible for the John Payne Fellowship. Physician faculty may apply to the Mayer Traveling Fellowship for similar educational travel. Applicants must have been employed at an AHEC for three years or longer. Applicants must state in writing, in no more than three (3) pages, how he/she envisions the fellowship to be professionally useful and related to the mission and goals of the North Carolina AHEC Program. The applicant must be willing to write a brief report within two (2) months of the completion of the visit and submit the report to the AHEC program director.

Application Procedure

Interested faculty should submit his/her written statement and curriculum vitae to his/her AHEC director. The AHEC director will review applications and transmit them to the AHEC program director along with a letter of support. Although there are no restrictions on the number of applications that can be forwarded by any AHEC director, it is requested that each AHEC try to limit itself to one nominee. Each AHEC director is asked to submit the names of nominees, together with their statements, curricula vitae, and supporting documents, to the NC AHEC program director by a date to be determined each year.

Selection of the Fellow(s)

Fellows will be chosen from the nominees by a committee appointed by the NC AHEC program director. The committee will evaluate applications based on the following criteria: a professional development opportunity, new or innovative educational activity, leadership development, benefits to the NC AHEC Program, and strength of the letter of support from the AHEC director. Selected fellows are expected to share their experiences via presentations at the subsequent Statewide AHEC Conference.

Arrangements for the Fellowship

Once selected, the fellow will discuss preliminary plans with his/her AHEC director. The stipend for the John Payne Fellowship is $2,500 per fellow and can be used for airfare, lodging, meals, and associated costs.

Previous Winners


Ted Eby – Obtain a Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist Certification


Jennifer Bigger – Attend the Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) Summit on Primary Care
Michelle Boyd – Become a trained facilitator for Bridges Out of Poverty and Bridges to Health and Healthcare
Lisa Guy – Attend the Association for Nursing Professional Development: Aspire to Envision Conference


Chanyne Cupil – Attend a two-day course on advanced diversity and inclusion strategies at the Industrial Labor Relations School at Cornell University
Jessica Dietrich, MEd – obtain online certificates in eLearning


Andrew M. Cundiff – Participate in a high-level conference featuring talented medical educators experienced in immersive technologies
Carrie Jackman-Hoyle, MHA – Become an Accreditation Council for Medical Education Surveyor
Lauren E. Honeycutt, MBA, CDP – Attend the Learning Solutions 2018 Conference and Expo
Frank Castelblanco, DNP, RN – Attend the 2018 Institute for Healthcare Improvement Change Conference – Radical Redesign in Complex Systems
Jessica R. Williams, BS – Attend a primary care redesign conference, either the Institute for Healthcare Improvement or one of the advanced medical home conferences


Alice J. Schenall, MPH – Attend the MetaECHO 2017 Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico to learn about ECHO
Gabriela Staley, MEd – Improve the training of interpreters in North Carola
Barbara Smith, RDH, MS – Visit working Medical Home models for the IDD population to learn more about how they function in practice
Tamela Yount, MSHAI, PCMH-CCE – Attend IHI meeting to learn about opiates, care management, and pay for performance
Matt Martin, PhD, LMFT – Address the opiate epidemic, develop integrated care approaches and improve personal skills at developing modules


Sandie M. Coleman, MAED – Attend the 2016 CME as a Bridge to Quality accreditation workshop in Chicago, Illinois, to gain a better understanding of the American Board of Internal Medicine Maintenance of Certification requirements and become better prepared to design educational activities that integrate MOC and accredited Continuing Medical Education
Patty L. Collins, RN, BSN, MAEd – Visit the Veterans Administration in Palo Alto, California, to meet with individuals to learn more about the treatment and specific mental and medical healthcare needs of female veterans


La-Lisa Hewett-Robinson, MA, and Robert Wilson, MA – Attend a national training symposium and work with expert consultants on strategic plans for effectively implementing interprofessional education and practice in behavioral health settings in North Carolina
Laura B. Leach, MLS – Support continuing education through the presentation of “Innovation and Lean Process Improvement Demystified” at the 2015 NC AHEC Statewide Meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina


Ruby Brown-Herring, BSW, MEd – Become a certified instructor to conduct mental first aid certification trainings to a wide variety of audiences
R. Evan Richardson, MSN, CNM – Learn more about practice innovation through human-centered design to enhance knowledge and skills in this area


Kelly Blasky, MPH – Attend the national meeting for Mental Health First Aid in order to gain the skills to offer a training in this area to the Charlotte AHEC region and statewide
Toni P. Chatman, MHA – Attend the Health Literacy Institute in Maine to add to her expertise in this area for the benefit of Wake AHEC and the entire NC AHEC system


Susan M. Miller, PharmD, MBA, BCPS, FCCP – Develop an interprofessional education experience for students and residents in a variety of fields at the Family Medicine Center at Southern Regional AHEC
Michael Willet, MS – Develop new products and applications that can be used on mobile devices in support of the various missions of AHEC


Karen Koch, MSW, LCSW – Address the shortage of clinical supervisors in the eastern part of the state, and develop new models for training by attending the Interdisciplinary Conference on Clinical Supervision at Adelphi University in June, followed by the creation of a number of training programs at Eastern AHEC to address this issue
Mary Lynn Barrett, LCSW, MPH – Attend training in the Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM) and interview the founders of TRM; participate in other educational experiences with the goal of becoming an expert in the use of TRM in the Family Medicine Residency Program at Mountain AHEC


Diana K. Bond, PhD (c), RN, BC, and Sandie M. Coleman, MAEd – Study the CME process at two sites in the Houston area that have been particularly successful in developing exemplary CME systems in the new environment for professional development for physicians; apply lessons learned to their work at Wake AHEC, and inform AHEC efforts statewide to a more quality-focused CME that takes better advantage of technology and other new systems of educational delivery
Dawn Grant, MPH – Attend the World Conference on Quality and Improvement in St. Louis in May 2010; utilize the knowledge gained from the conference to incorporate quality issues and quality measurements in a broad array of educational activities conducted by Eastern AHEC and by AHEC statewide


Monique Mackey, MLS – Study the issue of physician re-entry into the workforce after a period of being out of active practice; visit the state of Oregon to study the way in which that state has organized a formal process for providing a clinical skills refresher program and for approving physicians for re-entry into active practice
Joann Spaleta, MBA, MHA, MT, (ASCP) – Additional advanced level leadership education as part of the American College of Health Care Executives toward her activity in organizing and offering management and leadership training at both the Charlotte AHEC and throughout the state


Isis Hanna, BA – Attend the IDI Certificate Course in Portland, Oregon to gain additional tools to use in building successful cultural diversity programs at Charlotte AHEC and for the entire NC AHEC system
Peter Koval, PharmD – Study robotic avatars and voice recognition software applications at Keele University in the United Kingdom and apply this new knowledge toward a greater use of technology into the pharmacy curriculum at Greensboro AHEC and across the state


Elaine B. Owens, MPA – Visit the Connecticut AHEC Youth Health Service Corps program to learn more about the structure, specific training modules, and recognition offered to students; a similar program might then be applied to NC using this model
Tara D. Owens and Sherry Stafford, MEd – Attend the e-Learn 2007 conference in Quebec City, Canada, to learn about the research, development, diverse learning experiences, implementation, and technology needed to improve e-learning at AHEC


Mollie Scott, PharmD, BCPS, CPP – Develop a pharmacotherapy curriculum for geriatric fellows by drawing upon the experience of specialists across the country
Amy Vega, MBA, MHA, RHEd – Research multiple connections between public health and animal care in North Carolina


Libby Haile, MEd, MY, SH, CLS – Investigate Culture Clues™, an online informational resource on ethnic and racial groups served by the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, for the purpose of exploring potential for developing similar resources on major ethnic populations in North Carolina
Lyn Keating, MS – Develop the capability to teach bioethics curricula in continuing education courses offered by South East AHEC and elsewhere in North Carolina


Sheryl Pacelli, MEd – Look at models for preparing for the psychological aspects of bioterrorism and other disasters
Deborah Ramey, MAEd – Explore tracking and evaluation models for health careers workforce programs.


Karen Blicher, LCSW, CHT – Integrate mindfulness-based stress reduction into the programs and services of Mountain AHEC, including the Division of Family Medicine, OB-GYN and Regional Services
Karen Zeliff, MLS – Develop an instructional packet, protocols, and templates for CE staff to equip them with the concepts and tools needed to work with traditional classroom-based partners to help provide quality online continuing education


Jean Hill, EdD – Review the recruitment and retention strategies implemented by four magnet hospitals and share strategies that could be replicated in facilities seeking to enhance the nurse work environment
Fern Paul-Aviles, Ms, RPH – Visit and meet with pharmacy faculty members at sites in Oklahoma and Virginia to observe how the universities support the development of progressive community pharmacy practices


Patricia Hayes, MSN, RN, CNAA – Explore techniques in health behavioral management in Oregon that have proven to be effective and that could be taught to health providers in North Carolina
Michael Kennedy, MGA, CHES – Visit the Andrus Center at the University of Southern California and increase NC AHEC’s ability to create appropriate training programs in the field of geriatrics using effective teaching methods


Nancy Harrison, MSN, RN – Meet with nurses in Colorado and work collaboratively with the Colorado AHEC to look at innovative models of nursing practice
Anita Pulley, MSN, RN – Study how the Massachusetts AHEC Program functions as an integral partner in the healthy communities movement within their state and apply the strategies to the NC AHEC Program


Russet Hambrick, MLS – Participate in a two-week fellowship at Texas A&M University resulting in certification in distance education programming, and use the ideas gained to build stronger rural networks through telecommunication
Diane Leonard, RN, EdD – Visit a model site involved in the healthy communities movement to determine the collaboration strategies they use to assess the educational infrastructure and to determine how NC AHECs may be more involved in such efforts